Why you should pick DTW for DL connections

Discussion in 'DTW | Detroit Metro Airport' started by MSPeconomist, Apr 17, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Many travellers who are new to DL or who were once upon a time, before the merger, customers of Delta-South, may still be reluctant to route yourself through DTW. You associate the airport, unfairly IMO, with decaying city of former smoke-stack industries and crime/social problems. This is unfair and probably inconveniences you in some of your travels. DTW is a wonderful hub, even though this certainly wasn't always true. Before the new terminal was constructed, Delta-North insiders would go to great lengths to avoid DTW because it was notorious for unpleasant and crowded conditions combined with rude, surly, and incompetent staff.

    However, the new DTW is totally different. The DL terminals are modern, spacious, and pleasant. They have wide moving walkways, so that its easy for walkers to pass standers. There are some potentially interesting restaurants and stores. The SCs are great, arguably the best domestic lounges in the DL system, with fireplaces, self-serve bars, and in the center location, nice showers (IIRC, three, but you must sometimes go through a waiting list).

    The DL terminals consist of a long narrow main concourse/terminal for the A gates, roughly 90 of them lines up along one very long straight concourse. There is an overhead little red train that shuttles back and forth every few minutes along the giant concourse, stopping at the center and both far ends (north and south). This is connected underground via the "psychedelic tunnel" with moving walkways to a separate building for RJs, the B and C gates. There are three DL SCs at mezzanine level in the A building, a huge main club (with showers) that you enter from the main departures level almost underneath the center train station. There's a separate dedicated service counter at the top of the escalators. north and south clubs (which have somewhat shorter hours, so it's better to head for the center lounge if it's a weird time) are at the train stations. They're smaller but also very nice, with standard SC F & B offerings and nice lavatories inside the lounge, but no showers. The north and south lounges generally seem more quiet, less busy, and less crowded at peak times. There's an additional lounge for the B/C gates close to where one emerges from the psychedelic tunnel.

    One additional very nice feature is the Westin Hotel located directly in the A terminal. At certain times, it has a security entrance directly from the hotel to the airside portion of the A area. Hotel guests can access terminal restaurants and shops, even if they're departing the following day.

    DTW is a hub that, on the domestic side, specializes in connections to smaller midwestern and northeastern destinations. As an international gateway, it offers not only nonstops to LHR, AMS, CDG (AF), FRA, etc. but also to Asian destinations: not only NRT, but also PVG, HKG, etc., with service scheduled to return to HND in early summer.

    Connections here are very quick and efficient. The train makes even far-apart A gates easy. Almost all RJs park at gates with jetways. I've rarely seen situations in which there isn't a gate available for a flight, although of course sometimes an incoming flight must wait briefly for a departing flight to leave the gate or for a GA to arrive to operate the jetway.
     
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  2. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    The old terminal was absolutely a dump. The new one is wonderful - pleasant and efficient.
     
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  3. danimal
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    danimal Gold Member

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    +1 The main SC is one of the better domestic SCs IMO.

    The only negative is when they change your gate and you have to walk a mile to the other end if you don't hit the train/shuttle right.
     
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  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Or when the weather turns sour and you have to spend the night in Detroit.
     
  5. danimal
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    danimal Gold Member

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    Agreed. However, even though I live only 30 minutes from DTW, there have been times when I have enjoyed staying at the Westin rather than trying to get back home and then back to DTW at 6 AM during a snow storm if I am going on vacation.
     
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  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP.
     
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  7. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    Another reason to use DTW is that it is not ATL!
     
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  8. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    The one time I was 'stranded' there, DL got me a great little room at the Westin.
     
  9. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    I agree 1000%!
     
  10. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Although I didnt fly much when DTW had the old terminal, I can say I much prefer DTW or MEM (although that is gone) over ATL. The winter can be hairy, but that is still better than the pop up thunderstorms that delay flights out of ATL. And it is much too busy........
     
  11. N965VJ
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    N965VJ Silver Member

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    I was :( a few months ago when I noticed my stone (and all the others) had been removed and replaced with fake wood chips in the planters. Did any of you guys sign one?
     
  12. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Unless you want to consume alcohol. The clubs are self-service, which normally is great, except it also means there is only cheap swill available. Even if you wanted to pay Delta's absurd prices for the better stuff -- you can't.
     
  13. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I
    I never did sign one, but some stones were there just a couple of months ago. Maybe I just missed their removal or maybe people brought some in their carry ons!
     

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