The airline with the best average rating is Delta Air Lines with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 2 hours and 9 minutes.More information
This would be my only flight in the thick of the pandemic, last July. I figure this would be a useful flight report to compare what flying Delta was like a year later on my recent Delta flights. I booked Delta because I needed to use up the rest of Amex airline credits and they also had the most reasonable fare to Roanoke. First wasn't worth it on this trip given the middle-seat blocking, so I just booked Comfort+.
The Austin airport was fairly empty relative to how it would normally be at this time.
The CLEAR kiosks were giving out free mini bottles of hand sanitizer–much appreciated.
At the time, the Austin Sky Club was not among those that had reopened, so I simply waited around the gate area. Overall, mask-compliance was pretty good in Austin.
My ride was N318NB, an A319 delivered in September 2000.
Boarding began at 12:19pm CT. During the pandemic, Delta boarded back to front. Boarding began with the pre-boarding categories, first class, and Diamond Medallions, then back to front for economy. This meant that Comfort+ actually boarded last. During boarding I noticed that first class and Comfort+ were "full" (with the blocked middle seat), but there were tons of empty seats in economy.
Here is the seat, Comfort+ seats have 34 inches of pitch. Otherwise, they were normal Delta economy seat with a fairly crisp IFE screen. Delta was blocking middle seats at this time. I did not have any seatmates, so had the row to myself.
We pushed back at 12:49pm CT.
N106DU, an A220-100. I didn't realize Delta flew those to Austin at the time.
Is this the retro livery for Southwest?
We took off at 1:10pm. One last look at Austin–it's going to be a while before I'm back.
Unfortunately, I can't tell me much about the climb or when service started as I promptly fell asleep. The food offering appeared to be a small plastic bag with some snacks a small bottle of water. I was a little disappointed because Delta had announced they were resuming beverage service in Comfort+ on flights over 500 miles, so I thought this flight would qualify. Not a big loss, just contrary to press statement.
Shortly after the flight attendants passed out the snack bags, they came around offering headphones (I declined). One of the flight attendants also handed me this lovely note. I was surprised because I have no status on Delta and they didn't seem to be handing these notes to everyone. Was it just everyone who was flying for the first time in a while (if so, surprised at how many people on my flight had flown already during the pandemic)?
The flight was uneventful and I napped most of the way to Atlanta.
The flight attendants began preparing the cabin for arrival about 23 minutes before landing and the captain announced our final descent 7 minutes before touch down. We landed at 3:59pm ET and arrived at Gate A27 8 minutes later.
Cabin & Seat: Delta seats are a bit better than other US legacies because of the IFE monitors. Otherwise, these are standard extra-legroom economy seats.
Service: The note was a pleasant surprise, but otherwise there was (understandably) little service.
Meal & Catering: I was sad that the announced return-to-normal service wasn't actually available in Comfort+. Otherwise, there's not much to say besides it was similar to pandemic reductions that was the case with most US airlines.
Bottom Line: For whatever reason, Delta has consistently much more reasonably priced fares out of Austin. That and the seat-blocking policy are the main reasons I flew with them on this trip.