This trip was definitely a last-minute decision on my part, but definitely proved to be well worth it! It has been my goal to get on a Delta A220 ever since they were introduced to the fleet almost a year ago in February 2019. A weekend at home (Seattle) with a day to spare proved to be the perfect opportunity! I booked this ticket in Comfort+ on the way down and First Class return for only 15k miles total (what a steal!) at the beginning of December. Many of the flights to San Jose were still operated by the Embraer 175 regional jet, but I lucked out and this was one of the 5 flights to San Jose operated by the A220 (the 9AM and Noon flights were on the A220).
The flights were as follows:
Delta has a very nice and modern check-in area at SeaTac (located in the south half of the Ticketing concourse) with desk agents as well as self-serve kiosks for assistance such as printing boarding passes, etc. I had little wait for a kiosk and printed my boarding pass for the flight to San Jose, Delta 1550, which was departing at Noon from Gate A6.
Navigating SeaTac is often challening for some people, I don't possibly know why, but the layout is rather simple. The most confusing thing is the 5 different checkpoints, all of which lead to the secure area, there aren't separate terminals (like at LAX). Like they say, "All Checkpoints Lead to All Gates" :)
I did not have PreCheck (yet) for this trip so I was directed to Checkpoint 3, the largest checkpoint at SeaTac. Wait times here can consistently exceed 45 minutes during peak periods, so having PreCheck or CLEAR is definitely the way to go in Seattle during those busy times. I waited only 12 minutes for general screening at Checkpoint 3, which really surprised me given the length of the line. Screeners were friendly and efficient about processing passengers.
Upon clearing TSA at Checkpoints 3 & 4 in Seattle, you exit into the Central Terminal, which has a variety of food options available. It is currently under renovations expected to be finished in about a year, so half of the space overall was closed for construction. Floor-to-ceiling atrium windows line the west-facing wall for good, sweeping views of the airfield. I didn't particularly have much time to check out any of the new dining options, so I humbly passed on spending any more money.
Majority of regulars at Seattle are 737s, so here is what I feel like an obligatory "737 at the gate at SeaTac" photo. Oh, its also gray and rainy. So that's no surprise to us locals either ;).
A new addition to SeaTac (new within a year), Japan Airlines flies daily to Tokyo-Narita with their 787-8 aircraft. They will soon, however, be switching to Tokyo-Haneda with the same aircraft, just one day after I return to Seattle on this flight in March, how unfortunate ;(. Will definitely try to review that product when the time comes.
Delta has rebranded their boarding process recently and I definitely have seen improvements on various flights recently. Passengers are grouped by aircraft class (with SkyMiles Medallion Members scattered throughout) and are now color-coded to match the group of cabin. *photo courtesy of The Points Guy*
Ongoing construction of the new International Arrivals Facility in Seattle has finally reached this area of the A Concourse, and Gate A6 is currently being configured for international arrivals with construction of a secure corridor to access the new facility (which is actually behind me) and the access corridor is in the background with new escalators being built.
I was traveling in Comfort+, which now has its own boarding group, after First Class and Diamond Medallion members. Since the A220 is a relatively small aircraft (comparing it to the more common 737), there were only 15 passengers sitting in Comfort+ and the group seemed rather small. Boarding began as I arrived at the gate and I walked through the Sky Priority lane and onto the aircraft.
Delta's A220 (like the rest of them) are laid out in a 2-2 configuration in First Class and a 3-2 configuration in Comfort+ and Main Cabin. There are just 3 rows of Comfort+ on this aircraft, rows 10 through 12.
My seat, 12A was located on the left side of the plane on the "2" side of the plane. Delta offers 15 seats in the Comfort+ cabin, each of which has 34" of pitch, compared to Main Cabin offering 30-32" of pitch. All Economy Class seats on this aircraft offer 18.6" of seat width, one of the largest in the mainline Delta fleet. If you are sitting in Comfort+, I would recommend window seats 12A or 12E, both of which offer you access to 2 windows all to yourself. :) Rows 10 and 11 only offer 1 window per row.
This aircraft, N115DU, was delivered new to Delta just 7 months ago, in June 2019, and the cabin definitely reflects such a young age. The colors are very warming, and the blue and red Comfort+ branding is very subtle but distinguishing. The 34" of pitch is definitely evident here, having just recently flown Main Cabin on their 757 a few weeks back. Each Economy seat has a 10.1" HD "Wireless IFE" screen featuring a flight tracker, and dozens of movies, and other TV content. Decent underseat storage was available, and didn't seem to be obstructed by anything in any of the Comfort+ seats.
Boarding was completed right on time, just before Noon, and the door was closed at 12:00 sharp. The airport monitors had noted a delay of this flight to 12:15PM, but we were well away from Seattle by that point, so I am still not sure why that was the case.
Once the door was closed, I was amazed at my luck that for the next 2 hours, I did not have a seatmate seated in 12B. My lucky day, apparently! This was gonna be a good flight!
I managed to snag this awesome beacon shot on an Alaska 737-900 that was on the runway in front of us! The only good thing about rain in Seattle is that it often helps your pictures look better, ironically enough. I'm still really proud of this photo, for being taken on my phone!
We had a typical gray day climb out of Seattle, after takeoff, we turned west for a few miles before turning south towards California.
As we continued to climb up towards cruising, we got way above the clouds and the sun came out, I wish it could be like this all the time in winter in Seattle. One can dream!
I thought this was kinda cool, but the clouds and the airplane actually reflected off the big blue engine! Kinda cool!
For a two-hour flight, I was not expecting much with regards to services, but we did get a full drink and snack service on this flight with your choice of drink with CheezIts, Biscoff Cookies or KIND Granola bars for snacks. Due to turbulence closer to SJC, there was only one drink & snack service throughout this flight.
The IFEs are stunning on this aircraft! Each seat in Comfort+ and Main Cabin have access to a 10.1" HD "Wireless IFE" monitor and they look gorgeous! I found the flight tracker to be the most appealing thing about the system overall. Each seat had a USB Charger built into the monitor (towards the bottom) and each pair of seats had one 110V power outlet and each triple of seats had two 110V power outlets.
Bathroom with a view! Yes, Delta opted to include the window in the left-side rear lavatory and I think it's pretty cool! The bathroom doesn't appear to be of a larger size or anything like that, and it is after all, just a window, but still pretty cool! It makes the space feel a lot more open and bright with the natural light. Sadly, there was no fancy mood lighting in these bathrooms, just the LED lights on the walls.
With the I seat next to me, I decided to get a little creative with what I wanted to watch. In my seat, I watched WALL-E (always a kid at heart here) and pulled up the Flight Tracker on the other screen so I could multitask and enjoy both! So great!
The arrival path for SJC takes craft right over downtown San Francisco, which offered some great views of the city and the Bay Bridge!
Once past the city, the terrain below is a lot more rugged and forested as we make our way south towards the SJC approach path.
As we move closer to the airport, we fly over downtown San Jose, offering some beautiful views of the city from above.
We touched down at SJC on Runway 30L right on time at 2:17PM, arriving at Gate A10 just a few minutes later.
Baggage Claim A4 is located across the terminal on the lower level and is just a short walk from the gate, taking only about 5 minutes to reach baggage claim.
Overall, I found the A220 to be a very modern addition to the Delta fleet. It was my first time flying this aircraft type ever, so I had high expectations from other reviewers. Having experienced their Comfort+ product on the 737s and the 757s, I believe that this is a great addition to the mainline fleet. Offering a modern IFE system gives them a serious advantage against American and United (both of which are splurging to remove IFEs from mainline craft). Being a smaller aircraft, boarding and deplaning feel faster than a 737, especially combined with Delta's new boarding process. Since this was such a short flight, there was only one service, but the crew was still attentive with water and collecting trash and recycling throughout the flight. I would recommend the A220 to anyone wanting the modern Delta experience, definitely worth a try for all the Aviation Enthusiasts out there who have yet to experience it. Definitely worth the hype! Happy flying everyone!