Aviation News

March 14, 2013

Delta Air Lines Domestic First Class Reviewed

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By: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
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Delta First Class on the Boeing 757-200  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / NYCAviation
Delta First Class on the Boeing 757-200 Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / NYCAviation
We promised you when we ran our article on the Delta Airlines’ premium international cabin upgrades earlier this year that another article on domestic cabin changes was to follow. Today we deliver on that promise as we take a look at Delta’s domestic first class, which NYCAviation flew back in December of 2012 from Detroit to Seattle. The good news is that we’ll touch on a lot of what’s new. The bad news, we can’t say we experienced them ourselves: our flight was too short (cry us a river, right?). In any case, join us at Detriot’s gate A17 for a look into Delta’s domestic first class. – Jeremy

Settling in after boarding, the seat aboard our Boeing 757-200 was large and plush with enough recline to enable a comfortable cat nap: perfect for a late afternoon flight. Blankets and pillows sat waiting on the seat along with a much needed bottle of water. The modest seat pitch—38”—made it easy enough to kick off our shoes and stretch out a bit. A power outlet at the seat enabled keeping our power hungry devices charged up, while a tray-table provided space to stretch them out. Meanwhile a touch-based personal entertainment system beckoned in the seatback of the passenger in front of us, measuring roughly eight inches across.

Speaking of entertainment we expected, of course, to have a wide selection on our earlier international flights. Since domestic options are typically more restricted we were pleasantly surprised to see much of the same material available on this flight, plus live TV. We caught a movie during dinner and then, tuckered out from having been on the road for over a day, we turned on Vince Guaraldi’s classic Christmas album and caught that cat nap.

Late-lunch, served not long after take off, consisted of a steak & cheese sandwich, salad, and a delicious blondie square. The food was enjoyable and filling, though expectedly not at the same level of dining we experienced on our international flights. All drinks, alcohol included, were free for the entire flight. We imbibed on a single Blue Moon, a juice, and a lot of water.

Overall, being a shorter flight we didn’t wind up getting the cream of the crop product currently offered on Delta domestic first class. That distinction goes to the trans-continental flights from New York to LA, San Fran, and Seattle. Predictably, that’s where many of the changes will be rolled out when it comes to Delta’s premium cabin product. Over the course of the next two years the carrier is going to roll out lie-flat seating on those long cross-country’s: no doubt a welcome addition for those travelling the red eyes. They’ll also continue to roll-out top-notch dining as well, with three course meals and an extensive wine list. The screen for the entertainment system will nearly double in size to a whopping sixteen inches wide. Heck, even those back in economy will benefit with 9in screens along with power via a traditional and USB ports at every seat (something we’re particularly excited about). Still, we enjoyed the comfy seat, good food, and quality entertainment of our first class flight. There’s no doubt it represents an obvious step up above Delta’s coach and economy comfort offering – as it should.

Bottom line? It was a solidly good flight. We suspect though, that Delta’s premium offerings on those  newly revamped transcontinental flights would push the needle over into great. Maybe one day we’ll find out.

Have you flown Delta First Class in the US?  How was your experience? Tell us about it in the comments section or join the discussion on our facebook or twitter!

 


  • MomosG

    I flew first class on a red-eye Delta flight from OGG to LAX in August 2012. I have to say I was not impressed. The 757-200 was about 25 years old, an old ATA aircraft and the seating was not impressive. Yes, a tad wider seats and legroom but there wasn’t a TV or a personal entertainment system. I’ve been on first or what they call “business class” on their 777-200LR from LAX to Sydney, Australia in 2011 and THAT was impressive with the lie-down seats, the meals and the plethora of personal entertainment.

  • CeeJay

    Sorry, but I have nothing positive to say about flying Delta first class. It’s total luck of the draw as to which type of plane you will end up flying on. The majority of their fleet are antiquated and crammed packed. First class is frankly no better than flying Delta’s economy plus. Save your self a grand and pick an economy plus seat. You’ll get practically the same leg room and aren’t missing any big perks since Delta only serves meals in first class when flight is more than four hours long. Ridiculous. I guess that’s what 2K gets you nowadays.