Delta 767-400 economy review: fancy new seats on a tired old airplane

Delta 767-400 new interior

I have a love / hate relationship with Delta 767-400 economy class. On one hand, it might be the best economy class product in the Delta Air Lines fleet. On the other hand, it just might be the worst.

What I think of it ultimately comes down to how I’m feeling the day of the flight. If I’m in mega-nerd AvGeek mode, I love the style (and size) of the 767-400. If I’m tired and I just want to go home, an economy class seat on this airplane wouldn’t be my first choice.

I mean, have you seen how many people Delta is cramming into the 767-400 these days? Good luck dealing with that nonsense when you’re irritable and moody…

DL350
New York, NY (JFK) – San Diego, CA (SAN)
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Aircraft: 767-432/ER
Registration: N843MH
Duration: 5 hours 50 minutes
Seat: 52G (economy)

Delta Air Lines 767-400 side view N843MH
Delta Air Lines 767-400 side view illustration by Norebbo.com
DL350 flight track
Our route from New York to San Diego today as DL350

The video

Those of you who came from my YouTube channel and have already seen the video, you’ll know that I was in mega-nerd AvGeek mode the day of this flight. For those that haven’t seen the video yet, here you go:

There’s not much that happens in economy class at the very back of a large airplane such as the 767-400, but I did my best. As always, the music play this video and (all the videos on my channel) comes from my bros at Epidemic Sound.

A full review of Delta 767-400 economy class from New York (JFK) to San Diego

If you recall, I wrote a full review Delta 767-400 economy class in 2018. However, that aircraft still had the old interior, and what you’re about to see is a completely new product.

Arrival at JFK airport

Technically, there was no “arriving” to do since I stayed the night at the TWA Hotel adjacent to Terminal 5. For those of you who haven’t heard me say it before, I’m of the opinion that the TWA Hotel is the greatest airport hotel in the world. Even if you’re not an airplane enthusiast, it’ll be one of the trippiest (and hippest) hotel stays that you’ve ever had.

JFK air train station
Say what you will about the JFK airport, but I’m gonna say this: the AirTrain (which stops at all terminals) makes things so much easier!
JFK AirTrain
The only question is: is this the right train to Terminal 4? Let’s hope I don’t end up in the middle of Queens, because I’ve got a plane to catch.
Terminal 4 JFK departures hall
Those of you hoping to see pics of the sunrise over Queens will be disappointed to know that I was indeed on the correct train. Welcome to Terminal 4 at JFK.
Delta check in counter JFK
Feeling thankful that I don’t have any bags to check this morning. I wonder how many people straight-up say **** it and abandon their bags when seeing lines like this? It’s just gotta be a somewhat regular occurrence.

Terminal 4 at JFK

Terminal 4 at the John F. Kennedy international airport is monstrous. Long time readers of SANspotter.com will probably remember my comments about this at the beginning of my JFK Delta Sky Club review. Basically, if you don’t like walking, you’re not going to like being in Terminal 4.

JFK terminal 4 shopping
Like most other major airports in the world, the first thing you’ll see after clearing security is a shopping mall. Which kind of makes sense if people abandoning their bags at check in is somewhat common.
JFK airport high-end shopping
Another thing that I’ve always been curious about is the number of high-end jewelry shops in airports. I mean, how common is it to drop $10k on a bracelet before hopping on a flight? I can’t say that I’ve ever been tempted to do that.
Delta air lines at JFK airport
There we go! Now I’m in my wheelhouse.
Moving walkway terminal 4 JFK
Because I was complaining about having to walk really far in Terminal 4. See? This pic proves it.
Delta 767-400 N843MH
It might have been a long walk, but it was totally worth it. This is my ride home to San Diego today.
Gate B28 JFK terminal 4
It’s gate B28. And I’m slightly concerned that there isn’t anyone here yet.
SANspotter selfie JFK airport terminal 4
Trying to look casual and pretend that I don’t worry about silly little things like flight delays. Inside, I was thinking about horrific worse case scenarios like the worry wart that I am.
JFK airport terminal 4 seats
You have no idea how therapeutic taking pics of airport chairs can be for me.
SANspotter sitting in chair at jfk airport
“…and then my cat will disown me and I’ll be living under a bridge somewhere in the sketchiest part of Tijuana…” (I told you that I’m a worry wart).

The boarding process for flight number 350 to San Diego

Despite being in a really good mood this particular morning, it was hard not to feel a bit of anxiety in the moments leading up to the boarding process. Due to the fact that I had booked a flight only two days prior, the only window seat available was at the very back of the airplane (next to the toilets).

Delta JFK-SAN boarding pass
Thankfully (for the sake of my sanity) it looks as if boarding will be right on time this morning.
JFK airport glass jet bridge
Unmistakably JFK (I mean the airport- not the man).
JFK airport jet bridge advertising
Note to any business owners who have thought about advertising in jet bridges: people do look at that stuff!
Delta 767-400 boarding door
You could even put advertisements near the door. People look there too.

My first impressions of the all new Delta 767-400 economy seat

Having been on the Delta 767-400 before, I already knew what to expect. Sort of. The seats that used to be on these airplanes weren’t all that great. The video screens were small, the seats relatively hard, and they looked extremely outdated.

However, this particular aircraft featured the all new Delta economy seat, and I was very much looking forward to seeing how it felt on a large airplane such as the 767-400.

Delta 767-400 economy seats
Delta 767-400 economy seats. Not all that visually interesting, but since when has Delta been known for that kind of thing?
Delta 767-400 economy cabin
You see those people all the way in the back on the left hand side? My seat is two rows behind them.
Delta 767-400 leg room
Finally! I’ll bet I confused everyone around me when I took a picture of my crotch immediately after sitting down.
Delta 767-400 economy video screen
The best part of these seats, by far, are the large video screens. Delta has always been good about putting video screens at every seat on every aircraft. For example, you’ll even get these video screens in Delta A220-300 economy class (a much smaller plane designed for much shorter routes).
Delta 767-400ER safety card 2021
Speaking video screens, I wonder how long it’ll be until they digitize the safety cards? Think of the cost savings!
Delta 767-400ER safety card 2021 full spread
Why do I always seem to get my best ideas when writing these stupid captions? The entrepreneur in me is having a difficult time letting go of that digital safety card idea…

The departure sequence out of JFK

Just as I have a love / hate relationship with the Delta 767-400, I have a love / hate relationship with the JFK departure process.

On one hand, it’s some of the best plane spotting on the planet. On the other hand, the lineup for takeoff can be extremely long at times and it’ll feel like it’s taking forever.

Delta 767-400 push back from gate JFK
“Delta three five zero cleared for pushback – oh, and tell SANspotter that the digital safety card idea was brilliant, and we’ll be in touch soon. Contact departure on 128.5. Good day.” Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly how it went…
Delta 767-400 window and wing
Once I stopped thinking about the digital safety card thing, I realized that I have never sat this far back on a 767-400 before. This is the nosebleed section for sure.
Delta 767-400 mood lighting
Yes, you did see red mood lighting in the previous pic. I’ll bet this looks fantastic at night!
Delta 767-400 blue mood lighting
(It’s available in blue as well).
Taxiing at JFK airport
Slowly inching our way to runway 31L.
31L departure from JFK
So long New York! And yes, your assumptions are correct: Philippine Airlines business class is quite good.
View of NYC skyline after takeoff from JFK
Obligatory pic of the NYC skyline moments after takeoff.

767-400 economy onboard entertainment

I’m happy to report that the video screens in these new seats are massively better than the old video screens. Do you see what I just did there? I’ll give you a moment to appreciate the clever word play that I just unloaded on you before proceeding. Scroll down when you’re ready for more…

Delta Studio Home Screen
Delta Studio Home Screen. Let the entertainment begin.
Delta studio movie selections
I resisted Godzilla vs Kong on yesterday’s flight from San Diego to New York, so I might peep that one today. I’ve certainly got nothing better to do for the next 5 hours.
Delta studio in fight map 767-400
Nah…this looks far more interesting.
Delta 767-400 economy usb power ports
And if it wasn’t obvious in the previous pics, there are USB power ports located under the video screen for charging your personal devices.
Delta studio system reset 767-400
Uhhh..why did the system suddenly crash and reset itself as soon as I plugged in my phone?
SANspotter selfie delta 767-400er economy
It wasn’t me. I swear.

What kind of food does Delta serve in trans-continental economy class?

Here’s an interesting thought: the flight time between New York and San Diego today was 5 hours and 50 minutes. If this was August 21, 1983 instead of August 21, 2021, you would’ve been served a full meal back here in economy class. And there would have been drinks. And unlimited snacks. And probably some pretty good cigarettes too, for those who wanted them.

Basically, that was a fairly long winded way of saying: we didn’t get jack **** on this flight today.

Delta snack service 767-400
Snack cart spotted at 11 o’clock.
Delta economy snacks 2021
Delta economy snacks. Better than nothing I suppose.
Delta Biscoff cookies
A pic of what could be from any Delta economy class review I’ve done in the past 10 years. Whenever I think of Biscoff, I think of Delta. Whenever I think of Delta, I think of Biscoff. Sheesh.
Delta economy snack service
Just imagine how much food you’d see in this pic if this was 1983 instead of 2021. Yeah, there would probably be cigarette smoke in the air, but we’d all be fat and happy.

Delta 767-400 economy seat comfort on long flights

Once the snack service was complete, there wasn’t much else to do but to sit back and settle in for the remainder of the flight.

Considering that this is an airplane designed for long-haul international travel, you’d be correct in assuming that the seats are slightly more comfortable and spacious than the equivalent economy seats on a domestic aircraft such as the 737-800.

Delta 767-400 wing and winglet
Question: guess what we’re flying over right now?
Jason Aldean flyover states
Answer: flyover states.
Delta 767-400 economy passengers
If you’re ever in Missouri, and you wonder what’s happening directly above you, this is it.
SANspotter selfie drinking water Delta 767-400
Shoutout to anyone reading this from Missouri right now.

Long story short, it’s hard to pick a bad seat on the 767-400 (even in economy class). If you can avoid getting a middle seat, it’s likely to be a very comfortable experience.

The arrival into San Diego

After nearly 6 hours of flying, I can conclude that economy class on the Delta 767-400 was pretty decent. No, it’s nowhere near as good as Delta One on the 767-400. And it may have been a totally different experience if I was in no mood to deal with the crowds, but I was still feeling pretty good as we made the descent into San Diego.

Colorado River from the air
We’ve reached the Colorado River! For those of you who are geographically challenged, this is the border between Arizona and California.
Overcast el centro california
Starting the descent into San Diego over El Centro. Yes, it does get cloudy in Southern California from time to time.
767-400 wing and clouds
Seems as if the weather was better in New York this morning…
Balboa park delta 767-400 wing
We still have better scenery though. Neener neener!
Little Italy delta 767-400 wing
A quick buzz of Little Italy and…
Arrival at San Diego airport
…we’ve arrived! I wonder if that little WN 737 felt our wake turbulence?
Cloudy San Diego airport terminal 2
My sincerest apologies for everyone who made it this far in the review hoping to see pics of sunny San Diego. I have failed you, and for that I am sorry.
Delta 767-400 center overhead bins
The feeling of satisfaction you get from pulling your carry on bag out of the overhead bin after a long 6 hour flight.
Delta 767-400 new interior
It’s a looong walk to the boarding door from seat 52G. Just sayin’. Anyway, it’s good to be home!

Pros and cons of Delta 767-400 economy class

This is it. This is the part of the review that I’ve been waiting for! Economy class on the 767-400 is one of those things that you’re either going to love or hate. Here are all the pros and cons to help you figure out which side of the conundrum you’re on:

Pros

  • Delta configures their 767-400s for long-haul international travel. This means that there is more legroom in economy class than you will find on other domestic aircraft (such as what I showed you in Delta 737-800 economy).
  • If you’re the slightest bit claustrophobic, flying on a 767-400 (even in economy) will feel more comfortable than flying on a smaller narrow body aircraft such as an A321 or 737.
  • Video entertainment is quite good. The screens are large, and there are loads of popular movies and TV shows to choose from.
  • There are two aisles in Delta 767-400 economy class. The seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration, which means that there are relatively few middle seats.

Cons

  • Since the 767-400 is a very large airplane, it can take a very long time to get everyone onboard. Which also means that it’ll take a lot of time for everyone to deplane once you reach your destination. RIP to everyone seated in the last section of this aircraft.
  • The 767-400 is louder than smaller aircraft such as the 737 and A321. Especially behind the wings, which is where economy class is located.

Comments (11)

  1. Brian

    January 23, 2019
    • SANspotter

      January 23, 2019
    • John

      March 24, 2019
      • SANspotter

        March 24, 2019
  2. James B.

    January 23, 2019
    • SANspotter

      January 23, 2019
      • James B.

        January 25, 2019
  3. Randy Preising

    January 27, 2019
    • SANspotter

      January 27, 2019
  4. Albert

    January 27, 2019
    • SANspotter

      January 27, 2019

Reply Cancel Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.