Trip Report: Delta Airlines A320 first class San Diego to Minneapolis

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01. Introduction: San Diego to Minneapolis on Delta Airlines
02. Delta Airlines first class San Diego to Minneapolis
03. Delta Airlines first class Minneapolis to San Diego

Sometimes I seriously wonder about whether or not it’s worth writing trip reports for segments as dull and mundane such as this, but I’m doing this for myself more than anything and I’m hoping that these are going to be fun to read 20 years from now. Heck, I often think about flights I took a long time ago that seemed plain and boring at the time that I would love to read about now. CVG-LAN on a Comair CRJ-200 in January 1999? Sounds like good reading to me! And yes, I am totally serious…

Our flight over to MSP this morning was scheduled to depart at 6:25am, which is pretty darn early even by my early-riser standards. It was insanely early according to my wife, but she gave in knowing full well that an early flight was necessary in order to make it to my sister’s house in time for Thanksgiving dinner. So that meant waking up at 4am, and grabbing a taxi to make it down to SAN by 5. We probably didn’t need to arrive that early since we had confirmed first class seats (which meant shorter lines), but I like to be prepared and have some extra time just in case something goes wrong.

T2 west at san diego international airport

Outside terminal 2 west at SAN just before sunrise

Delta first class check in San Diego

Sky Priority check in counters at SAN

After checking in our bag and getting through security, we had a little over an hour to kill before the flight was scheduled to depart. My wife was still half asleep at this point (and not even in the mood for coffee yet), but I thought getting a quick bite to eat at the American Airlines Admirals Club (which is also an AirSpace lounge) sounded like a good idea.

American Airlines Admirals Club

Empty American Airlines Admirals Club here at SAN

AA admirals club bar san diego

Closed bar here in the American Airlines lounge

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to nibble on other than cheap muffins, apples, or some kind of a Chex Mix type snack. None of that sounded appetizing (I was hoping for a bagel or mixed fruit), so we just sat and relaxed for a while until it was time to walk back to terminal 2 west.

terminal 2 san diego

Making the walk back to terminal 2 west at SAN

DL1864
San Diego, CA (SAN) – Minneapolis, MN (MSP)
Thursday November 27 2014
Aircraft: A320
Seat: 3A (First)

Delta Airlines A320 illustration

DL A320 side profile illustration

Our flight was located all the way at the far end of the terminal (gate 51), and boarding had pretty much wrapped up by the time we got there. There were only a few other people behind us, which meant being able to walk right up to the gate and down the jetway without any waiting. Very nice! But a little too close to call for my preference…

Gate 51 san diego international airport

No waiting at gate 51

walking down the jetway at gate 51

Love these new glass jetways here at SAN

This was my first time in first class on a Delta A320, and I’m here to report that the seats were…nothing worth noting. Not that I was expecting anything plush, but they weren’t even in the same league as Virgin America’s first class seats. I know, I know. Two completely different products, but still – as much as Delta is leading the push to make first class more exclusive, their hard product is downright pitiful. And to make matters worse, you’re on your own when it comes to in-flight entertainment. There aren’t any video screens in the first class cabin on these A320’s.

delta airlines a320 first class seat

This pic is a bit out of order (because I actually snapped it mid-flight), but this seat 3A (my seat) on this Delta A320

delta first class boarding pass

My first class boarding pass

Delta Airlines A320 first class seat pitch

Pretty tight seat pitch by first class standards, don’t you think?

well worn armrest Delta A320 first class

This aircraft has certainly seen better days. This seat has seen some action!

getting the cabin ready for departure

Delta Airlines A320 first class cabin

We pushed back from the gate right on time, followed by a long and slow taxi out to the threshold of runway 27. 6:30am is rush hour at SAN, with nearly every airline having a flight or two departing at this time.

sunrise over terminal 2 at SAN

Jet bridge detached and pushing back from the gate

Delta Airlines 737-800 parked at SAN

Passing a RON DL 738 on our way out to runway 27

Waiting our turn for departure

Waiting our turn for departure

SAN terminal 2 east and west

Nice overview of terminal 2 east and west

Climb-out was as beautiful as it ever is when departing SAN, with crystal-clear skies for as far as I could see. Unfortunately, an early departure such as this under clear skies usually means blinding sunlight from the low sun, and I actually had to ask the lady in the row directly across from us if she wouldn’t mind lowering her shade. It was either that, or just sit there with what felt like a 10,000watt spotlight shining directly in my face.

departing San Diego with Sunset Cliffs below

Climbing out over Point Loma

San Diego at sunrise from the air

Incredible view of San Diego as we turn east for Minneapolis

southwest US mountains

Heading west over the great American southwest

Service started promptly with hot towels 10 minutes after departure, followed by drink orders. Once that was complete, the flight attendant came through the cabin with breakfast orders – which is unfortunate for shmucks like us sitting in the last row of first class. If you’re sitting in the last row, you can pretty much bet that your meal of choice won’t be available by the time they get to you, and this time was no exception. I really wanted cereal – but all they had left were omelets. Bummer.

drink service in real glasses

Drinks were served just before the meal service

The good news is that the omelet was probably the best one I’ve ever had on an airplane. Ever. Yes, even better than what I was served in United Global First back in April of this year. If there is one thing Delta has been doing right, it’s first class meals! I hadn’t even thought about that until I was eating this omelet, but the last few meals I’ve had in Delta domestic first class have been outstanding. Miles ahead of what I was served in Alaska Airlines first class earlier this year.

first class meal in domestic first class delta airlines

Delta Airlines first class omelet breakfast

I spent the rest of the flight catching up on lost sleep, occasionally looking out the window taking pics of the scenery below.

Rocky Mountains as viewed from Delta first class

The Rocky Mountains

browsing my phone while in flight

I spent some time playing with my GoPro camera and smartphone…

Delta Airlines A320 first class bathroom

…And if you’re curious what a Delta Airlines A320 first class bathroom look like, here you go!

snow-covered northern plains

But the scenery out the window was the best way to pass the time. Here we are over the northern plains of the US.

Shortly before landing, the captain came over the PA to announce that the temperature in MSP was a frigid 5F, and that we would be arriving right on schedule. Despite the brutally cold temperature, it was a beautiful day in the twin cities without a cloud to be seen.

descent into MSP

Descending into MSP

Frigid Minneapolis / St Paul

Looks cold out there…

just before landing at MSP

Moments before landing

We landed smoothly from the east, and taxied for 10 minutes over to the G concourse ending what was a very pleasant flight from the west coast.

pulling up to the G concourse at MSP

We made it – Welcome to the frozen north!