Review of Delta Connection flight New York Washington in Domestic First

Airline Delta Connection
Flight DL4077
Seat 4A
Flight time 01:30
Take-off 29 May 18, 15:00
Arrival at 29 May 18, 16:30
DL   #35 out of 69 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 129 reviews
By GOLD 1398
Published on 26th June 2018
Hello and welcome to the third and last review in this short series of flights.

This year for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, we decided on a trip to Iceland. There would be 6 of us meeting up in Iceland, with 3 flying from Washington, DC. There is no shortage of nonstop flights to Iceland from the DC area, with 2 daily back-to-back Icelandair flights from Washington-Dulles (IAD) and 2 daily WOW Air flights along with 4X weekly Icelandair service from Baltimore-Washington (BWI).

Being a oneworld loyalist, I don't often venture out-of-alliance, but as new American Airlines service from Dallas wasn't due to begin until June 2018, we decided to go with the most convenient option for the outbound flight, a nonstop with Icelandair from IAD. For the return from Iceland, however, we burned some Delta Skymiles which routed us through New York JFK.

This report will cover the second leg of the return with Delta Air Lines–a short hop from JFK to DCA in domestic First.

Reports in this series:

Washington-Dulles IAD ✈ Reykjavík-Keflavík KEF | Icelandair, B757-200, Economy
Reykjavík-Keflavík KEF ✈ New York Kennedy JFK | Delta Air Lines, B757-200, Premium Select
New York Kennedy JFK ✈ Washington-Reagan DCA | Delta Air Lines (Endeavor), CRJ900, Domestic First

Pre-flight & Lounge

Having arrived from Iceland over 30 minutes early, and with time saved with Global Entry, we had plenty of time before our connecting flight home to DC. For those who don't have Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check, it is a good idea to allow a good amount of time between flights at JFK Terminal 4 as there is no special security checkpoint after immigration and customs. Passengers must exit the customs area and go upstairs to go through the security checkpoint on the departures level.

photo 2018-05-29_12-53-29_609

The problem with not having a dedicated security checkpoint after customs at T4, unlike some other terminals, is that liquids that were bought at duty-free have now been outside of the secured area and require additional security screening, which slows the process. Duty-free liquids are only accepted as long as they are in the original sealed bags from the duty-free shop.

photo 2018-05-29_12-53-32_612

After security, we turned right and headed towards the lounges located on the mezzanine level.

As the premium cabin on KEF-JFK has been re-branded from "Business" to "Premium Select" there was no access to the Sky Club–we therefore opted for the Wingtips lounge, which we accessed with Priority Pass.

The Wingtips lounge was previously known as the Oasis lounge, prior to undergoing renovations and being taken over by new management a few years ago. I'd previously reviewed the JFK Oasis lounge in these reports:

Delta Air Lines, JFK - LHR, Business class
Delta Air Lines, JFK - FRA, Business class

photo 2018-05-29_13-03-45_815

The Wingtips lounge decor has all been updated and modernized since the Oasis lounge days.

photo 2018-05-29_13-08-49_321photo 2018-05-29_13-08-51_924

Once nice thing about this lounge is the wall of windows with great views of the tarmac.

photo 2018-05-29_13-08-55_193photo 2018-05-29_13-48-24_488

The food selection is above average for a U.S. lounge, but not quite as good as I remembered. The only hot option was a soup, whereas there were several hot options available back in the Oasis days, including curry.

However, I appreciated that they had rosé on a warm late-spring day.

photo 2018-05-29_13-12-29_238photo 2018-05-29_13-16-26_286

Tuna sandwich with a bad sparkling wine

photo 2018-05-29_13-46-26_812

Fifteen minutes before boarding was due to begin we left the lounge and started on the looooong walk to the gate.

photo 2018-05-29_13-58-46_702


The Delta concourse in Terminal 4 is very long–I would say close to a mile, if not longer. Our gate was on the very end of the concourse, so we walked the entire length to get there. There is a shuttle available from one end of the concourse to the other for those who prefer not to walk.

Boarding was delayed a few minutes due to the late arrival of the aircraft.

photo 2018-05-29_14-14-52_619

One thing Delta excels at is getting flights out on time–the second the last passenger from the inbound deplaned, boarding began.

The CRJ-900's cabin sported the attractive new Delta look.

photo 2018-05-29_14-34-23_950

The domestic First class cabin on the CRJ-900 is configured in a 1-2 layout. I had selected one of the solo seats on the left side in the event that we did the "River approach" on landing in DC, which offers great views of the monuments from the left side of the aircraft.

photo dl jfk-dca cr9 seatmap

At the seat upon boarding were a small pillow and blanket as well as a bottle of water. There was no pre-departure beverage service, most likely due to the quick turn. Nevertheless, the lack of PDB had an AA-esque feel to it, which I did not expect from DL ^^

photo 2018-05-29_14-41-45_287

Legroom is ok for domestic First with a 37" seat pitch, a bit less than the average domestic F 38" pitch, but acceptable for a regional jet.

photo 2018-05-29_14-41-12_083

DL A330 pulling in a few gates down

photo 2018-05-29_14-43-59_509photo 2018-05-29_14-43-34_151

The Flight

Despite a delayed arrival, late start to boarding, and a full flight, we pushed back from the gate right on time.

photo 2018-05-29_14-47-01_175photo 2018-05-29_14-55-10_803

Holding for passing heavies.

Starting with a KLM B787-9

photo 2018-05-29_14-55-28_223

Then an Etihad A380

photo 2018-05-29_14-58-11_492photo 2018-05-29_14-58-21_767

The taxi time was typically long for JFK as we waited in a line at least 10-deep for departure.

Once we took off there were some nice views of the airport on a clear sunny day.

Terminal 1

photo 2018-05-29_15-29-15_238photo 2018-05-29_15-29-16_206

Terminal 2 and the Delta remote parking stands where Terminal 3 (the Pan Am Worldport) was previously located.

photo 2018-05-29_15-29-19_809

Terminal 4

photo 2018-05-29_15-29-23_913

The loooong Delta concourse

photo 2018-05-29_15-29-27_617

Heading out over the Atlantic for a bit…

photo 2018-05-29_15-30-20_103

…and back over land over New Jersey a few minutes later.

photo 2018-05-29_15-34-34_244photo 2018-05-29_15-43-26_035

Unlike most flights I've taken in domestic F between NYC and DC, the FAs weren't particularly rushed to begin the drink service on this very short flight. They did not attempt a water run in Y, as I've often seen in the past.

They managed one drink service and a pass of the snack basket and stayed in the galley for most of the flight. I know the flight is only 40 minutes long, but as evidenced in several past reports I've written on this route, on both DL and AA, I've usually had great attentive crews in F that have managed to do at least one refill.

photo 2018-05-29_15-51-19_184

As it took a while for the FAs to get back to the last row of F with drink orders, I didn't have much time to enjoy my drink before we began our descent.

photo 2018-05-29_15-51-30_339

Overflying Baltimore, Maryland

photo 2018-05-29_16-03-49_781

A nice neighbourhood in the northern DC suburb of Potomac, Maryland

photo 2018-05-29_16-20-04_228

I-495, aka the DC Beltway, aka my personal hell, with the typical afternoon traffic jams. Yes, I have the pleasure of spending at least 2 hours on 495 every weekday, woohoo! Anyone who lives in the DC area knows my pain.

photo 2018-05-29_16-20-42_802

Views of the National Cathedral as we line up for the River Approach.

photo 2018-05-29_16-22-30_331photo 2018-05-29_16-22-45_912

The French Embassy compound and the Georgetown University Hospital.

photo 2018-05-29_16-23-07_497

Georgetown University

photo 2018-05-29_16-23-16_906

The Georgetown waterfront on the left and infamous Watergate building on the right.

photo 2018-05-29_16-23-31_384photo 2018-05-29_16-23-36_391

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

photo 2018-05-29_16-23-39_591

Downtown DC and the National Mall with the Lincoln Memorial in the foreground and Washington Monument and Capitol Building in the background.

photo 2018-05-29_16-23-48_066

The Lincoln Memorial

photo 2018-05-29_16-23-50_871

The Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial

photo 2018-05-29_16-23-59_276photo 2018-05-29_16-24-04_918

The Jefferson Memorial

photo 2018-05-29_16-24-05_952photo 2018-05-29_16-24-10_186

Living in DC, I've done the River Approach tons of time, but it just never gets old! It's impressive every time. I feel fortunate to live in such a beautiful city.

Welcome home!

photo 2018-05-29_16-27-00_063

Taxi time was short as usual and we parked next to this beauty.

Minutes after arriving at the gate we were out and on our way to catch the Metro home. Gotta love the convenience of DCA!

photo 2018-05-29_16-43-35_233

Thanks for reading!
See more


Delta Connection

Cabin crew6.5

Wingtips Lounge - 4


New York - JFK


Washington - DCA



The flight was fine overall. There's not much to say on a 40 minute flight--the seats were comfortable, and the cabin was fresh and new. I've had better service on this route in F on both DL and AA (mainline and Eagle), but it was by no means bad. I'm glad I selected seats on the left side as we got lucky with the River Approach.

Information on the route New York (JFK) Washington (DCA)


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 451822 by
    lysflyer GOLD 1274 Comments

    Thank you for this nice FR. DL seems to offer a quite good product. The approach is very scenic, I'd love visit DC.

  • Comment 451977 by
    Chibcha SILVER 479 Comments

    Thanks for sharing, I loved the views of the District!

  • Comment 452092 by
    KL651 TEAM 4518 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    It's surprising that T4 is not more optimised for connecting pax a it's one of DL's biggest hub.
    No service at all in Y and only one round in First Class, DL seems to do less than UA or AA on short flights.
    Really beautiful views before landing, the River approach is really something to see.

    • Comment 452231 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 5851 Comments

      Yeah, it is weird especially since DL spent so much money to renovate T4 and build out the concourse. DL usually did a water service in Y in my past experiences. Not sure if it's a new practice or if it was just this one crew. Yes, the River approach just never gets old (at least when the weather is nice). Not quite as good as the time we had the aborted landing and got to do the River approach twice AND a tour of the whole city :-)

  • Comment 452140 by
    socalnow 978 Comments

    Thanks for the FR Kevin. It's very evident you're a talented flight reporter when you can make a 40 min. RJ flight a fun and interesting read. I'm bummed to hear the service was sub par on the flight in this premium market. Thanks for the tip on where to sit for DCA arrivals, the views are excellent. Thanks again and happy flying.

    • Comment 452233 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 5851 Comments

      Hi Socalnow, thanks so much for your comments!

      "It's very evident you're a talented flight reporter when you can make a 40 min. RJ flight a fun and interesting read."
      - Aaw shucks, thanks :-)

      "I'm bummed to hear the service was sub par on the flight in this premium market."
      - Yeah, I was a bit surprised, but I'm sure this was a one-off--every crew can have an off day and that's ok. According to one comment on Twitter, I'm weird for expecting more than one drink in F. This is why we can't have nice things--if we as flyers are OK with mediocre to no service in F, where is the value of buying F? Otherwise, I've had nothing but very good experiences in this market with DL in the past.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 452371 by
    hometoyyz BRONZE 542 Comments

    Great flight-report for such a short flight, Kevin. I can't think of a time on a YYZ-DTW segment when I haven't been offered a refill, unless I was still working on my first drink on final approach.... and that's the same distance, almost to the mile. And I'm guessing YYZ-DTW doesn't have quite the same priority market-wise as JFK-DCA.

    I've also seen the second FA on the CR9s with her bottle of Dassani and a stack of plastic cups heading towards economy on a bunch of those flights... but in pre-flight announcements they will often say they'll "do their best" to get water service done, but that it might not be possible.

    Interesting to see Wingtips Lounge not looking terrible. I've only been in there once, after midnight while waiting for a CI flight to TPE. SkyClub had closed and it was the only lounge open -- so I presume it was the contract lounge for any and all past-midnight departures from T4. It was overpacked to the point of misery... I think I stayed about 5 minutes and decided to go stroll around T4 for a bit and then wait by the gate. Bizarre that it was so packed in Wingtips, when the rest of that massive terminals was all but deserted.

    Those dipped oreo bites have become my snack-basket obsession... sad they seem to have mostly disappeared in June.

    Love the shows on the river approach. And I love arrivals into DCA.

    • Comment 453978 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 5851 Comments

      Hi HometoYYZ, thanks for your comments and sorry I didn't see it earlier!

      "I can't think of a time on a YYZ-DTW segment when I haven't been offered a refill"
      - The routes are about the same length and I've taken LGA/JFK-DCA flights tons of times in F and the FAs almost always make a second round.

      "I've also seen the second FA on the CR9s with her bottle of Dassani and a stack of plastic cups heading towards economy on a bunch of those flights... "
      - Exactly. I've seen this pretty much every time with DL, unless there's turbulence. Less often on AA.

      "Interesting to see Wingtips Lounge not looking terrible."
      - Hah, yep, that's a good way of describing it--"not terrible". It's definitely better than it was back when it was Oasis, though the food seems to have gotten worse.

      "Those dipped oreo bites have become my snack-basket obsession... sad they seem to have mostly disappeared in June."
      - AA doesn't have those so I haven't had an opportunity to get hooked, haha

      Arrivals into DCA are always scenic on clear days. Even when landing from the south with nice views of Alexandria, Mount Vernon, and the Potomac

      Thanks for stopping by!

Login to post a comment.