Flight Review: Delta One Herringbone 777 from Atlanta to Los Angeles

I needed to position myself from Atlanta to Los Angeles after a flight from San Antonio.

I knew I wanted to travel in First Class to take advantage of a complimentary meal, but I didn’t want to pay the high cost of a one-way ticket out of Atlanta. So, I looked at redeeming SkyMiles.

Booking

Delta Flight 195 was the perfect flight for me. It left Atlanta at 5:55 pm and arrived in Los Angeles at 7:45 pm. That was just the right timing for me to be able to eat on the plane and then unwind in my hotel room.

I redeemed 40,000 SkyMiles for this one-way ticket. SkyMiles are generally redeemed at $0.01 per mile, so this ticket ended up being the equivalent of about $400.00. That was a great price since the going rate for a one-way ticket in cash was ~$800 and went as high as ~$1,000.

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The special part about this flight was the plane being used. Delta routinely operates widebody aircraft on transcontinental routes. In this case, I got to fly on Delta’s older 777 herringbone Delta One configuration. To me, this was a nice way to experience the product before Delta discontinues it in favor of the Delta One Suites.

Check-In

I checked in using the mobile app. Much like my previous flight, the check-in was painless and required a few taps.

I showed up at the Atlanta airport about three hours before my flight in anticipation of long lines at security. However, much to my surprise, I was through security in about 20 minutes.

Airport Experience

I navigated to Terminal F– which is where my flight was departing from. After confirming my gate, I made my way to Delta’s SkyClub.

I was able to access the SkyClub with my Platinum Card from American Express since I was traveling on a Delta ticket.

After picking up a glass of iced tea, I went outside to enjoy the planespotting before my flight.

Living the #SkyMilesLife

The lounge also had an array of hot dishes to choose from. I sampled a little macaroni and cheese, chicken pasta, and a chocolate chip cookie.

The SkyClub had an array of food options.

This is one of the better SkyClub’s in Atlanta. Terminal F is smaller than the other terminals, and given the long walks between terminals, the SkyClub was mainly used for passengers departing out of Terminal F. That meant it wasn’t very crowded and there was attentive service from everyone working the lounge.

Boarding

Like many flights I have been on, most people ignored the boarding zones and made an attempt to board with First Class passengers. The gate agent was not having it and walked down the line to confirm only first-class passengers were allowed to board in zone PREM (which is short for Premium).

Once on board, I navigated to my seat.

On-Board

I turned left after entering door L2 and made my way to the end of the aisle. I had chosen seat 1A.

Seat 1A

The shape of the seat was interesting and I was worried the odd headrest shape would be annoying, but it turned out to be just fine. Delta One has 78 inches of pitch and the seats are 21 inches wide.

I immediately noticed the seat controls, USB outlet, and headphone jack.

Seat Controls for Delta One.

Below it was some (minimal) storage space and the remote control for the monitor.

The remote control was a bit outdated, but it responded well and was easier to use than the touchscreen.

Remote control.

There was also a reading light at the top left of the entire panel.

Reading light.

One of the nice parts about this configuration is that I had my own overhead bin. There is no floor storage for takeoff and landing so it was nice to have my backpack easy to reach. The bins were all very large and everyone’s bag fit perfectly.

After stowing my bag and settling in, I noticed something a bit strange and concerning. First off, there was a ton of wear and tear on the casings. This product was definitely getting old. Furthermore, there was a solid 2cm gap between the casing for the seat and the seat control panel. I was a bit concerned whether or not my seat would work, but thankfully, all the buttons and outlets were operating as normal.

Gap between the control panel and the casing.

My other concern with this seat is that there is very minimal storage space. On a long-haul flight with more amenities, this would have been a more of a problem.

The seat itself was comfortable. I found it easy to adjust and was able to comfortably recline.

The seat was comfortable when reclined.

You’ll notice in the above picture that the galley is quite close to this seat. This wasn’t much of a problem during this short transcontinental hop, but on a long-haul red eye, this seat would probably not be the best choice for getting some undisturbed shut-eye.

I also noticed that the privacy factor was not great. After a quick look around the cabin while sitting, and I could see all of my fellow passengers. Seat 1A is slightly better for privacy since there is no one in front of you. Again, not much of an issue for an evening flight, but I would definitely try to avoid the herringbone seat on a long-haul red eye.

Lie-flat seat

In the lie-flat mode, the bed was comfortable and I got about two hours of sleep. The one annoying this was the seatbelt. We hit turbulence as I tried to nap and had to wear the seatbelt with the airbag. The airbag was uncomfortable and made it a bit awkward to find a comfortable position to sleep in.

On-Board Experience

Since this was a domestic flight, there was no amenity kit to speak of. At my seat, I found a blanket and pillow (the same kind on my flight from San Antonio to Atlanta) and LSTN headphones which I was also given on a recent Premium Select flight.

LSTN noise-canceling headphones.

The headphones weren’t bad in quality, above average I would say, but they were uncomfortable with my glasses. Since the screen was too far away for me to see clearly without my glasses, I ended up having to adjust my glasses above my ears to avoid the discomfort.

Delta has an excellent variety of entertainment available on seatback screens. However, the screens were a little outdated in this product. They were also smaller than what other seats and airlines offer in a lie-flat product.

Delta entertainment.

The quality also was not phenomenal. But there was a selection of over 300 films, at least 50 different TV shows, and a wide selection of audio tracks. I settled down to watch Blank Panther as I hadn’t seen it yet.

Except partially through the film, this happened:

Screen glitch.

I had to exit the video player and restart the film in order for the glitch to go away. I’m not sure what the problem was.

Meals

I was given a pre-departure beverage. I selected orange juice and was also presented with a bottle of water.

About 20 minutes after takeoff, a drink and snack service commenced.

Drink and snack service after takeoff.

Soon after, meal orders were taken. Because this was an odd-numbered flight, orders were taken from the back of the Delta One cabin to the front. Being in seat 1A, I was the last to get my order taken. I got lucky as Delta still had my preferred meal available.

The options were briefly described to us as “chicken with vegetables or vegetarian pasta.” I went with the chicken since I’ve had good experiences with Delta’s in-flight chicken.

Delta One First Class meal.

I was served first and the food was nice and warm. Other than that, there isn’t much to stay about it. It was an average meal and nothing tasted exceptionally well. That being said, there was no meal service in economy so I was glad to at least have this.

About 90 minutes prior to landing, another snack service was provided. I was asleep for this, but when I asked about it upon waking up, I learned it was the same snack selection as was served just after takeoff.

Cabin Crew

The captain of our flight, Captain Snowball, was on his last trip with Delta, and this was his penultimate flight with Delta. He had 33 years of service solely as a Delta commercial pilot and a previous 10 years of experience as a US Air Force pilot. His wife and several children joined him during the flight. I thought it was nice for his service to be recognized and made the flight more special for us.

The flight attendants were also phenomenal. They were attentive and made sure to check on me when I was awake. Just prior to landing, the purser came up to me and recognized my Gold Medallion status with Delta. She congratulated me for reaching the status. Throughout the entire flight, every flight attendant greeted me by name. It appeared that I was the only medallion member present in first class since I noticed no other passengers were addressed with the level of service I was.

Overall

Overall, this was a solid product for a transcontinental hop. The seats are definitely showing their age and I would be hesitant to pay for this product on some of the transpacific routes this plane flies.

As usual, the service on Delta was phenomenal and they made sure I felt welcome on the flight. While the catering wasn’t outstanding, it was a nice reminder of the cabin class I was flying in. I hope that Delta starts getting their Delta One Suites on transcontinental routes!

Have you flown on the herringbone 777 configuration with Delta? Let us know in the comments!

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