The end of my roundtrip ticket booked on Delta to visit Southern California for the holidays contained a cool leg on Delta One Suites aboard the Airbus A330-900neo. One of the newest planes on Delta’s fleet, my specific aircraft was delivered in May of 2019. I was a bit nervous before the flight for an equipment swap, as it happened on my outbound where I got downgraded from Delta One to the Main Cabin. Thankfully, everything went okay with this flight, and was a good start to my first flight of 2023.
Originally, I had actually booked a different flight. There was a schedule change a few months ago, so I looked at other flight options as Delta allowed me to make changes for free online. Generally, the LAX-JFK route is served by the old 767-300 aircraft, so I was surprised to see the A330-900neo on the schedule. The A330-900neo generally serves international routes as it has the new Delta One Suites. So, I decided to rebook to this one and try Delta One Suites for the first time. This particular flight is a repositioning one, as the aircraft came from Tokyo to Los Angeles and later departed to Tel Aviv.
Delta Air Lines Flight 323
Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK)
Class: Delta One (Business Class)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-900neo
At the Airport:
I arrived to LAX a few hours before departure to get some work done at the Sky Club. The line for bag drop at Delta was gigantic. I’m assuming perhaps since it was the Wednesday after New Year’s, a lot of leisure travelers were still traveling for the holidays.
Delta has a makeshift Delta One check-in currently at Terminal 3. It has some snacks and refreshments, and dedicated check-in desks. Given the long lines for general bag drop, it’s definitely a perk to have the Delta One check-in counter when traveling during busy season. A nicer, more permanent area is scheduled to be completed sometime in the spring I was told.
TSA PreCheck was quite fast, and I was at the Terminal 3 flagship Delta Sky Club in a few minutes.
The new LAX Sky Club at Terminal 3 was quite nice for a “general club” and wasn’t too crowded during my visit. I’m looking forward for the Delta One Lounges that are planning to open in 2024.
Since the plane arrived from Japan, it was parked at LAX’s International Terminal, Tom Bradley (TBIT). LAX is currently building a post-security connector from Terminal 3 to Terminal B (TBIT) which should be completed later this year. But since it is not complete yet, you have to take a Delta shuttle bus from Terminal 2. I left the Sky Club 15 minutes before the boarding time. The walk from the Terminal 3 Sky Club to the Terminal 2 Shuttle Pick Up was quite close, and the shuttle came by pretty quickly. It’s a bit annoying to cram into a shuttle bus before the flight, so I am excited for the post-security connector to be complete. Alternatively, I could have cleared security at the TBIT instead, but I wanted to see the new Sky Club.
I got to the gate right when they started boarding, and they boarded from the middle door which was nice. You would turn left for the Delta One Cabin, and turn right for Premium Select and the Main Cabin.
On the A330-900neo, the Delta One Suites Cabin contains 29 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Rows 1-7 contain 4 seats across, and there’s 1 seat in row 8 on the left side of the aircraft. If you’re traveling alone, for maximum privacy, you’ll want an even numbered window seat as the seat is situated further from the aisle.
There are two lavatories, one in the front and one between the Delta One Cabin and Premium Select Cabin. The curtain wasn’t drawn to the lavatory from Premium Select, so I’m not sure if they were able to use that one. It did seem that the lavatories were occupied quite often, so maybe they could use it. If so, having one dedicated lavatory is a bit short for the cabin. The lavatory amenities were pretty basic, but they did have a Malin and Goetz hand lotion.
My first impressions of the plane were that it seemed bright and new, a definite step up from the older 767-300s that generally serve this route. I also really liked the fact that each seat had a door which allowed for more privacy. I did notice that the aisleway were quite narrow, perhaps because they fit in suites.
In terms of color palate, it felt a bit too white and sterile in a way. I think the interior finishes on United Polaris are nicer, if I had to nitpick.
Shortly, after I was seated, champagne, mimosa and orange juice was offered in glasses.
The aircraft had an issue with the one of the cargo doors closing, so they had to reopen the boarding doors and allow mechanics to come in. Thankfully, the mechanics were able to fix it, and we left the gate approximately 45 minutes after scheduled departure.
We eventually took off a little over an hour after scheduled departure and the flight deck informed us that the flight in the air to Kennedy would be four hours and thirty minutes.
The Delta One Suites seat is quite nice. There is a large 18.5 inch IFE screen, and it is super clear and crisp. The distance from the seat and screen is good, and the touchscreen is very responsive. In lie flat mode, SeatGuru states that the seat is 76 inches long.
Waiting at the seat, each seat had Delta bedding in a nice reusable bag containing a duvet and pillow. There was also a small water bottle and an amenity kit.
The amenity kit is from Someone Somewhere, and the bag is made from artisan communities in Mexico, using natural and recycled materials. Inside there was an eye mask, earplugs, small pen, lotion and lip balm from Grown Alchemist and a toothbrush + toothpaste.
The main console has a power outlet, two USB ports for charging, the headphone jack, and the seat + lighting controls. The open console has a cup holder, headphone holder and empty area to put some stuff. I probably would have preferred a cabinet that you could close, or a storage cubby that was bit more defined if I had to be picky.
There is also a small control panel in the side of the console next to the seat. It is easier to use when the seat is in bed mode and allows you to change the suite lighting, do not disturb button and to make the seat upright.
Also, there is a remote control in the armrest. Cleanliness could have been improved as there seemed to be a bit of crumbs + dirt around the crevices of the seat.
And the door! The only other aircrafts I’ve been on with a door is the new JetBlue Mint Suites and the old JetBlue Mint “Throne” Seats, so it was fun to try another one. This one was manually operated, but it worked well.
The footwell area is a bit narrow, but has decent height. It was pretty comfortable in the lie flat mode, and I kind of liked how it wasn’t angled so you were actually sleeping straight forward.
After reaching cruising altitude, lunch was served. Menus were available via QR code; there wasn’t a paper menu at each seat. The lead flight attendant confirmed our orders while we were on the ground, and they had my pre-order correctly noted.
Delta emailed me a few days before the flight to allow me to preselect my meal and I chose the Chicken Piccata. The other options you could choose from on board Jon & Vinny’s Marinara Braised Meatballs and the chilled Grilled Vegetable Antipasto.
Via the preorder, which can be done up to 24 hours prior to meal time, there were two additional meal options. You could preorder the Herb Crusted Salmon with Tzatziki and Quinoa Roasted Cauliflower Salad (cold dish) or a Baked Mushroom Rigatoni.
The lunch service came out all on one plate, and it had a Gem Lettuce Salad, Rosemary Red Onion Focaccia and a dessert of Chocolate Peppermint Cake.
I thought the chicken was pretty good, and the kale was a nice touch. The Gem Lettuce was fresh, and I liked the chocolate cake. The bread was a bit too hard.
Right before the initial descent, they came by with water bottles. I wish they brought a snack basket around, as that would have been a nice touch. Other than the main meal service, there wasn’t really any additional service provided.
IFE + Wi-Fi:
The 18.5 inch seatback IFE Screen was very crisp and clear, and offers over 600 movies. I think it’s the best IFE I’ve worked with on a plane with both the clarity and ease of controls + touchscreen response. There are also over 600 movies on board.
I also enjoyed the flight tracker mode, where it would toggle between different map views and statistics of our flight.
Wi-Fi was offered from Intelsat on this flight, thankfully at a cheaper rate than my outbound flight (which was $39.95 for the flight). On this flight, the flight pass was $20, or $6 for 1 hour. If you wanted to stream, enhanced WiFi was offered for $34. If you wanted to use messaging apps such as iMessage, Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp, they were free. T-Mobile customers also get free WiFi which was great for me. Delta has announced free Wi-Fi starting February 1st, 2023 on domestic mainline aircraft (Viasat-equipped flights). Unfortunately, since most of the planes serving the LAX-JFK route are international widebody planes, they won’t have free WiFi until the end of 2024.
Overall, for a transcontinental hop from Los Angeles to New York, the A330neo Delta One Suites were a solid hard product. While service could have been a bit better, the main meal was pretty good at least. I wouldn’t mind flying on the A330-900neo Delta One Suites again.
Have you flown on the Delta One Suites on the A330-900neo? What were your thoughts? Comment below!
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Shockingly AA has a much better meal service transcon in business. Brought out in courses with dessert options including ice cream. Fresh cookies before landing and snack basket available. Not commenting on food quality just service flow is much more premium than this all on one tray laziness.
I totally agree the one tray presentation seemed a bit too basic. Thanks for reading!
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