Delta Airlines 767-300 business class (Delta One) New York to Los Angeles

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01: Introduction: Premium transcon service between Los Angeles and New York
02: American Eagle ERJ-175 first class San Diego to Los Angeles
03: American Airlines Flagship Lounge, LAX
04: American Airlines A321T first class Los Angeles to New York (JFK)
05: Hyatt Times Square New York
06: Delta Sky Club, Terminal 4 JFK
07: Delta Airlines 767-300 business class (Delta One) New York to Los Angeles
08. Delta Sky Club, LAX
09: Delta Connection ERJ-175 first class Los Angeles to San Diego

It didn’t occur to me until after I made this reservation that there are actually two configurations of the Delta One cabin flying around at the moment (the old and the new), and I really didn’t have any way of telling which one I was going to get until the day of the flight. Either one was fine with me – sure it would be nice to experience the latest and greatest hard product, but at the same time, getting a chance to review the old and outgoing configuration would be good for historical purposes. It would also act as a baseline of sorts for my future reviews of the Delta One experience, so either way was good.

I had a lot of time to kill before this flight (even after spending several hours in the Sky Club here in terminal 4), so I took the opportunity to wander around and get to know JFK a little bit better. I don’t fly through here very often so it was nice to get an in-depth look at one of the world’s busiest airports. I’ll just say that the place is massive – and the variety of traffic is like nothing I’ve ever seen. LAX is pretty interesting when it comes to the list of international carriers that serve it, but JFK is simply on another level. I saw so many airlines that I’ve never even heard of before, which says a lot considering how much of an all-around airline nerd I am. Euro Atlantic Airlines? Sounds like a cheesy airline name for a movie or something, but I assure you they are real.

JFK curbside terminal 4

Welcome to terminal 4 at JFK. This is Delta country!

delta airlines check in JFK

Delta Airlines ticketing and baggage drop counters

terminal 4 jfk airport

This was my first time through terminal 4 at JFK, and right away I liked how “international” it felt. Lots of duty free shopping here!

Etihad and Air India at JFK airport

JFK is paradise for an airplane nerd – lots of interesting airlines from all over the world at all hours of the day

inside terminal 4 at JFK airport

The gate areas weren’t anything special though – standard airport look and feel for as far as I could see.

DL419
New York, NY (JFK) – Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Monday, December 21, 2015
Aircraft: 767-300/ER
Seat: 5D (Delta One / business class)

delta 767-300 illustration

Delta Airlines 767-300/ER (N1501P) side view illustration by Norebbo.com

jfk to lax route map

The route from JFK to LAX today: RBV J230 AIR J80 MCI J24 SLN J102 ALS J44 RSK J64 PGS RIIVR2

Delta Airlines 767-300 (N1501P)

Our Delta Airlines 767-300 (N1501P) loading up here at gate B34. Notice the NYC skyline in the distance.

gate b34 jfk terminal 4

Boarding will begin soon

jfk airport terminal 4 seating area

There were still a few minutes to wait though, so I found a place to sit and relax…

Boarding was slightly delayed, but not by much. As typical with Delta (and most other airlines), they started boarding those with small children and others who needed extra time, and then followed quickly behind with the Delta One cabin. The crowds were thick here at gate B34, and it took me some work to cut through the mess and get myself to the boarding door. By the time I got onboard, more than half of the Delta One cabin was already there.

delta airlines 767-300 parked at the gate

Walking down the jet bridge to board the flight

boarding flight at JFK

Anticipation was building as I started to wonder which Delta One configuration I was going to get

767 at JFK

A closer look at this 767 through the jet bridge window just before I stepped aboard

So…which Delta One cabin configuration did this aircraft have? The old version. Oh well – as I said, I was happy enough to experience it for historical purposes, so let the fun begin!

delta one business class 767-300

The old (outgoing) Delta One business class cabin

Delta One business class seat

My seat: 5D

delta 767 business class seats

My first impression of this layout was how “open” it was. These seats have very little privacy.

delta one business class window seat

The window seats were somewhat private though – which is why I chose one for this flight

delta one business class seat

Despite the lack of privacy, these are pretty good looking seats

delta one branding

The Delta ONE branding on the headrest is a nice touch

delta one business class cabin view

My apologies for the slightly blurry pic, but here’s the view of the rest of the cabin from a seated position

delta one business class cabin

Everyone can see you and you can see everyone!

delta one business class staggered layout

The view looking forward. This is a staggered layout, so the window seats are nice.

delta one business class leg room

Nice legroom here with a decent size footwell

delta business class

Another view looking forward

delta one cabin wide angle

Slightly wider angle which gives a better overall impression of the cabin

power seat controls

Close up detail of the power seat controls

delta studio remote

Standard-issue remote for the entertainment system (Delta Studio) was located under the arm rest

Magazine pocket detail

Magazine pocket detail

delta one business class freebies

Here’s everything you get as part of the Delta One experience immediately upon boarding: a nice seat, thick duvet and pillow, noise cancelling headphones, an amenity kit, and a bottle of water

The Delta One amenity kit

The Delta One amenity kit

delta one amenity kit by tumi

Here it is without the Delta branded packaging slip. It’s actually a pretty nice Tumi case!

 Tumi for Delta amenity kit

Contents of this Delta / Tumi kit. Those socks were quite nice, I might add.

The overall feeling of getting situated felt really chaotic for some reason. The Delta One cabin on the 767-300 is large, so there was a lot of activity all around while everyone was coming onboard. Speaking of getting situated, there were two things that I noticed right off the bat: first, the thick duvet and large pillow seemed nice…but there was no place to put them! I ended up cramming them into the footwell of the seat in front of me, but they wouldn’t stay there for long due to the angle of the footrest. Second, there is very little privacy in these old Delta One seats. Seat backs are very low, so it’s possible to see everything and everyone in the cabin while seated. It felt a little bit odd for some reason – sort of like everyone was nervously looking at each other, trying to avoid eye contact.

Menus were distributed before pushback, and right away I was impressed with this crew. I was greeted by name at every interaction, and each time I felt like they were trying really hard to make sure I was happy and satisfied. That’s a far cry from the service I experienced in American Airlines premium first class the day before, so this flight was definitely getting started on the right foot.

delta 767 at gate JFK

Moments before push back out of gate B34

Departure was bumpy and gray (the clouds were really thick this afternoon), which pretty much ruined my chances at getting decent shots of Manhattan as we climbed out of JFK. I did manage to get a few decent shots of the city, but not anything like I had hoped. Oh well – I’ll just have to try my luck next time.

taxiing at JFK airport

Finally on our way

takeoff from jfk airport

Nice view of one of the cargo terminals as we depart

view of new york city on departure from jfk

I was really hoping to get nice sunset pics of the city in the distance, but it wasn’t happening today

The pillow and duvet were giving me fits during the entire climb, as they kept falling out of the footwell and onto my feet. After 10 minutes I had enough of it and just placed them beside me on the floor. I really appreciate the effort Delta, but you’ve got to give us a place to put those things for takeoff and landing! Perhaps this isn’t an issue anymore with the new Delta One cabin layout? I’m not sure, but I’d love to find out for myself.

delta one business class pillow and duvet

These damn things kept falling out of the footwell onto my feet. Annoying!

The annoyances kept building we climbed to cruising altitude. The guy two seats ahead of me was very talkative, and he spent the entire takeoff facing backwards talking to the guy behind him (which was the guy in front of me). He had to talk loudly over the sound of the engines, and being that the seats were so low, I heard every word loud and clear. Plus, it was awkward to have somebody facing me directly for that entire time even though he wasn’t talking to me. In addition, we didn’t break through the cloud layer until 45 minutes into the flight, which was annoying because the sun was setting fast and I really wanted to get some decent sunset pics of the engine and wing that were just outside the window behind me. These annoyances didn’t have anything to do with Delta though, so I just chalked it up as bad luck and tried to enjoy the experience of flying a new (to me) premium airline cabin.

climbing through the clouds

15 minutes into the flight and still no sunset. Bummer!

A snack service began within 15 minutes of departure, and I found it interesting that the nuts were served in a bag (and thus not hot). I was expecting something a little bit fancier here, but not a big deal IMHO.

delta one business class nuts in a bag

Nuts in a bag? In a premium transcon business class cabin? Apparently so.

delta studio menu

Having a quick look through Delta Studio while enjoying the snack

delta one business class menu

Let’s have a look at the menu…

winter 2015 Delta One menu

Inside front cover of the winter 2015 Delta One menu

delta one menu

Appetizers, main course, and dessert choices

Beverage menu

Beverage menu

Wine list

Wine list

The meal service began shortly after they finished serving snacks, and despite being in the second to last row of this huge cabin, I was able to select my first choice of entree. I really didn’t expect that at all, so that was a nice little win there. Anything to help lift my spirits from being annoyed by the chatty guy two seats in front of me! I would like to point out that it wasn’t just me who was annoyed by this guy. The man directly across the aisle from him was giving him the stink eye for the first hour of the flight, and you should have seen the look on his face when chatty guy engaged the FA into a long conversation while they were trying to serve dinner! The FA seemed not to mind, but that other guy was getting highly impatient especially since it was his turn to be served next.

The appetizer

The appetizer: antipasto misto and chickpea salad

the main course

The main course: seasoned chicken with fennel and rosemary with verjus sauce, grapes, chive mashed potatoes, and sautéed spinach with lemon zest

the dessert

The dessert: selection of old world cheeses. But really, it was a plate with equal amounts of fruit, crackers and cheese.

I watched episodes of Louis during the meal service, as well as taking a ton of pics out of the window of the amazing sunset – yes, we had FINALLY broke through the clouds and it was looking really pretty out there.

view out the window

Still flying through the clouds at the beginning of the meal service

sunset in the sky

Slowly but surely the clouds began to thin out…

flying into the sunset

….and then…boom! There it is: the sunset I had been waiting for, which eventually made an appearance in the middle of the main course service

sunset from 36,000 feet

It doesn’t get any better than flying into the sunset

in flight map

Still nearly three hours to go!

There was still a long stretch of flying to do after the meal service (we were fighting some pretty nasty headwinds), but no matter to me – I tried out the massage function of the seat for a while as I watched episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, both of which wore me out to the point of putting the seat into it’s fully lie flat position and trying to get some sleep. I didn’t sleep that well actually – I wasn’t tired at all, but the seat (and thick duvet) were quite comfortable. Perhaps part of the reason for my lack of sleep was because of the bumpy air over the Rocky Mountains? We got bounced around pretty good for a while there so that definitely killed any chance at sleep.

delta one business class lavatory

Taking a break from the lie flat seat to use the lav. Messy in here.

sanspotter selfie

SANspotter, hard at work

The flight attendants were highly proactive throughout the rest of the flight, coming around on a non-stop basis offering drinks and snacks to all. I actually lost count of how many times they brought the snack basket around! And finally, near the end of the flight, they served hot chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t try one, but man did they smell good!

We lined up for 24R at LAX 30 minutes early, which was a good thing. Not so good was the fact that it was quite foggy in Los Angeles this evening, which made me worry slightly about my connection to SAN in a few hours. I put it out of my mind quickly though – no sense in worrying about something I can’t control, right?

lax final approach

Looks to be a gloomy evening in Los Angeles

landing at LAX

Seconds before touchdown!

rain at LAX

To be honest I wasn’t expecting the rain in all. The weather was better in New York, that’s for sure.

All in all, this Delta One experience from JFK to LAX was really good despite the old (and somewhat odd) configuration. The service was top-notch, and the flight attendants make me feel like a super star for that entire 6 hour flight. That’s a lot more than I can say about my American Airlines first class experience a day prior – a product which competes directly with Delta One – and my hope is that I just had bad luck with a slightly less than enthusiastic AA crew that day. But from what experienced in these two days of flying, I can say with confidence that either one is a fine choice for anyone looking for a premium travel experience between Los Angeles and New York.

    1. Zach August 21, 2016
      • SANspotter August 23, 2016

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