Review of Delta Air Lines flight Atlanta New York in Premium Eco

Airline Delta Air Lines
Flight DL 202
Class Premium Eco
Seat 10A
Aircraft Boeing 737-900ER
Flight time 02:10
Take-off 24 Aug 17, 12:05
Arrival at 24 Aug 17, 14:15
DL   #42 out of 116 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 667 reviews
OH-LWE
By 2144
Published on 1st September 2017
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Trip Report Series Part 8 - Delta Aviation Tour
Welcome to my first "Trip Report Series." During the spring, I was notified by a close professor friend of mine that I had been accepted to work at the University of Florida in Gainesville as a High School summer intern. Understandably, I was extremely excited about the ability to be working in a college laboratory during the summer. As such, I booked my flights from my home in New York to my job location in Gainesville, Florida, and from Gainesville to Tucson, where my professor runs a major laboratory and where I will be working for part of my summer. My itinerary is as follows:
Flight 1: [DL 1539, LGA-ATL, Boeing 737-900ER, N846DN, Economy] - Click Here
Flight 2: [DL 5451, ATL-GNV, Bombardier CL600-2B19 (CRJ200ER operated by ExpressJet dba Delta Connection), N871AS, Economy] - no report, although it's worth mentioning that this flight was delayed for over two hours due to "paperwork done incorrectly" and having to clear the runway immediately after lining up due to an aircraft that was about to land in the opposite direction.
Flight 3: [DL 3290, GNV-ATL, Bombardier CL600-2B19 (CRJ200LR operated by Endeavor Air dba Delta Connection), N8972E, Economy] - no report
Flight 4: [DL 1172, ATL-LAX, Boeing 777-200LR, N703DN, Economy] - Click Here
Flight 5: [DL 4836, LAX-TUS, Bombardier CL600-2C10 (CRJ701ER operated by SkyWest dba Delta Connection), N770SK, Economy] - Click Here
Flight 6: [DL 1240, TUS-ATL, McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30, N906DA, Economy] - Click Here
Flight 7: [DL 5319, ATL-GNV, Bombardier CL600-2D24 (CRJ900 operated by Expressjet dba Delta Connection), N132EV, Economy] - Click Here
Flight 8: [DL 5347, GNV-ATL, Bombardier CL600-2D24 (CRJ900 operated by ExpressJet dba Delta Connection), N153PQ, Premium Economy] - Click Here
Flight 9: [DL 202, ATL-JFK, Boeing 737-900ER, N872DN, Premium Economy] - YOU ARE HERE

Abstract
Welcome to the final installment of this series.
I had just arrived from Atlanta onboard Delta Connection Flight #5347, and my next flight back home to New York wouldn't depart for roughly 5 hours. I had booked this itinerary on purpose, with the intention of visiting several popular spotting locations around ATL, namely the South Parking deck, the International Park-Ride deck, and the newly-built Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal. I was hoping to see N501DN, Delta's first A350, at the Delta TechOps center, but alas, she was in Tokyo for fleet orientation on the day I was at ATL. However, I had a fun time at ATL, and was more than excited to board my final flight of the summer, which ended up being one of the best flights I've ever had with Delta. It's sad that my internship in Florida has come to an end, but I look forward to more unique opportunities to work with world-class professors and Ph.D students in the future. Without further adieu, let's get started.

Going in the order of chronological events, I thought it would be appropriate to start off this report with an overview of my spotting adventure at ATL. This will be included as a "bonus" section right here. If you just want to read about the flight itself, you can skip right past the bonus section.

Bonus : Click here display


The morning before this flight, I checked in online, received my mobile boarding passes, and pre-paid the bag fee. I was booked in the first row of Comfort+ (seat 10A). This row has much more benefits than the average Comfort+ row; you will see why later in this report. For some weird reason, 10B and 10C are sold as and exclusively reserved for standby passengers, despite having the Delta Comfort+ stitching on the seats and above average legroom.
Economy Comfort+ and First Class had several empty seats, but many passengers were operationally upgraded due to the fact that this flight was oversold and around 5 pilots were deadheading on this one.
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So what's so special about seat 10A?
Well, if you look at the seat map above, you can see that it is immediately behind first class. Unlike most airlines, the first row of Y+ has a floating bulkhead, allowing you to stretch your legs into the first class cabin and giving the impression that the aircraft is much more spacious (due to the feeling of a single cabin). Because of this fact, row 10 on the 737-900ER has almost twice as much legroom as the average Comfort+ seat. Furthermore, due to the large size of the First Class seats, there is a feeling of almost infinite legroom (just like the A321 flight I had with jetBlue from JFK to SFO). In fact, there is so much legroom that you do not even have to bother your seat mates when getting up to use the lavatory. You can also grab on to the floating bulkhead to ensure that you don't fall on your seat mate when you're getting out to use the lavatories :)
There are also more benefits to this row, including the fact that you have a great view of the engine (it just happens to be one of the last rows in the 737-900ER where you are able to see the engine spinner in action) as well as the fact that each seat has its own power port (instead of two per three seats on the other rows in the Main Cabin; I am not sure how many power ports the other seats have in Comfort+ on the 739). The only downside of this row is that the entertainment screen and tray table are located in the armrest, slightly reducing seat width. Furthermore, this means that the IFE cannot be used during takeoff and landing. This is only a small nuisance, however. I would choose this row over any other seat in the 737-900ER.
As part of their new domestic cabin design program, Delta has begun phasing in floating bulkheads for much of its domestic fleet.
Although the following pictures are taken from a 757-200(OW), it has the same first row seating configuration as the 737-900ER. In fact, both fleet types now feature the Boeing Sky Interior. Even the window configurations of the first row are the same. Check out these pictures for an idea of what it is like in the bulkhead row of Comfort+ on either the 757OW or the 737-900ER. The fact that the bulkhead is only above your head allows you to use the first class seat in front of you for seat-back and under-seat storage. As you will see, each seat in the first row also features individual power ports under the seat itself.
The following pictures were taken from this article on a website called "René's points."
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I arrived at my gate, A05, just 4 minutes before boarding was scheduled to start and was greeted by the sight of N872DN, a Delta 737-932/ER(WL) with the new Split Scimitar winglets as well as an ETOPS certification. Ship #3872 was delivered to Delta on February 8, 2017 and is leased from BBAM. This makes it one of the youngest aircraft in DL's fleet.
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Boarding was called just a few minutes late, and I boarded with the SKY PRIORITY group, which seemed to consist of half the plane's passengers.
I boarded through the advertisement-plastered jet bridge.
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Obligatory fuselage shot.
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I was greeted by the spacious Boeing Sky Interior when I entered the aircraft. I looked left through the cockpit door, and saw that this aircraft was equipped with toggle-style fuel levers, instead of the traditional flip levers found on older 737 aircraft. Furthermore, the parking brake also has a new design in order to increase reliability. These changes are standard on the 737 MAX. Because of commonality and standardization issues, all 737NG series aircraft, starting with L/N 5605 (delivered in 2016) are equipped with the new throttle quadrant.
See some pictures of the changes below:
Boeing 737-NG throttle quadrant: Image source is here.
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Boeing 737 MAX throttle quadrant. Image source is here.
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I remarked about these changes to the flight attendant. She seemed confused for a second, and explained to me that this plane was probably not new - but refurbished. The captain, who overheard our conversation, immediately corrected the flight attendant and said that this plane was brand new. He even looked at the airworthiness certificate in the cockpit and said that "it was born in late January of 2017." As you can see, I was pretty delighted, and the captain and I both had a good laugh about it afterwards. I guess the FA must have been confused about whether this was one of the newer 739s or a member of Delta's aging 737-800/-700 fleet, but who knows lol.
When I got to the seat, a lady was sitting in it, so I showed her my boarding pass and explained that I was supposed to be sitting in her seat. I was really afraid that my seat might've been "double booked," but she asked me if her seat was 10C. I explained to her that 10C was the aisle seat, and she was more than happy to move. I put my backpack in the row behind me because the overhead bin above me was filled with blankets and whatnot; furthermore, I was probably like the 40th person to board the plane.
Here is a picture of the Economy Comfort+ seat in row 11.
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The insane amount of legroom in row 10. This row has a second window, albeit slightly misaligned. But who cares - you have two windows!
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Legroom shot.
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Seatback looks a little different today.
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My seatmate was a very friendly man from Kazhakstan who was returning home through JFK. He seemed very intrigued in what I was doing, and of the flight itself. I spent a lot of time explaining the new features of Delta's new domestic fleet, as well as several cool features. And just like me, he started to take photos of every small detail.
9-inch Panasonic eXLite entertainment system and the fold-out tray table, the same as the tray table that jetBlue has installed on the bulkhead row of its A321s.
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Seatpocket literature: In-flight magazine, buy-on-board menu, safety card, and two wifi/entertainment guides. No barf bag on this flight today (so much for consistency lol).
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Another view of the Panasonic IFE.
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We were parked next to N314DN, an A321-211.
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737-900ER vs A321 - two rival products from two rival manufacturers
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View forward while the captain gave his welcome speech.
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Because of the fact that this was a completely full flight, and 180 passengers were waiting to board, the FA's kept on making announcements telling people to hurry up and put their stuff in an open bin or under the seat in front of them. From what I could tell, they really wanted to make an on-time departure.
We finally pushed back at 12:07 PM, two minutes behind schedule.
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Another view of N314DN
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We started up both CFM56-7B27E engines immediately after pushback, instead of making a single-engine taxi.
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On the 737-900ER, the FAs do not do a manual safety demonstration. Rather, a comprehensive safety video is shown on the seatback entertainment screens. Because I was not allowed to use my screen during taxi, takeoff, or landing, I was trying to find a way to view the safety video when I heard a whirring sound above my head and saw an overhead screen drop into place. This is the only row on DL's 737-900ER that has an overhead screen. It isn't used for anything besides the safety video, so it is stowed for the majority of the flight.
Before takeoff, the captain made his welcome announcement. He stated that we were in a 737-900, fitted with the "latest cabin enhancements and in flight entertainment systems." He also mentioned that this particular aircraft was delivered in February. Furthermore, he informed us of our cruising altitude of 35,000 feet and estimated flight time of 1 hr 40 min. I thought that this was very cool and very responsible of the captain to inform his passengers of this information; previous pilots I met were confused about even the registration of the planes they just flew, even though they had to enter it in their flight plans.
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Taxiing. Notice how low the 737 is to the ground - this is why the CFM56-7 engines all have asymmetrical nacelles.
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N703DN, the 77L I flew from ATL to LAX in July.

Taxiing towards runway 27R.
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Lining up.
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Loud and powerful TO/GA takeoff, as per standard.
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Late rotation, common with 737-900ERs.
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Some pictures of our initial climbout.

After reaching 10,000 feet, the seatbelt sign was turned off, and we were cleared to continue to our initial cruising altitude of FL350.

It was now time to check out the in-flight entertainment system.
I counted roughly 293 movies, roughly the same number of TV shows, over 1,000 songs, and several games. There was also a feedback section and an "about Delta" section, among other features. The reading light and FA call button can be operated directly from the seat.

Cruising.
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If you guys know me, you know that I always watch some of this movie whenever it is available.
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I had my usual Delta snack while watching Deepwater Horizon (2016).
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The wifi worked on this flight, as opposed to the hit-and-miss service of the feeder Delta Connection fleet.
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At this point, I was playing a few games, namely Spotlight and the trivia game.
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The clouds were starting to thin out.
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All aircraft wings exhibit some degree of wing flex. On planes like the 787, A350, and A330, the wing flexes a lot, but on smaller domestic aircraft, the wing doesn't appear to flex as much. Check out these two photos below for a comparison. The one thing that gives it away is that from my position, it is possible to see the bottom half of the split scimitar winglet on the ground, whereas it is impossible to see it at cruising altitude.
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I wanted to go visit the economy class lavatory, but the FAs were still conducting a drink service for the back of the economy cabin, so I was allowed to go use the first class lavatory. I got up and used the bulkhead as a guide rail to make sure I didn't fall on my seatmates by accident. Remember that there was enough legroom so that I didn't need to wake up my seatmates so I could get out into the aisle.
When I walked to the front of the plane, it was eerily quiet. I could hear the very faint sound of air whooshing past the fuselage, but I couldn't hear the engines at all. Around the point where I was sitting, you could clearly hear the faint buzz of the engine, and as you walk further back, the sound of the engine is drowned out by loud aerodynamic noises from the wings. Now I get why economy class is located at the rear of the plane…
The first class lavatory was of the SpaceLav model. Therefore, it was very small, about the width of the toilet itself. There was also the small sink, which surprisingly was good at keeping the water from splashing onto the floor, as well as a single amenity: hand lotion
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When I got back to my seat, we were flying above the city of Virginia Beach, VA. I last visited this place about two years ago with a large group of people from my current high school.

Testing out the satellite TV feature. Delta has less than 20 channels, while on jetBlue's A321 and refurbished A320 aircraft they have over 100 channels of live TV. They still manage to include 36 channels on their unrefurbished A320 and ERJ190 aircraft, albeit shown on an outdated and small 4:3 aspect ratio screen.
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I then visited one of the three economy lavatories at the back of the plane. These were the same size as the one up in the front, but the only "amenity" that was there was hand soap. Furthermore, someone apparently left wet toilet paper on top of the toilet, which I found very disgusting.
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View of the economy cabin, as well as Boeing's signature sky interior, which I find very aesthetically pleasing.
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On my way back, I counted five pilots deadheading on this flight. All of them were in either preferred window or aisle seats, and two were in the seats that didn't have a seat in front, 21A and 21F. I bought one of these seats for my father back when we flew from LGA to ATL.
Beginning our descent over Atlantic City, NJ. We subsequently turned outward away from the coast to line up for an approach on 31L, due to winds blowing east that day.

Started watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) with my seatmate as we descend over Toms River, NJ.
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I don't know the name of this airport. Can anyone help me?
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A snack basket was handed out to the Comfort+ passengers prior to beginning final descent. I grabbed two fresh bananas from it.
Final approach.

Hard landing with maximum reverse thrust on Runway 31L.

While taxiing toward Terminal 2, we encountered HL7614, a Korean Air A380-861. She was starting up her engines and preparing to return to Seoul as KE82. This was the 3rd Korean Air plane that I saw today (Delta and KE do have a strong partnership though).

We ended up pulling into a gate at the ancient Terminal 2, my least favorite terminal at JFK (I would've preferred parking at T4). Our neighbor was N868RW, an Embraer ERJ170-100SU. This aircraft is operated by Republic Airlines for Delta Connection.
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While I was getting my bag from the overhead bin, a flight attendant approached me, and notified me that the captain was willing to talk to me in the cockpit. Understandably, I was very excited at the prospect of being able to visit the cockpit on my last flight of the Summer.
But first, let's look at the Delta Comfort+ seat one last time.
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And the new first class seats.
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I then went into the cockpit to meet the captain and the first officer. The captain was an extremely knowledgable man, and had been with Delta for over 37 years! Seeing that I was very familiar with the 737NG's cockpit, he got out of his seat and invited me to sit in the left hand seat! The FO allowed me to manipulate some of the systems, such as the rudder and the yoke, because the hydraulics were already turned off. The yoke didn't feel very heavy as described by others, but due to the handling of the 737-900ER, I would feel more comfortable with a lighter side stick, which requires only one hand. I also pushed the throttles forward, though this set off some alarms due to the fact that no fuel flow was enabled to the engines. I was also allowed to manipulate the MCDU to some extent, which was pretty fun.
Note the toggle switches instead of the 737NG's distinguishing levers on the throttle quadrant.
Thanks to both the Captain and First Officer of DL202 on 8/24/17 for this amazing experience!

After I bid farewell to the flight crew, I was dumped into a very old Terminal 2. This will most likely get demolished sometime soon and replaced with the T4 expansion project.
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T2 does have some large floor-to-ceiling windows, but with large gaps in between them. Here are some pictures of N872DN that I was able to get with my phone.

I got my bags at the baggage carousel and bid farewell to my seatmate, who would be flying back to Kazakhstan in a matter of hours.
Feels so good to be home!
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Unfortunately, my mother did not realize that T2 was also a Delta operation and drove all the way to T4 to pick me up. This meant that I had to take the AirTrain to get to the pick up area. The AirTrain station at T2 was a three minute walk away, while the one in T4 is located inside the terminal.
I wasn't sure which one to take, so I just took the "All Terminal Train." Unfortunately, this one made a loop in the opposite direction (towards T1 instead of T4), so I got off at the second to last stop. Later, I realized that you could take the train going to Jamaica Beach to get to T4 in just one stop.
T2 at JFK, and a 767-400ER parked at a remote stand.
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Interior of the AirTrain station at Terminal 2.
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International action at T1.
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The iconic TWA flight center.
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Some more pics while riding on the AirTrain. I read somewhere that photo taking was forbidden, so I just took these pictures while the security guard wasn't looking.
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Approaching the T4 station.
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I got off at T4, and took an escalator to the ground level. While there, I found a secret security line that was much shorter than the main security checkpoint, which can take up to an hour to pass through. If you are going to T4, always use the security checkpoint on the lower level, and make sure you check in online before your flight! This will save you lots of time, without the frustration of hour-long lines.
I met my mother right outside at the pickup area, after a long but exciting day.
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This summer has been one of the best summers of my life. I was able to work on difficult research projects with my professor, as well as experience a large variety of Delta's domestic fleet on my commuting trips. Most importantly, I had loads of fun, and I look forward to doing something similar in my future summers.
Have a good one, and I will see you guys soon!
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Verdict

Delta Air Lines

9.3/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering8.0

Atlanta - ATL

8.8/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

New York - JFK

8.3/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

This was an excellent flight on Delta. The new aircraft, its bells and whistles, a good flight crew, and an experienced veteran captain made this flight extremely enjoyable. Moreover, combined with the planespotting trip earlier before this flight, I had an experience that was unlike anything I experienced before with Delta. I was really impressed with the high standards set by the flight crew. While this obviously isn't Emirates First Class, it's about as good as Economy gets when flying domestically in the United States. The IFE system was well rounded, and the responsive Panasonic eXLite system was available. There's definitely something for everyone, even on 16-hour long hauls to Asia. I also liked the variety of snacks provided exclusively for Comfort+ passengers, similar to what jetBlue offers. The crew was also very welcoming, and strived to provide a great experience for everyone. Lastly, in the end, the visit to the cockpit was just amazing. Just pushing and pulling on the 737's yoke was a very rewarding experience - I'm always amazed to see what mankind has achieved in just the last century.
Thank you for joining me on this trip report series. I had loads of fun, and I trust that you enjoyed reading these reports. Unfortunately, I won't be flying until December, so stay tuned until then!

Information on the route Atlanta (ATL) New York (JFK)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Atlanta (ATL) → New York (JFK).


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The airline with the best average rating is Delta Air Lines with 7.3/10.

The average flight time is 2 hours and 18 minutes.

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