Flying domestic first class is convenient but not terribly exciting, especially after you have flown domestic first class quite a few times.
With that said, trying a new airline is always exciting on some level and in this case we got to try Delta First Class for the first time.
In this review, I’ll walk you through the experience flying Delta First Class (PHX-MSP) on the A321-200 and also on the 737-900. I’ll touch on some of the lounges that we visited like the Sky Club at PHX and give you a sense of what the cabins are like on the two aircraft.
Table of Contents
This flight kicked off a super busy trip to the Northeast where over about 10 days we hit up basically every state and got a good taste of what the region had to offer.
Here are some of the trip highlights:
- National Mall in Washington DC (1 Day/24hr Itinerary)
- Fenway Park: Parking, CLEAR, and a Rowdy Atmosphere
- Guide to Acorn Street at Beacon Hill (Boston, MA)
- Salem Witch Trials Historical Sites To Visit
- Hocus Pocus Filming Sites in Salem, MA Guide
- Hampton Inn Salem| Boston Massachusetts Review
- AC Hotel Washington DC Convention Center Review
- Renaissance Albany Hotel Review (New York)
After looking for some different flight options from Phoenix to Baltimore, I found that Delta was consistently offering the cheapest first class routes and so it made sense to go with them.
In fact, I’ve often seen Delta First Class as the cheapest option for a lot of routes and it has me wondering if they consistently offer cheaper first class options.
Could be a coincidence but I might need to look into that for a future article….
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Lounge at PHX
We decided to give a visit to the Delta Sky Club at Phoenix at Terminal 3.
Because we were both Platinum cardholders and flying Delta we were able to get in for free, which was really nice. Just remember that if only one person has the Platinum Card the guest does not get in for free to Delta Sky Clubs.
Overall, this was a very solid lounge experience.
I thought that the lounge was beautiful, clean, and not overcrowded. The breakfast was hearty and had some nice additional options like fresh berries. The Wi-Fi was fast and there were no issues with anything really. Just a great lounge visit.
As a Delta First Class passenger, you get priority boarding so we were among the very first to board. The entire boarding process went very smoothly with no issues whatsoever.
I was really surprised whenever we entered the cabin at how nice the first class cabin looked. The A321 has five rows in a 2–2 configuration for a total of 20 seats in first class.
Both United and American have pretty boring looking domestic first class cabins in my opinion with very ordinary black or charcoal gray seats.
But the seats in Delta First had a little bit of color and personality to them with red branded accents which I really liked.
We took our seat and then I was pleasantly surprised once again to see that we had a seatback TV considering that on the last few first class flights on both American and United we did not have seatback TVs. (Delta is one of the best airlines for seatback entertainment.)
Everyone seems to have an opinion on the necessity of seatback TVs but I’m in the crowd that believes airlines should be trending towards adding them rather than taking them away.
They also issued mini water bottles with Delta branding on them.
The seat back TV had a headphone jack and USB port and there were two power outlets and two USB ports in the back of the two seats in front of us.
Just like any other first class domestic product, the seat offered plenty of legroom.
In fact, you’ll have 36 inches of legroom along with 21 inches of width. You can get a good amount of recline if you would like although I typically don’t recline on short flights (unless the person in front of me forces me to).
I enjoyed the in-flight entertainment selection, which gave a good selection of movies and series. The screens were responsive and quality which is all you can really ask for.
You can always get a heads up on what will be playing by checking out the entertainment page for Delta.
During takeoff, we had some amazing views of the desert landscape around Phoenix. I can never get enough of these takeoffs at sunrise!
The tray table comes out from the armrest and it’s pretty easy to pull out. You can fold it over to only utilize half of it to hold a drink if you’d like.
Or you can just pull out the whole thing to get some work done or for a meal.
Since this was during the pandemic, we still had to wear a mask and the food was provided via a snack box.
To get things started, Brad ordered a bloody Mary but I don’t think it was one of the better ones he has had in first class.
It was essentially a charcuterie board with a variety of cheeses including smoked gouda, sharp cheddar, and alpine style. We also had some olives, fig spread, and almonds. Overall, I thought it was a pretty solid “snack meal” but will be interested in trying out a hot meal from Delta in the future.
During the meal, we were treated to some amazing views of the southern Rockies. I really struggled to take my eyes off the window view.
We also got a nice glimpse of a full rainbow.
I connected to the Wi-Fi during this flight and was pretty happy with the connection speed which was 34 Mbps for downloads.
I actually had a good enough connection to participate in a Google Meet conference call although I did not talk during the call because that is annoying/rude and technically against the flying rules.
Eventually, we would touch down at MSP.
It was here that we got to visit the MSP Escape Lounge, which was yet another perk of the Amex Platinum. The service was pretty solid in there and they had some decent offerings which made it a worthwhile visit on the layover.
After the layover, it was time for our final leg to Baltimore which was also in first class but on a 737-900.
I really liked the mood lighting in the cabin.
Once again, I just thought Delta First Class was one of the sleeker domestic first class cabins, especially when compared to American and United.
I also liked being able to start the flight off with a new brand of sparkling water/club soda: Fever-Tree. Even though these are made for mixed drinks they mostly satisfy my sparkling water fix on flights.
If you don’t have headphones, you can get some issued to you.
Finally, we took off and made our way to Baltimore to kick off this crazy trip!
Domestic first class flights only get so exciting after you’ve done them a lot of times.
With that said, this was our first time flying Delta First Class so it was interesting to see how it would go.
I walked away pretty impressed by the cabin/experience and would probably say this is one of the best standard domestic first class products.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.