Delta First Class Domestic:WTF, When Did Delta Domestic First Get Better???

Over the past few years, Izumi and I have been flying Delta religiously and building up hundreds of thousands of miles. We are both Platinum members for Delta. Although we regularly get upgraded flying out of DCA, we were both thinking of changing airlines due to Delta’s business class award availability with partner airlines. However, with the addition of the new Delta One business class (coming in 2017), improving relations with Korean Air, and a VASTLY improved regional product, Izumi and I are now re-thinking our entire strategy.

Pros:

  • I can’t believe I’m writing this…the food! The beef tenderloin was fantastic and they serve Jenny’s Ice Cream!!!!!
  • Unlike the majority of our other Delta flights, the service was absolute top notch.
  • Screen size and live DISH TV.

Cons: 

  • Movies kept lagging.

How We Booked: 

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-12-17-45-pmBeing Platinum Medallion members, both Izumi and I are eligible for a “yearly gift” at the end of each year that you are able to redeem at any point the following year. There are a number of gifts you are able to redeem (gift from tiffanies, miles, gifting silver status) but the most valuable end of year gift comes in the form of Regional Upgrade certificates.

If Delta Platinum members choose to redeem their regional upgrade certificates as their yearly gift, they receive a total of 4 certificates. 1 certificate is good for a 1-one domestic ticket including all legs. For example, flying from DCA to Vancouver, with a layover in Salt Lake City, in first class was one Regional Upgrade certificate (I know this isn’t technically a domestic flight, but Delta sees most flights to Canada & Caribbean as domestic).  For two people to have a round trip ticket, it would cost 4 certificates.

We went online to book a non refundable ticket and then immediately called in to Delta to have an agent add the Regional Upgrade certificate to our itinerary.

**Note** These upgrades do not happen instantly and are subject to availability. Meaning, if people purchase the first class ticket on your same flight, you’re out of luck. If there are 10 seats in first class, and 4 tickets have been purchased, people redeeming the Regional Upgrade certificate would have a higher place on the upgrade list than those hoping to get upgraded using status. Certificate holders even trump Diamond member upgrades.

 

The Flight:

 

For longer haul flights, Delta uses it’s Boeing 757. As you enter the plane from the gate, first class and premium economy passengers turn left towards the front of the plane, while economy (or 3rd class as my son calls it) passengers are to the right.

Similar to Delta One seats, the first class seats had the quilted Delta seats, and were configured in a 2×2 formation. Each seat came with a very large touch screen equipped with movies, TV programs, and live DISH TV (you can always view Delta Studios via WiFi on any device). The movie selection was fantastic, but while we were watching Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (don’t judge me) it kept lagging every 5 minutes.

In addition to the screens, there were also 2 electric outlets located in the middle of the two seats and a USB port on the screen.

The Food:

I was honestly ready to poo poo the food on this flight. On (almost) every previous Delta flight (including Delta One international flights) the food has been mediocre at best. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this domestic flight.

I opted for the pasta while Izumi got the beef tenderloin on mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. Had it not been for the blog to try all the different food choices, I too, would have opted for the steak. While the pasta was a 4.5 out of 10, the steak was honestly an 8. I can’t even make this up…I would have rather had that steak than eat most of the restaurants in DC.

To top it all off: THEY HAD JENNY’s ICE CREAM!!!! For those of you from Ohio, you know how good Jenny’s is. It’s like a better Ben & Jerry’s.

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Service:

I just want to say that there are tons of awesome flight attendants out there…and there are also a ton of really shi**y ones as well. I hate going on flights where the flight crew makes you feel bad for asking for another drink or for a blanket. Luckily for us, this flight crew was absolutely fantastic.

As soon as we boarded the plane, she came over to introduce herself and asked if we needed a pre flight dink (I opted for blue moon while Izumi got a red wine). Throughout the flight, she always came by to check on us and made sure we were comfortable.

Conclusion:

Surprisingly good food with great service always makes for a great flight. I’ll see if Delta can keep this up.

 

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