Review of Delta (Endeavor Air) flight New York Washington in Domestic First

Flight DL4077
Seat 4A
Flight time 01:30
Take-off 29 May 18, 15:00
Arrival at 29 May 18, 16:30
9E 18 reviews
KévinDC
By GOLD 1225
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.

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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.

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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

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

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

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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.

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Tuna sandwich with a bad sparkling wine

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

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Boarding



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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ^^

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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.

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DL A330 pulling in a few gates down

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The Flight



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

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Holding for passing heavies.

Starting with a KLM B787-9

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Then an Etihad A380

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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

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

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Terminal 4

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The loooong Delta concourse

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Heading out over the Atlantic for a bit…

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

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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.

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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.

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Overflying Baltimore, Maryland

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

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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.

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

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The French Embassy compound and the Georgetown University Hospital.

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Georgetown University

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

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The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

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

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The Lincoln Memorial

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The Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial

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The Jefferson Memorial

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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!

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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!

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Thanks for reading!
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Verdict

Delta (Endeavor Air)

6.4/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew6.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering5.5

Wingtips Lounge - 4

7.3/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services7.0

New York - JFK

7.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Washington - DCA

8.8/10
Efficiency8.5
Access9.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

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)

10 Comments

  • Comment 451822 by
    lysflyer SILVER 433 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 430 Comments

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

  • Comment 452092 by
    KL651 TEAM 4456 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 4998 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 GOLD 926 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 4998 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 SILVER 498 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 4998 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!

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