Review of Delta Air Lines flight Chicago Detroit in Economy

Airline Delta Air Lines
Flight DL2828
Class Economy
Seat 11A
Aircraft Boeing 717-200
Flight time 01:13
Take-off 30 Jan 20, 16:58
Arrival at 30 Jan 20, 19:11
DL   #43 out of 113 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 677 reviews
Published on 2nd February 2020


Hello, flight-report community, and welcome to the penultimate flight on this six-segment odyssey to Hong Kong and back, covering Chicgo O’Hare to Detroit on Delta. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict this won’t be quite as much fun as HKG-ORD in CX F. But let’s jump in and find out, shall we?


the rundown

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After flying from Hong Kong to Chicgo in one shot, it seems ridiculous to have to fly two segments for the remaining 400-odd miles home, but here we are. Aeroplan didn’t have AC or UA options that worked timing-wise, so I ended up grabbing ORD-DTW-YYZ on a Delta economy award for 18,500 miles and $5.60 USD. I do love how low the “taxes” on an award flight can be ex-USA.

The “upgrade” to Comfort Plus cleared immediately after booking for both segments. 

when last we saw our intrepid flight-reporter…

… he had just arrived at ORD’s Terminal 5 on Cathay Pacific, and looking to make his way over to Terminal 2, from which Delta operates.

Apparently the train amongst the terminals is out of operation right now, so that means hopping a bus. It’s a relatively pleasant day in Chicago — just above freezing — so that’s not too inconvenient.

The bus drops me off right where I need to be in T2.

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I already have my boarding pass on my phone for ORD-DTW-YYZ, so I head straight to the PreCheck lineup for security, which is fairly quiet. It takes me only about five minutes to be airside 

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Delta Sky Club ORD

With a few hours between my arrival into ORD and my departure — you don’t wanna misconnect on separate tickets twice in the same trip — I head over to the Sky Club to kill some time.

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Chicago is obviously not a Delta hub, and its ORD lounge is definitely not the pride of the system. It’s small, and kinda dated, and even better, it is consistently packed the whole time I’m here. So I won’t provide much in the way of a review of the place, or pictures. It was hard to move in the place, much less take pictures without being in someone’s face.

The apron views are nice, though. The lounge sits right at the intersection of Delta’s E-gates to the right, and United’s F-gates to the left, featuring regional jets. Lots of traffic to watch taxiing in the distance, too.

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Internet in the lounge is solid, even though things are so busy in here. Not much has changed on the site since I last checked in from my Cathay Pacific flight.

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While my upgrade cleared at the five-day window for DTW-YYZ, I had not heard anything about a ORD-DTW upgrade, so I check the app.

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Okay, not a problem. So all that has to happen is that every confirmed passenger has to no-show, and then I should get the final available seat. I’m sure it’ll happen!

After a while, I’m a bit hungry, so I try the “boneless wings,” or as we like to call ‘em, chicken nuggets. They’re not bad, but we’ve come a long way from caviar and champagne a few short hours ago.

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I spend most of my time in the lounge working on this and that, doing some email, and enjoying the action unfolding in front of me. The new United livery is nice. I haven’t seen it much in person before today.

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According to Flightradar24, my ride over to Detroit leaves DTW pretty much on time, and is looking to be here a bit early, so things look good for getting home in a timely way.

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My ride shows up at about 4:00, which continues to bode well. 

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So around 4:!5, I make my way out of the lounge and take the short walk to E11. 

Boarding Time

When I arrive there, I stop to get a quick picture of our plane — although somewhat obscured.

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And then I notice there are a lot of people around the gate — more than usual. I soon enough figure out why. It’s because they’ve already started boarding. I join the line just as they announce boarding for First Class and Diamond Medallions.

And away I go!

The Flight Report

Flight: DL2828
From: Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
To: Detroit Metro (DTW)
Date: 1/30/2020
Aircraft: Boeing 717-200
Registration: N986AT
Seat: 11A
ATD (STD): 16:58 (16:45)
ATA ( STA): 19:11 (19:20)

For this flight, I’m in seat 11A of “Comfort Plus,” Delta’s extra legroom cabin, which typically comes with somewhat upgraded cabin service — better snacks, free booze, etc. But we’ll come to that part later.

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On the five-across 717, it’s 2-3 in economy, as opposed to 3-2 on the MD-88s/90s. Not sure why they went the other way for the Mad Dogs’ little sibling.

Legroom is fine in Comfort Plus.

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No IFE — except for WiFi-based — on these birds, which mostly fly short segments like this.

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There is, however, a shared AC and USB adaptor between the two seats in the pair. 

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Speaking of Mad Dogs — there’s one two gates over. 

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As always, it probably takes longer for us to load this 717 than it took to load a relatively full 777 in Hong Kong, and there’s lots of jockeying for overhead space. But after the safety demonstration, we push back only about ten minutes behind schedule.It’s a relatively short taxi, and less than ten minutes later, we’re on our way over to Detroit.

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Enter text here…

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So how was the service? Well, you’ve read all about it. For short hops of less than 250 miles like this, Delta doesn’t even offer a water run in the back anymore. That’s a bit of a disappointment, although I understand why they do it.

I actually nod off a little bit and doze for much of the flight over to DTW — I guess even with sleeping most of the way from Hong Kong to Chicago, I’m still kinda behind on my sleep.

It’s overcast in Detroit, and we don’t see much until we’re almost on the ground.

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And we touch down at about 7:04. 

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Just a few minutes later, we find our home near the end of the McNamara Terminal, with this lovely A220 (née C-Series) two gates down.

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Arrival into DTW

I grab my luggage, and off I go into the McNamara Terminal 

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One last look at the last of the DC-9s before I make the trip down to Gate A35, from which my flight to Toronto will be departing.

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And that’s about all I have to say about this particular brief flight. I hope you enjoyed it, and join me for the final segment of this trip — it’s just as short, but at least it’s in Domestic First, so it might be nominally more interesting.


See more


Delta Air Lines

Cabin crew5.0

Delta Air Lines Sky Club


Chicago - ORD


Detroit - DTW



Well, it left on time, it arrived on time, and it got me from A to B in something approaching comfort. So I can’t complain. But not even offering water service is an unfortunate policy.

Information on the route Chicago (ORD) Detroit (DTW)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Chicago (ORD) → Detroit (DTW).


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

The average flight time is 1 hours and 1 minutes.

  More information


  • Comment 541261 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5362 Comments

    With almost an hour in the air, they definitely had time to do at least a water run. Regional Carrier crews do it on shorter runs between WAS and NYC and DCA-LGA shuttles even get full bar service in front and back, so it's really an inconsistent policy. Also--if I'd paid for Comfort+, I'd feel ripped off not having received the advertised amenities (i.e. booze). Delta does so much right, and are undeniable the best of the US3 service-wise, but this shows they still have some room to improve. Nevertheless, the hard product is very decent--newer seats, power ports, good leg room (at least in Comfort+...not to much in regular Y).

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 541892 by
      hometoyyz SILVER AUTHOR 542 Comments

      Hi Kevin, thanks for stopping by!

      Yeah, especially in light of water runs being offered to C+ on DTW-YYZ right afterwards, which is a (nominally) shorter flight than this, I was surprised to see absolutely nothing. And at least it gave me something to talk about in what otherwise would have been an (even more) boring report.


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