A friend of mine flew from Sydney to Los Angeles with Delta in Comfort Plus. Happily he wrote me the following review, so please enjoy!
Guest post by Rinaz Ali.
Over the years, I’ve flown several different routes between Australia and the USA. Having lived in Sydney for most of my life, my transpacific flights stopped at Los Angeles or Honolulu, while in recent years, I’ve added San Francisco and Dallas to the mix. Most of my travel has been with Qantas in Economy or Premium Economy, though once I did get an upgrade to Business Class on the Airbus A380 flight to Dallas. After almost 40 years flying Qantas, that one single upgrade really stands out!
I have also experimented with Air New Zealand (you can check out my rather tongue in cheek Premium Economy review here!), flying via Auckland. While they are an amazing airline, going this way takes up too much time. Crossing the Pacific is nothing new to me, as I have been doing it since I was six months old.
Why Not Take A US Based Airline?
As an Australian, I have never considered using an American airline to fly the Pacific. Sure, I live in the US now, so I fly many of them domestically, but we Australians always have a certain loyalty to the Flying Kangaroo. Indeed, my father, brother and briefly myself either do or have worked for Qantas.
I felt some trepidation in taking Delta to Australia and back. There would also have been a review of the flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, however I managed to lose my carry-on luggage in Denver, which meant I was not in the mood for that.
Considering Comfort Plus
Springing for the extra USD$200 on Delta’s “Comfort +” product didn’t seem too pricey, especially as it gave me that all important essential – more leg room. I’m 6 feet tall, and having flown Qantas and Air New Zealand Economy in the past, I really didn’t want to squeeze into their cattle class seats again.
I had to assume that Delta’s Economy “Main Cabin” was probably the same, so I paid for the extra room. Even with this upgrade, Delta was still competitive against the other carriers and was cheaper than Qantas Economy by almost USD$400!
DL40 – Sydney to Los Angeles (SYD-LAX)
23 October 2019
Boeing 777-200LR – N707DN
Seat: Economy Class Comfort Plus
Departure: 10:25 Arrival: 06:15+1
When I arrived at my seat, I was impressed with the amount of leg room in Delta Comfort Plus. I easily had a couple of inches of extra space and shorter people would be able to get in and out of the row fairly easily due to this.
In all honesty, it feels like Economy used to be, before it became Sardine Class. The seats are a good width and they’re not too firm. I didn’t experience any back pain like I usually would with other Economy seats. A small extra pocket in front of each seat allows you to store a smartphone or bottle of water for easy access.
The entertainment screen is a generous size, it looked about 11 inches. Although I don’t know it’s technical specifications, it looked like a Full HD 1080 panel LCD, with good detail and color, and above average blacks.
Entertainment options are vast, including a lot of movies in a variety of languages including Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, Thai and French to name a few. Classifications include useful options such as “Under 2 Hours”, “Classic Cinema”, “Closed Caption” and “80s and 90s Hits”. There’s also a ton of audio, and some rather generic but fun games.
Delta’s Design Choices
There are a lot of smart design choices in this cabin. The USB and headphone ports are located directly under the screen, making it easy to find and charge your devices or plug in your headphones. No more searching in the dark for the under seat charging, though they are still there as well, providing more options.
The old school half tables are back, allowing you to fold your tray table in half for drinks and snacks, which can then be flipped to full size for meals or other activities. I seriously don’t know why this feature was taken away for so many years.
On Board Meal Service
Food was average and I am assuming it is the same food as served in Economy Class. It was nothing great, but it was okay. People probably choose this product for the extra space more than anything else. My meals consisted of Penne Pasta, Spinach and Feta Flatbread (which was nice), and Scrambled Eggs for breakfast. I like the generous pour of wine and only wish Delta had the ability to order drinks from your screen, like you can on Air New Zealand.
The service was friendly, especially all the ground staff. All the check in and boarding staff seemed extra friendly and helpful at the terminals – again a reminder of how airlines like Qantas used to be.
I was lucky enough to have the row free, which made my flight even more enjoyable. Indeed, half the plane was empty, which resulted in quick service.
Broken Toilets and Wi-Fi
A downside was that two of the toilets were broken, and only had tiny stickers on them stating such. I’m not sure how people were expected to see that in the dark. Eventually the crew made a hand written sign indicating the toilet was not in working order.
Delta offers Wi-Fi across most of the Pacific, though obviously there are certain patches with no service. The Captain gave us a friendly reminder of this fact. You don’t need to purchase Internet access though, as they offer free WiFi for iMessenger, Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. This is a great way to stay in contact with family and friends when you’re cruising over the islands of Fiji.
The only real downside to the entire flight was that the crew put the plane into night mode extremely early. It was about 2pm Sydney time when they started to dim the lights and offer dinner service.
Obviously this is to help mitigate the effects of jet lag, and I saw many people able to fall asleep. This was not the case for me and I stayed awake the entire flight and had severe jetlag when I arrived home in Colorado.
Overall, I was very impressed with Delta. They continue to go from strength to strength and the amount of awards they have won would indicate that. I would definitely choose them again next time I’m heading Down Under.
Have you tried Delta Comfort Plus before? Was it on a long flight across the Pacific or on something shorter? How was it? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please let me know.
Featured image by Aero Icarus from Zurich, Switzerland via Wikimedia Commons.