Review of Delta Air Lines flight Kailua Los Angeles in Domestic First

Airline Delta Air Lines
Flight DL1298
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 757-200
Flight time 05:10
Take-off 27 Oct 14, 22:00
Arrival at 28 Oct 14, 06:10
DL   #31 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 833 reviews
By SILVER 5380
Published on 31st January 2015
Welcome to the next installment in this series of flights between Washington, DC and the Big Island, Hawaii. Just like on the way over, we will have 3 flights on the return portion to maximize mileage earning. The only way to do a one-stop between KOA and DCA with Delta would have been to connect to Alaska Air's direct LAX-DCA flight, and what's the fun in that? :-P

As with most flights departing Hawaii for the mainland, this flight is a redeye…and boy were my eyes red at the end :-P

The routing:

Washington-Reagan DCA - Los Angeles LAX, Alaska Airlines, B737-800. Economy
Los Angeles LAX - Honolulu HNL, Delta Air LInes, B757-300, First Class
Honolulu HNL - Kailua-Kona KOA, Hawaiian Airlines, B717-200, First Class
Kailua-Kona KOA - Los Angeles LAX, Delta Air Lines, B757-200, First Class [THIS REPORT]
Los Angeles LAX - Detroit Metro DTW, Delta Air Lines, B757-200, First Class
Detroit Metro DTW - Washington-Reagan DCA, Delta Air Lines, MD88, First Class [NO REPORT]

A few more bonus pics of the Big Island before getting into the flight.

We visited a recent lava flow close the the house that we rented. You can walk freely on the black volcanic rock and explore. It's like being on another planet. There was an active lava flow less than a mile from the house in the village of Pahoa, but the police and military do a good job of blocking it off for safety reasons. I would have liked to see it for the novelty of it all, but I understand that they have to keep people away…you know some idiot would probably catch fire while trying to take a selfie if they let people close to it :-P

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There is a black sand beach that reminds me a lot of the beaches in Iceland…with warmer water of course :-)
Swimming here is ill-advised as the currents are very strong on this side of the Island. There are very few safe swimming beaches on the Hilo side–arguably, there are none.

And as in Iceland, one can find statues of volcanic rock on the lava flow.

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I really enjoyed all the different patterns and shapes you could see in the rock and the different colors reflected in the sun.

Hawaii is known for its rainbows and we definitely got to see a few each day. No wonder Hawaiian license plates have rainbows on them.

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As mentionned above, you have to go to the Kona side for some beach time. This is Hapuna Beach, north of Kona.

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And another rainbow. No double rainbows…disappointed :-P

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The Big Island is known for its very diverse landscapes. Our rental house on the Hilo side was literally in the rainforest–it seriously downpoured several times a day. Then you go to the Kona side and it's a desert with cactii. But from either side, you can see the two gigantic volcanoes, Mona Kea and Mona Loa, rising through the clouds and dominating the island.

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The Volcano in the clouds.

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The rental

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Sadly, it's time to leave this paradise and return to the harsh cold reality of life in DC :-/

Kona Airport in the distance.

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The Kona airport is prety small, and with the majority of flights to the Mainland departing around the same time it becomes a crowded mess.

The check-in was pretty quick with the Sky Priority line but security was a disaster. There is no Priority lane for First class or Elites…the line was super long and moved at a snail's pace. It took us a good 45 minutes to clear security. Good thing we had gotten to the airport early!

Kona Airside

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We can see our plane from the central zone airside.

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The boarding gates are poorly indicated with confusing signage. The gate areas themselves are very small and cramped. It's kind of odd to feel cramped in an open-air airport.

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Boarding starts on time and the gate agents are super nice and efficient. Boarding starts with First Class and we're among the first on the tarmac headed to our 757.

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The cabin on these old birds dedicated to Hawaii flights are really showing their age. What a contrast with the newly refurbished 757-300 I had on the way over!

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My seat in 1A.

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Bottles of water on the central console as usual, and 2 pairs or cheap headsets.

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The legroom in the 1st row is terrible…I mean really bad. Because these seats have legrests, there is even less space for your legs. and you can barely lift up the legrests because they hit the wall right away…what's the point? The seat pitch in the other rows, however, seems to be above average for DL.

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Safety Card

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The lead Flight Attendant is very nice and comes to introduce herself as soon as we are settled in. She offers pre-departure drinks.
Mai Tai please! Hey, we're still in Hawaii :-)

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A special Cars livery Alaska B738 parked next to us.

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We push off the stand on-time and we're on our way for a short 5 hour redeye flight to the Mainland.

With at departure time at 10PM, we won't be getting a full meal on this flight, unfortunately. There is only one option, a warm ham sandwich. It was pretty good, but insufficient. I was kind of hungry since I didn't get to eat dinner as a result of standing in line at security for 45 minutes.

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I had a California red with my meal–it was ok, nothing special, but not bad either. Our FA came to check on us regularly for refills.

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After 2…or 3 glasses, I'm ready to nod off :-P
I slept a good 3 or 4 hours up until the FA woke me to put my seat back up for landing.

Approaching the California coast.

We landed well ahead of schedule.

TBIT is deserted at 6AM.

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Last view of this old cabin as we exit.

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Welcome to Los Angeles … too bad we don't have time to stay here a few days.

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Mahalo! Thanks for reading and see you soon for the next report in the series!
See more


Delta Air Lines

Cabin crew8.0

Kailua - KOA


Los Angeles - LAX



Overall, an average boardering on good flight.

Comfort: Ok, so let's be honest, it's definitely better to be up front than in the back for a redeye, but the hard product is definitely poor on these Hawaii flights. I can't blame DL, the competition also sends aging domestic F cabins to Hawaii. Considering the HI to Mainland market is mostly lower-yielding leisure travel, I really don't expect DL or any other carrier to put lie-flats up front on any West Coast to Hawaii routes.

The legroom in the first row was just rediculous. I could barely keep my feet straight as my heal touched the legrest and my toes touched the bulkhead. And yet, despite this, I was able to get a decent amount of sleep, though maybe not restful sleep, but I won't be too harsh on the grade here.

Crew: Our FA was very nice and checked on us regularly.

Catering: disappointing, but acceptable.

IFE: Overhead screens on this old bird.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an AvGeek who loves a 757 as much as the next guy, but Delta, please do something about the interiors on your 75V fleet because they are TIRED!

Information on the route Kailua (KOA) Los Angeles (LAX)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 4 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Kailua (KOA) → Los Angeles (LAX).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Delta Air Lines avec 7.4/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 5 heures et 2 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 128265 by
    Esteban GOLD 20291 Comments
    Thanks for sharing Kévin! Seems that I had fruits to go with the sandwich from HNL :)

    Looking at your pictures sent me back to Big Island. Loved this place and would love to return. But first, I'd like to visit Kauai. If you plan a trip there let me know, I'll join :)
    • Comment 309690 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 6859 Comments
      Thanks for your comment! It's good that we're posting our Hawaii trips with DL at the same time so we can compare the experiences. Your return flight looked better than mine since you got an updated 753, but in a way I'm glad I got this old bird because the seat recline was actually quite good, for a night flight...just the legroom sucked. I would love to go to Kauai! I'll definitely go back to Hawaii, hopefully this year. I'll let you know!
  • Comment 128420 by
    NGO85 SILVER 2002 Comments
    Thanks for the report, beautiful night time tarmac shots of your 757 even if the inside left a lot to be desired. That is a brutal bulkhead seat and arguably worse than economy since you can never extend your legs. I always try and avoid bulkhead on aircraft without flatbeds because you never really know what kind of bulkhead you are going to get, they are often so variable.

    PS - Nice parking job!
    • Comment 309801 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 6859 Comments
      Thanks for your comment! Yeah, a bulkhead seat is always a can be great, or it can be ridiculously awful like in this case. You'll see on the report following this one that bulkhead was good there. Especially since Delta has like 8 different versions of 757 configurations, it's difficult to keep all of them straight and know all the aircraft. Hehe, I wasn't even trying to get in the lines, the lot was empty :-)

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