Background + Booking:
I recently flew on Delta One’s A330-300 from New York (JFK) to Amsterdam (AMS). This specific aircraft still has the classic Delta One seat (formerly Business Elite) and not the new Delta One Suites. Last summer, fellow bloggers posted some hard-to-find Delta One award availability, so I booked a trip to visit my friends in the Netherlands and Switzerland. I used 100,000 Virgin Points + $63 in taxes for my roundtrip flight. If you’re curious about how I booked the flight, you can check out my blog post on it here.
Originally, this flight was supposed to be aboard an A330-900neo, which contains the new Delta One Suites. As of the posting of this review, there are two daily flights from New York (JFK) to Amsterdam (AMS) on Delta. One of the flights has the A330neo with Delta One Suites, and one flight has the older A330-300 with the classic reverse herringbone product. Unfortunately, there was an equipment swap a few months before my flight, so I would be on the classic A330-300. I got rebooked to a non-Delta One Suites flight on my inbound flight too but was able to switch back to my Delta One Suites flight. You can read about that experience here if you would like. If you’re curious about how my inbound flight was in Delta One Suites on the A330-900neo, you can check out that review here.
Funny enough, back in the day when I was a teenager, the A330 on Delta was one of the planes I was eager to try, as the seat was quite advanced for the time. So in a sentimental way, I was excited to try out this classic seat type at least once.
Delta Air Lines Flight 48
New York (JFK) to Amsterdam (AMS)
Class: Delta One (Business Class)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
At The Airport:
I arrived at JFK a few hours before departure to relax in the lounge. There is a dedicated check-in area at JFK, and there were no lines for check-in assistance on a Tuesday afternoon around 3pm.
I have TSA-Pre check, and the line wasn’t too bad, and I was past security in no more than 10 minutes. On the other hand, the general TSA lines were showing a wait time of 30-45 minutes.
When flying Delta One internationally, you can use your ticket to visit the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse which is cool. I’ve visited the main Delta Sky Club at JFK recently, and while it’s good for a “general” club, it’s certainly not to the level of a business-class lounge. I’m excited to see what Delta has in store for the new Delta One lounges they plan on opening in Los Angeles (LAX) and New York (JFK) in 2024. Just be mindful that if you decide to visit the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, it might be a 10-15 minute walk to your Delta gate depending on where you’re departing from.
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse was great as it had tasty a la carte dining included, as well as excellent service. If you’re interested in reading about my full experience at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, you can check out my review of the lounge here.
Boarding was originally scheduled to commence 55 minutes before departure. The specific aircraft utilized had arrived in New York about 7 hours ago, but it seems to have been at the maintenance area so it was a bit late arriving at our gate. We ended up starting boarding about 20 minutes late and left the gate 25 minutes after our scheduled departure.
We boarded the aircraft from the middle door which was nice. It was very interesting, as it was the first flight I’ve been on where you boarded by not scanning your boarding pass. Rather, biometrics took a photo of you and allowed you on board. New, and interesting to me.
After getting on the plane, you would turn left for the Delta One Cabin, and turn right for Premium Select and the Main Cabin.
My first impressions of the plane were that it seemed older and a bit outdated, but well-maintained. This plane was 17 years old and was originally delivered for Northwest Airlines. I believe with the addition of the “Premium Select” cabin, they freshened up the cushions in the Delta One Cabin last year or so. While not as nice as Delta One Suites, it is still a definite step up from the older 767-300s that Delta operates.
Shortly, after I was seated, champagne, mimosa and orange juice were offered in glasses.
Due to a half an hour taxi, we eventually took off about 50 minutes after our scheduled departure. The flight deck informed us that the flight in the air to Amsterdam would be six hours and thirty minutes, which would help make up some time as the flight was blocked for a 7-hour and 15-minute total flight time.
There are two lavatories, both in the front of the cabin for Delta One passengers. They were stocked with Grown Alchemist Soap and Lotion. These lavatories unfortunately don’t have automatic sinks like the A330neo.
The Aircraft: Delta One’s A330-300
On this A330-300 (3M3), the Delta One Cabin is a single cabin that contains 34 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Row 1 contains 2 seats in the center of the cabin, and there are 4 seats across from rows 2-9. The seats are in a reverse herringbone style, so they angle outward at the windows, and angle inward with the center seats. There are no specific rows that offer more/less privacy from the aisle due to the design.
The Seat: 5J
There is a 15.4-inch IFE screen that pops out of the seat in front of you and it’s a solid size, though smaller than the 18.5-inch screen offered on the new A330-900neo. The seat offers 80 inches of pitch, and the seat is 20 inches wide according to SeatGuru. There is a remote control for the IFE screen next to the screen, as well as the seat controls to turn the seat into a lie-flat bed or to make your seat a more comfortable setting. The touch screen was a bit unresponsive, which is probably attributed to its age, but I was still able to get everything to work for the most part.
The main side armrest is near the window and has a power outlet, a USB port for charging and a headphone jack. There is also a small lamp that pops up that serves a dual purpose as the headphone holder.
Interestingly, the first headset I had was missing one of the two prongs so it couldn’t connect to the TV. No big deal though, as the flight was quite empty the flight attendant provided me with another one from an empty seat.
One potential drawback is that there isn’t really any formal storage or cubby with this seat, but rather a place to stuff items near the ground in the aisle, and a little area where the safety card is located.
The tray table is quite easy to pull out from the armrest which was a plus and can fold to be compact, or extended to full size.
One potential drawback of the seat is that it isn’t the most private or protected from the aisle.
Waiting at the seat, each seat had a Delta bedding in a nice reusable bag containing a duvet and pillow. Slippers were also provided. There was also a full-sized water bottle and an amenity kit. Unfortunately, the pillow I received this time was quite flat and it was hard to get comfortable. This was interesting as I had just flown last month in Delta One and the pillow was fine. But overall, I think the Westin Heavenly Bedding from the past was better than the new Delta bedding.
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, a small pen, lotion and lip balm from Grown Alchemist plus a toothbrush + toothpaste.
Wi-Fi was offered from Intelsat on this flight, ironically at a cheaper rate than when I flew from New York to Los Angeles over Christmas (which was $39.95 for the flight). On this flight to Amsterdam, the flight pass was $21.95, or $6.95 for 1 hour which seemed fair to me. Additionally, if you just wanted to use messaging apps such as iMessage, Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp, they were provided complimentary. T-Mobile customers also get free WiFi which was great for me. Delta states that Wi-Fi will be free on international flights by the end of 2024.
The footwell area was relatively roomy in the lie-flat position which was a plus. For some reason, I couldn’t get into a comfortable spot and thought the cushion was too stiff for comfort. It might have also been attributed to the fact that I had issues with my pillow. Nonetheless, it was nice to be able to lay flat for a nap.
After reaching cruising altitude, dinner was served. Full menus were available via QR code, and small card highlighting the main entree choices were available at each seat.
One random note: I was in row 5, and the in-flight announcement speakers are above this seat. The announcements were quite loud. I’m not sure if it was this specific crew, but if you are a bit sensitive to noise I would probably not sit in row 5.
In the app, I was able to preselect my meal a few days before check-in and I chose the Roasted Chicken Thigh.
I overheard the flight attendant mentioning that the Braised Beef Short Rib on the menu was out due to supply issues and that it would be a meatball dish instead. The other option onboard that was available was Chef Mashama Bailey’s Vegetable Tagine.
Via the preorder, which can be done up to 24 hours prior to the flight, there were two additional meal options. You could preorder the Seared Branzino or the New York Old Fashioned Eggplant Tower.
Due to turbulence after takeoff, the dinner service was postponed a bit. Before the service, they handed out a refreshing wet towel. They then brought out a small cold cheese and nuts plate to start, which I enjoyed.
Then the full dinner service came with a Corn Chowder and Baby Spinach Salad to start. I didn’t care for the corn chowder but enjoyed the cranberry poppyseed vinaigrette dressing in the spinach salad.
As for the main course, I thought the chicken was pretty good, and the mashed potatoes and spinach were nice additions.
For dessert, you could choose between the Opera Cake, Ice Cream Sundae or the Fruit and Cheese Plate. I got the opera cake, and it was quite tasty.
I then went to bed to catch some shut-eye. A snack basket was left in the galley containing Ms Vickie’s chips, Hershey’s chocolate bars, nuts and chocolate chip cookies as well as bananas.
Around one hour and fifteen minutes prior to landing, the lights came on. Breakfast service was provided and the choices were between a Three Cheese Quiche and Warm French Toast Pudding. I opted for a Three Cheese Quiche, and it was not the most appetizing thing to eat for breakfast. It was much too rich and cheesy. I just ate the croissant and fresh fruit that it came with.
Right before landing, they handed out a small Ghirardelli chocolate which was a cute touch.
Overall, the relatively quick 7-hour hop from New York to Amsterdam aboard the classic Delta One on the A330-300 was a decent experience. While the hard product is a bit past its prime, the main dinner was solid, and the seat was good enough to catch some shut-eye.
Have you flown on the Delta One’s A330-300? How was your experience? Comment below!
Have any questions? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve also started working with a travel agency, Fora Travel, and can assist in booking hotel stays or planning trips. You can also view all my other posts here! Thanks for stopping by!