Review of Delta Connection flight New York Washington in Economy

Airline Delta Connection
Flight DL5731
Class Economy
Seat 8A
Aircraft Embraer E-175
Flight time 01:32
Take-off 19 Feb 22, 16:02
Arrival at 19 Feb 22, 17:34
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
Manbou
By 384
Published on 24th February 2022

Welcome back to my first actual travel series on here. As the rest of the year is somewhat difficult for me in terms of finding time for a vacation, and that my last stay in the USA was cut short abruptly for reasons everybody is sick and tired of hearing from by now, the decision where to go was made very quickly. That the only other attractive goal for my trip - Japan - is still closed off to the world as I'm writing these lines, and the US lifted their immigration ban for Schengen area inhabitants last fall made the decision even more easy to make.
I had specific reasons for choosing the first three stops of my little tour of the United States but Houston was more or less chosen because it was expedient. Speaking of expediency, this was also part of the reason why I chose the airlines I chose for this trip. Trip times were good and the prices too. For American Airlines, I was even able to use some travel credit leftover from 2020. Plus, I had wanted to try Delta's long-haul product for some time now and the opportunity was there. The routing for my vacation this year is as follows:



This part is about the second flight of the series, my connecting flight from New York JFK to Washington DCA, after I had come in from Frankfurt earlier that day. Actually, that this routing was possible was part of the decision why I chose Delta for this flight, as Reagan National is just so much more convenient in terms of getting downtown compared to Dulles or even Baltimore (also marketed as "Washington" by some airlines, including Delta). This report, I think, is going to be shorter than usual. First because this is a short flight in which nothing really happens, and second because I wasn't feeling too well after getting up much earlier than normal and having been thoroughly tossed about by substantial turbulences on my way from Germany. I hope you'll enjoy it anyways!


The parking lot - a.k.a. JFK terminal 2


Terminal 2's Airtrain terminal is not actually located in the terminal, as one would expect, but in a parking area. One has to walk along and then across a road first.


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From the road crossing, I could see this plane. If I'm not mistaken, this is my plane from the flight from Frankfurt! (If you haven't already, be sure to check out that flight report here).


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The interior of Terminal 2 is actually pretty small. Judging from its size, it could be some random small town airport somewhere. Here, however, it is just one tiny portion of a very big airport, serving only Delta domestic flights.


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After waiting for about 5 minutes, security was done and I was airside. The security personell, by the way, must have been the most unfriendly I've encountered in the US so far. And that does mean something.
The selection of shops and eateries in the gate area is limited, but still fine. There were also multiple restrooms. The one I visited was adequately sized and decently clean. The apron before Terminal 2 was mainly full of Delta regional and other jets, with the odd exception here and there. Photo 4 of the gallery below shows today's E175SC. The SC version is unique as it was constructed specificly to meet US regional airlines' scope clauses, lowering operating costs for planes with less than 70 seats.



Today's ship: N216JQ, an Embraer 175LR (SC), operated for Delta Connection since its delivery in February 2009 (13 years old).
While it was first operated by Shuttle America, ownership was transfered to Republic Airways, who have operated this aircraft since, in January of 2017.
(All info courtesy of Planespotters.com)


Onboard Experience


Looking at my Delta app at the gate area to find out how full the flight was, I noticed that the marker that highlighted my seat in the seat map was gone. Instead, it had been placed at seat 8A, a window seat in Comfort+! (Probably no surprise for those of you who saw the cover photo). Really nice of Delta to choose me (a Skymiles member but with no status, and not a doctor or PhD either) for that upgrade.
The question now really is: Would I recommend choosing this kind of seat for the regular extra fee of 35€ (approx. $40)?


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And even though it doesn't look like it, the flight was full, and I there were quite a few unlucky standby candidates, if I have understood the announcements correctly. By the way, the screen showing the standby and upgrade lists were broken at this gate at that time.
Boarding commenced on time and went on pretty efficiently.
The seat itself was alright. The quilting pattern certainly looks elegant but does not add to the comfort of the seat at all. Also, the headrest was not moveable or foldable (as you would expect on a regional flight). What really sets this seat apart from the usual Main Cabin seats is the small extra pocket on the seatback in front of you and, more importantly, a few inches more legroom. Seatguru says that the seats in Comfort+ are spaced apart by 34 inches. However, I wasn't impressed that much (disclaimer: I don't know how tight the seats are in Main Cabin, as I've never tried that on that type of plane).



Another, more funny thing - in case you know of my window seat curse, or in other words to choose rows with obstructed or otherwise suboptimal views. This time, the seat wasn't my choicec, and the view was top notch. (However, it rained a bit down in New York, and in general the window was filthy).


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In each seat pocket was a safety card, which I found to be especially quirky. First, Delta's patriotism doesn't only seem to extend to the US - but also to Brazil.


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Second (but that's actually more of an Embraer quirk perhaps): There aren't life vests on this plane. The seat cushions act as flotation devices.


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Even better, there doesn't even seem to be a place on a life raft for every passenger in case of a full plane being forced to perform a water landing (closely look at the drawings below).


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As the safety card was made for both E170 and E175, there is basically no way for the non avgeek public to see if there actually are life rafts in the rear of the plane or not. The crew made an announcement on the ground that today's plane was an E175, but I think we all know how closely people tend to listen to these announcements… Also, the crew described themselves as being "Columbus Ohio based," which I found interesting as I've never heard that kind of announcement before.
Pushback for the planned 4pm departure time took place at 4:02. The captain made an announcement shortly afterwards, stating that the flight time today would be a mere 56 minutes. I was curious how it would play out in the end, as shortly after activating my US sim card in New York, I received a push message warning of severe weather along the East Coast.

Random JFK taxi photos…



There was quite a line forming before runway 31L. About four planes were before us, and it was stop and go for roughly 20 minutes because two more planes were joining our line shortly before the runway.


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Takeoff waiting line airplane galore…


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Finally takeoff time. Please excuse the bad quality of the photos due to the dirty window.



Because of the intense sunshine, pretty much everyone closed their window blinds even before takeoff, creating sort of an artificial night. SO that's basically it for photos of the scenery before the final approach (during which many people still didn't open their blinds, and the crew didn't seem to care). There wouldn't have been much to see out of the portside windows, anyways, as we were flying past the Jersey shore above the Atlantic for most of the journey.
Inflight service consisted of these small water bottles. The cabin crew made several rounds distributing these and collecting trash, so you could have multiple bottles, if you wanted to.
The free wifi did work on this flight, and I was able to send and receive Whatsapp text messages. Also, the wifi network gave me access to some flight information such as a map of today's route (albeit with a missing background, showing just a line moving between two points) and altitude. Thumbs up for that!


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Approach into Washington & DCA AIrport


After cruising along at about 26000 feet for most of the trip, we curved towards the East and made our approach into Washington Reagan National Airport. Once the descent had commenced, the air become increasingly rough again. Touchdown itself was very smooth, which was quite surprising considering I almost thought we were going to do a go-around.
Enjoy the least bad photos I was able to take during the approach and the landing.



Reaching our arrival gate…


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Deplaning followed quickly and took place via a jetbridge. In no time I found myself in the airside concourse of DCA's Terminal B.


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Getting to the baggage claim area was straightforward. A short walk later, I arrived at the belts, finding that my suitcase was one of the first coming out.


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Finding the metro station was almost as easy. A short while later, I was on my way downtown.

This concludes today's flight report and the first part of this year's US trip. I hope you could still enjoy it (despite the brevity, nothing really happening, and the filthy window…). The next report is going to be better, I promise. Again, thank you for reading this report, and I hope to see you in the next one.

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Verdict

Delta Connection

6.4/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering5.0

New York - JFK

5.9/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness6.5

Washington - DCA

7.4/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness6.5

Conclusion

DL: All in all, a nice experience on this short flight. I can't really rate the entertainment, but I'll give it a slightly positive rating for the BYOD options. Catering gets a neutral rating, because what would you really expect on a flight with a net flight time of less than an hour? Now, to the hard product: I think it is totally adequate for flights as short as this. And yes, I was happy about the upgrade, too. But to the question if I would recommend buying this upgrade for around $40 - no, except maybe if you are really tall. Or you need to get off the airplane rather quickly. Otherwise, I don't think it's worth the price for this flight. I would have given the cabin 8/10 points, but I deducted one point for the window issue.

JFK: Aside from the rude security staff, a generally okay experience, not outstanding in any (positive or negative) way. I'm eager to see how this transfer experience will compare to the one in Atlanta on the way back...

DCA: Not the most exciting airport in the world, but it gets the job done. I was impressed at how promptly the deplaning process could start, and how easy and fast it was to deplane, pick up one's luggage, and head out to the metro. Compared to IAD or even BWI, getting to downtown Washington was a breeze.

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

4 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 596941 by
    dodgerzfan1220 4 Comments

    Ok Ok so a few things. First, Republic aircraft do have life vests under the seats on EOW (extended over water) aircraft operated for American Eagle.

    Second, at each of the four entrances there are escape slides, not life rafts. Each slide can be flipped over if necessary to make a raft but it's as needed for the elderly or disabled. They aren't meant to hold all 69, 70, or 76 passengers (depending on the capacity of the particular aircraft) plus four crew members.

    Third, headrests. That is a Delta thing for the headrests not to go up. Republic's American Eagle and United Express headrests go up and down and are adjustable (foldable), with the exception of United Express thin line seats.

    Fourth, regarding people opening their window shades on final descent, and the crew not seeming to care in your words, it's not a policy or federal law or anything for passengers to open their window shades on final. United has Republic flight attendants make an announcement to have the shades up on take off and landing but hardly anybody does it.

    You commented something and then I think deleted part of the sentence about Columbus, Ohio. Yeah they were CMH based crew. That's one of Republic's 10 bases. It's not unusual for every base to operate flights out of different airports. JFK is not a crew base for Republic, although DCA is, but it's not like crew planning has only that base operate flights to and from the crew's domicile (plus don't get me started on out of base pickups, that will only confuse you more).

    Finally, it's not a case of "Delta's patriotism" extending to Brazil. Embraer builds the E170/E175 in Brazil for all carriers worldwide who operate them.

    • Comment 596949 by
      Manbou AUTHOR 61 Comments

      Well, thank you for stopping by. If you as a Republic/Delta Connetion fanboy/girl feel offended by my report, then it just serves to reassure me that I maintained by critical edge. If you had looked at my other reports, you would have noticed that I try to be fair to everyone and not everything I write is to be taken 100% seriously.
      In case you still didn't get the message, let me clarify all the supposed points of criticism you think you could make regarding my report:
      1. I didn't write about American Eagle, but about Delta Connection --> you totally missed the point.
      2. Show me the regulation. It flies in the face of everything I know about airplane safety in civilized countries.
      3. See 1.
      4. See 2. That nobody does it doesn't make it better, also.
      5. I'm aware of that. It's special *for me* that they announced that, because they've also done that on my FRA-JFK leg and I've never heard this before on any airline. It might be the case that it's normal in the US, I don't know. Also, I'm sorry for you if you think this kind of business overwhelms my thinking capacities. Poor you that you seem to be surrounded by imbeciles daily.
      6. If you had read the preceding report, you would know what I mean.
      Summary: Talk to me again once you know what you're saying.

      PS: Congratulations on your first ever comment on this page. Nice job to register just to prove your bad character, Republic-Bot.

      • Comment 596953 by
        dodgerzfan1220 4 Comments

        Think about what you just said about show me the regulations. How can I show you a regulation that doesn't exist? The FAA and DOT don't write regulations saying what is not required, they write regulations saying what IS required. And in order for the E170/175 to be certified it must be able to be evacuated in 90 seconds or less. That's it. They don't say anything about having to have life rafts in the ceilings like on some mainline aircraft or that the four slides have to be rafts that hold up to 80 people (or more in the case of unticketed infants). So the slides are not designed to do that. That's what the seat cushions are for, and in the case of the EOW aircraft operating for American (which you don't want to talk about apparently) what the life vests are for-- to presumably keep customers and crew members safe until they can be rescued. And the window shades do not have to be open for takeoff and landing, it's not a regulation from the FAA and/or DOT so again, I can't show you a regulation that does not exist. I am aware that SOME foreign airlines require the window shades to be up, but others don't require that. The most recent example that I can think of of an airline I flew on that does not require it is Brussels Airlines when I flew it from Brussels to Entebbe, Uganda and back.

        • Comment 597055 by
          Manbou AUTHOR 61 Comments

          Ok guys, I hope you all have plenty of popcorn...

          Now to you, Dodgerzfan1220. I honestly don't know where to begin. But for example, you could have pointed to the parts of the regulation that specify what the airplane needs to be able to do, so that it can also be discerned from that part what it *doesn't* need to be able to do. Doesn't take a lot of intellectual capacity to think about that, Dodgerzfan1220 LL.M.
          I'm not talking about American because I have no idea how they are doing it. Plus it's irrelevant on a Delta flight report. Not everybody is like you and wants to talk about stuff they don't know anything about and be right.
          The big question here however is: What do you want to take from this so-called conversation? Did you have a bad day and just want to throw some shit at some random person on the internet? Well if that's the case then job done. Also mission completed if you're working for Republic and get paid to defend your employer at all cost. But then I have to say that it backfired because you come across as very self-righteos and childish - maybe you should start working on your pitch a bit harder. In the end, this is not some kind of NTSB/FAA/EASA hearing to put blame on one party or another for something that might or might not have happened. This is just a site on the internet where people upload photos and their subjective takes on a travel experience, and that's it. So I don't see how any of what you have written is pertinent. I could possibly just go ahead and give you a lecture about Fuji Dream Airlines (who also operate E-Jets), that would be as relevant *to this report* as what you have written.
          If you want to have the last word - go for it. I'm out of here.

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