Delta Boeing 717 vs Airbus A220 – Which Plane Is Better?

Delta has two 110-seater aircraft in its fleet. The Boeing 717 and Airbus A220 are the smallest mainline jets in Delta’s fleet. However, there are some differences when it comes to the passenger experience. Here’s what the aircraft is like.

The A220 is Delta’s newest 110-seat jet. Photo: Getty Images

The Airbus A220

Delta Air Lines currently has only the Airbus A220-100 in its fleet. These jets are outfitted with 12 seats in first class, 15 in Comfort+, and 82 in standard economy for a total of 109 passengers.

First class is outfitted in a 2-2 configuration. The seats are standard recliner-style, but they are more similar to the airline’s Premium Select international premium economy product. On the airline’s longer routes, passengers can expect a meal service and complimentary premium beverages. Seats are 20.5 inches wide with 37 inches of pitch.

FC A220
First class on the Airbus A220. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Next up are 15 seats in extra-legroom economy. This is outfitted in a 2-3 configuration. Comfort+ comes with complimentary alcoholic beverages, dedicated overhead bin space, and priority boarding. The seats are 18.6 inches wide, with 34 inches in pitch.

Last are the standard Main Cabin seats. The 82 seats are also outfitted in a 2-3 configuration with one set of two seats where there should be three in the overwing exit row. These seats are also 18.6 inches wide but have between 30 and 32 inches of pitch. 30 is the most standard.

A220 Seatback
All passengers have access to inflight entertainment on the A220s. Photo: Delta Air Lines

All passengers have access to WiFi, a USB outlet, power points, and personal on-demand seatback entertainment. The jet has a maximum range of 2,415 miles (or 3,887 kilometers), according to Delta.

The Boeing 717

Delta’s Boeing 717s seat 12 passengers in first class, 20 in Comfort+, and 78 in economy. This brings the maximum capacity on these aircraft to 110 seats.

Delta 717 getty
The 717s came to Delta after they flew for AirTran. Photo: Getty Images

First class is in a standard 2-2 recliner-style configuration. The seats are 19.6 inches wide, with 37 inches in pitch. Food and beverage wise, first class passengers receive the same beverage and meal service depending on the route as they would on an Airbus A220.

Next up in Delta Comfort+, there are 20 seats in a 2-3 configuration. These seats are 18.1 inches wide with 34 inches of pitch. Comfort+ passengers receive complimentary alcoholic beverages, dedicated overhead bin space, and priority boarding.

In economy, the seats are also outfitted in a 2-3 configuration. The seats are 18.1 inches wide with 31 inches of pitch. Over the wing exits in row 20 there are only three seats. One solo seat is on the side that normally has two seats, and there is a pair of two on the side where there are usually three seats.

717 interior
No seatback entertainment on the 717s. Photo: Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons

Passengers can access WiFi onboard. There are no personal on-demand seatback screens, but passengers can access complimentary entertainment and plug in their devices to charge using a power outlet or USB port.

So which plane is better?

From a passenger experience, the Airbus A220, with its on-demand seatback entertainment, is a fantastic aircraft. Plus, in all cabin classes, the seats are slightly wider, and the overhead bins are larger, meaning more room for your carry-on luggage.

But, the Boeing 717 should not be overlooked. If you are an elite member looking for an upgrade, there are more Comfort+ seats on the 717s, meaning a better shot at getting a complimentary upgrade on your journey. Plus, the solo seat in row 20 can be a passenger favorite.

Which one is your favorite, the 717 or the A220? Let us know in the comments!