Delta One: A Perfectly Fine Option For Business Class To Asia

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re also reading OneMileAtATime, The Points Guy, etc. As you know, there has been lots of changes to the Delta mileage program. However, if you look hard enough, there are plenty of “good” deals still out there for redeeming your Delta miles for Delta One Business Class tickets.

If you have a bunch of Delta miles, these seats are perfectly fine. If you’re starting from scratch, I’d play the credit card game (sign up for Chase Reserve and receive 100k bonus points) and look at First Class tickets through Chase’s partner airlines (specifically Singapore Air Suites & Korean Air First)

How I Redeemed:

Over the past few years, we’ve been flying on a ton of Delta flights (Izumi was commuting up to Detroit from Washington, DC every week). With all the flights, and the sign up bonus + spend on our Delta Platinum AmEx card, we were both able to achieve platinum status and bank over 800k miles.

I was specifically looking for a Delta One flight from Singapore to WAS and found that there was decent availability for 80k miles per person. Because of all the issues Delta has been having with Korean Air (which hopefully gets resolved shortly) Korean Air only allows one partner airline business class seat per flight, and two partner economy tickets per flight. Meaning, if we wanted to take the Korean Air flight from SIN to ICN, and for the second ICN to DTW on Delta, then the Korean air segment would have to be in coach if we we wanted to be on the same flight.

I just took a quick peek at the SIN to WAS route for next summer…as you can see, Korean Air is still limiting the partner availability.

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 11.14.21 AM.png

The only way to both fly home from Asia would be to fly a Delta flight (and not partner flights).

Seats:

The seats itself on Delta One are nice. They are all lie flat, come with Tumi amenity kits, and Westin Heavenly pillows and blankets. Honestly, this was my first business class flight in over a decade, and I was thrilled just to be able to lie down.

The seats itself are in a semi closed oval cube that have good privacy. Starting next year, Delta will be the first airline to have a fully enclosed business class suite (which I will be flying shortly after launch).

Food:

Heck of a lot better than coach but nothing to really get excited for. Did I finish all the food served to me? Yeah. Was it slightly better than my college cafeteria? Yeah. Was I 3 champagne and 4 beers in as we began meal service? Yeah. Don’t expect 5 star dining. Imagine if TGIFs tried to make something gourmet – that’s what the food was like.

Service:

With all of the major airlines that are from America (AA, Delta, United, etc.) you’re going to get hit or miss service. I found the crew from ICN to DTW to be very helpful and friendly, but have also heard of crews not lifting a finger to help passengers. Izumi was having a short girl problem and was having issues lifting up her suitcase in the overhead compartment and the flight attendant just watched 10 inches away not trying to help. Horrible. It’s like comparing an Asian 5 star resort (like the FS Koh Samui) vs. an American 5 star resort (Mandarin Oriental DC)…no comparison.

Conclusion:

The suites are darn near impossible to book at the saver level. Korean Air has first class available but I didn’t want to blow all of my credit card points. Delta had Delta One available for our way back home, and we decided to pull the trigger. Just keep your expectations fairly low, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Leave a Reply