If you’ve never been a fan of Delta Air Lines for long haul travel, this Delta One A330-900 review just might change your mind. I recently had the chance to try this product on a medium-length flight from Seattle to Honolulu, and, if what I experienced is indicative of what it’s like on long-haul routes, well…holy moly.
Even though I found the seats to be somewhat awkward (and borderline uncomfortable) in certain positions, everything else about the experience was fantastic. The fully enclosed Delta One Suites are extremely private, the food was excellent, and the cabin crew was on top of their game.
Unless mules have nothing on you when it comes to being stubborn, what I’m about to show you just might be enough to make you think twice about dismissing Delta right off the bat for your next long-haul adventure…
Seattle, WA (SEA) – Honolulu, HI (HNL)
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Duration: 6 hours 2 minutes
Seat: 5J (Delta One / Business Class)
Table of Contents
I really enjoy making video reviews about fully enclosed business class suites such as those found in Delta One on the A330-900. I can simply shut the door, and record whatever I want without anyone judging me for being a ginormous dork. It’s awesome.
As always, the music for this video came from Epidemic Sound. The song in the first half of the video was Yes Yes Y’all by Matt Large, and the song used in the second half was Solid Centre by Dusty Decks.
A comprehensive review of Delta One A330-900 business class from Seattle to Honolulu
The fact that Delta is even flying the A330-900neo between Seattle and Honolulu is enough to make me pause and nod my head in a “**** yeah” sorta way. That’s seriously cool. They certainly don’t have to, especially since the competition (Alaska Airlines) is only flying 737s to the islands with standard recliner-style domestic first class seats.
My arrival at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Being based in San Diego, I had to begin my day by flying up from SAN in order to catch this flight. You can read my Delta 737-800 first class review if you’re curious about what that was like.
I arrived with approximately 5 hours to spare, which was safe – but long. As you may recall, a 1 hour layover is plenty of time in Seattle. It got boring by hour number 3.
Do you get lounge access with Delta One flights out of Seattle?
Yes, all passengers holding a ticket in Delta One business class out of Seattle will have access to the Sky Club. However, my ticket to Honolulu was sold and booked as first class. You won’t get lounge access with just a domestic first class ticket, so I had to find other things to occupy my time.
The boarding process for flight DL450 to Honolulu
After all these years, I still proclaim that there’s not much anything better in life than boarding a flight to Hawaii. Especially if you’re seated in a premium lie-flat business class seat.
Boarding was several minutes late, but it wasn’t a big deal. I knew that I had a really nice seat waiting for me, so I just stood back and waited my turn (grinning from ear to ear, of course).
My first impressions of the Delta One Suites on the A330-900neo
To be perfectly blunt, seeing the Delta One Suites in real life for the first time is a moment you’ll remember for a very long time. I thought Delta One on the 767-400 was nice, but man. The fully enclosed suites on the A330-900 (which can also be found on the A350) are some of the best looking lie-flat business class seats I’ve ever seen.
Perhaps the thing that I like most about the latest Delta One cabins is the color scheme. It’s predominantly white, which helps to give off a bright and clean vibe. I dig it.
How are the A330-900 Delta One seats different than the Delta One seats on other aircraft in the fleet?
I’ve always given praise to Delta for being consistent with their seats from one aircraft to the next. However, at the time of this writing, there are five separate Delta One seats flying around:
- Delta One on the A330-900neo and A350 feature a fully-enclosed suite with a door (much like the JetBlue Mint Suites).
- Delta One on the 767-400 is a “light” version of these seats. It’s almost the exact same seat, but without the door.
- Delta One on the 767-300 features an entirely different kind of seat, which is more exposed and open.
- Delta One of some of the A330-300’s feature an older-style business class seat which isn’t consistent with any other seat in the Delta fleet.
- Delta One on the 757-200 is basically the exact same seat you’ll find in American Airlines Flagship Business Class.
The departure out of Seattle
It was looking to be a pretty nice day in Seattle as we pushed off the gate. Even though we were a few minutes behind, the Captain insisted that we would be arriving right on time.
The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport isn’t that large, so it was a relatively short taxi over to runway 16L. Even though I was bummed about the reflections on the window (which prohibited recording the takeoff), it was really neat to hear how quiet the A330-900neo is compared to the first-generation A330.
What is in-flight entertainment like in Delta One on the A330-900?
The most important thing you need to know about video entertainment on these new Airbus aircraft is that, here in Delta One, the screens are obnoxiously large. And I do mean that in the most flattering way possible. It’s like sitting with a 27-inch monitor just inches from your face, which some people are going to like, and some are going to hate.
Also included in the experience are Delta’s high-quality noise canceling headphones. I’ve always been satisfied by the quality of these things, and for comparison sake, they are much better than the headphones you’ll find in United Polaris business class.
What kind of food is Delta serving in first class to Hawaii these days?
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, real food has finally returned on Delta Air Lines flights to Hawaii. There were three meal options available on today’s flight, and of course, I had to go with the grilled chicken and rice. FYI, they did not hand out printed menus. A flight attendant simply came by, presented three options, and that was it.
All in all, I have to say that it was decently high-quality food. I ate every last crumb of it, and it tasted fine.
The flight attendants came back through the aisles within 10 minutes of the conclusion of the meal service to offer more snacks. I wasn’t hungry, but I was more than happy to oblige.
How comfortable are the Delta One A330-900 Suites for sleeping?
Sleeping in these Delta One Suites was by far the most awkward part of this entire experience. No, it wasn’t completely uncomfortable, nor was I unable to sleep, but it took me a while to find a position that I liked.
The biggest problem with the seats is the way in which they transform into a lie-flat position. As they move forward to make room for the recline, you end up being positioned just inches away from the video screen right before the seat back starts reclining. It’s an uncomfortably awkward moment.
The descent and landing in Hawaii
It’s amazing how fast a flight can go by when you’re well-fed (and rested). Even though this flight was a bit long today due to strong headwinds, I was shocked when we started the initial descent into Honolulu. I was definitely bummed that this great experience was coming to an end so quickly.
Pros and cons of the Delta One Suites on the Airbus A330-900
The best way that I can summarize the entire experience is to say that Delta is back, baby! After several years of fluttering around with service cuts due to the pandemic, I was really happy to see cabin crew going all-out to make it an enjoyable experience. It wasn’t perfect though, and this pros and cons list break it all down:
- With the door shut, the privacy of the suites on the A330-900 are next-level awesome. Thanks to the higher walls, they felt more private than the JetBlue suites with the door closed.
- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the style and design of the Delta One cabin (especially on the A330-900) is one of my favorites in the entire airline industry. It looks and feels very high-end.
- The blankets and pillows they provide in Delta One are cozy beyond words. It’s a huge improvement over the old blankets and pillows they used to provide just a few years ago.
- Food quality was good. Just like the Delta of old.
- With the door fully shut, the suites do feel a bit confining. These seats are not for anyone who easily feels claustrophobic.
- The way that the seat reclines into a lie-flat position is awkward. In order to make room for the seat to lie fully flat, it has to move forward before it lies down. As it does that, you’ll be positioned uncomfortably close to the video screen in front of you. It’s weird.
- There is far less storage space in these seats compared to what you would find in the lie-flat business class products of other US airlines (such as American Airlines 777-200 business class and United 767-300 business class).
- This is more of an A330 thing rather than a Delta One thing, but it’s worth noting how small the windows are. Compared to the Boeing 777, the windows on the A330 seem tiny (and it kind of sours the experience for me).