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Delta Air Lines DeltaONE 757 seats and service SFO to NYC (and back) review

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Bumpertunites, weather and your Delta options (and what NOT to do) – Part 1
Airport Express SFO stood me up (a service to avoid) & UBER saves the day – Part 2
Delta Air Lines DeltaONE 757 seats and service SFO to NYC (and back) review – Part 3
The Radisson Blu Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco review – Part 4
Delta Same day change, regional upgrade certificates and open space – Part 5
Are Delta Mileage Runs still worth it anymore? (a hard look at the numbers) – Part 6

new and old SFO control towers Delta Points blog
View of old and new SFO control towers

I have really been looking forward to flying DeltaONE 757 service, but clearly did not want to pay retail ($1-3k) for the privilege. I had a chance once before from JFK, but my bird was downgraded to the older cradle seats even though the seat map showed the new full flat ones. To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly! But this one worked.

DeltaONE upgrade list sfo Delta Points blog

Let’s start off with the basics on upgrades. On the JFK-LAX/SFO route you can only get complimentary upgrades as a Diamond. The upgrade is what Delta calls an “exception” and you will, if you call at the 24 hour mark before your flight and before you check-in, have the “stand by” for upgrade activated by the medallion rep. Many are reporting that if you just wait that you will auto-activate at the 6 hour mark. I called and I would call if I were you. I attempted to try to be added a bit before the 24 hour mark but it did not work (i.e. rep attempted but even though she said she had, when I called at 24 hour mark to confirm, it was wrong). As you can see from the GIDS shot above I cleared with about 1 hour to go before flight. I also had to call back at the 24 hour mark for the return and cleared just before boarding.

Comfort Plus 757 with DeltaONE seats Delta Points blog (1)

Comfort Plus 757 with DeltaONE seats Delta Points blog (2)

Two quick shots of C+ seats as I boarded. I had originally picked one of the two seaters up front and it would have been fine. Both the outbound and the return flights were very light passenger wise and folks in C+ moved around to have seats open between them.

seatbacks DeltaONE 757 Delta Points blog

DeltaONE Seats 757 Delta Points blog (1)

First impressions was that the cabin has squeezed as much seating into a small area as possible and that feeling only deepened during the flights. The aisle is narrow and the cabin “feels” tight. They have really used every inch they could. But the seats themselves are nice.

DeltaONE Seats 757 Delta Points blog (2)

DeltaONE Seats 757 Delta Points blog (3)

Unlike the 777 herringbone seats, these are only slightly angled and after a bit you really don’t notice. Shoulder width and such was fine and other than my seat mate spreading out her “stuff” and hogging the shared space I had no issues.

DeltaONE Seats 757 Delta Points blog (5)

DeltaONE Seats 757 Delta Points blog (4)

A single power and USB power port are behind you as well as the IFE sound jack. I both like and hate where this is located. I like it is out of the way but I hate that you have to have the cords snaking over and around you. I would rather have them in front or closer to the bottom of the seat. Not the best design if you ask me. It was a good place for the TUMI kit. I am just shy of 6 foot tall and leg room was ample and great as you can see. A bit cramped, yes, but again there is only so much space to work with.

seat controls DeltaONE 757 Delta Points blog

ife seat controller DeltaONE 757 Delta Points blog

tray table storage DeltaONE 757 Delta Points blog

Seat controls were very nice and very simple. A good design and the plus was it is close at hand. The minus is you can hit it now and then accidentally. Overall good. IFE (in flight entertainment) control is standard touch screen or you can use the remote in your seat. Both worked well (when the IFE was running). The tray table is in the side pocket and worked well and gave you ample extension and space. I like this design for function.

mimeso DeltaONE 757 Delta Points blog

climbing out of SFO DeltaONE 757 Delta Points blog

Nothing like starting the day with a mimosa and nice to see this extra touch on this route. I would like to see this more as it is not like Delta is using a top notch champagne anyway and how much more could a bottle of bubbly wine add to the cost of say an ATL-SFO route etc? Just a thought.

cabin service DeltaONE 757 SFO to JFK Delta Points blog

drink service from cart DeltaONE 757 Delta Points blog

Drink service began with the now consistent cart service just like on international flights, that is, a cart covered with a black DeltaONE cover. Some prefer the personal service like other airlines do that is running back and forth to the galley. I guess I really don’t care one way or the other as long as the service is quick and I think the cart service does provide that.

DeltaONE 757 menu Delta Points blog

breakfast DeltaONE 757 service SFO to JFK Delta Points blog (1)

breakfast DeltaONE 757 service SFO to JFK Delta Points blog (2)

While it is nice to see a menu for breakfast, the actual breakfast was not “that” impressive. Compared to the standard business class breakfast we started with a smoked salmon and fruit starter course and then after that the standard Delta omelet. They also ran out after me with a full row to go in DeltaONE class. Not good if I had paid over $1,000 for this flight. Over all good but not anything “that” special and the same ugly brown faux wood grain trays.

Let me break in here and say what was special was the service. It was truly impressive. The FA in charge of the cabin was just about always around. I never had to wait for anything and was asked most times if I needed anything or wanted a refill. The service was SO good I gave up one of my few Delta provided Job Well Done certs. I will contrast this with the return trip later on.

landing at JFK DeltaONE 757 Delta Points blog (1)

landing at JFK DeltaONE 757 Delta Points blog (2)

The only real issue was a mechanical delay out of SFO. There was not enough pressure to fire up the engines. This happens more often than you might think and is not a major issue. Once one is running they can draw power to start the next one. Our issue was we were pushed way out and had to be dragged all the way back to the gate to power up. The result was an hour delay departing. The crew made up almost all the delay in the air, but then we had to circle inbound to JFK.

DeltaONE 757 jets in JFK Delta Points blog (1)

DeltaONE 757 jets in JFK Delta Points blog (2)

The result was I had VERY little time to make my connection back to SFO but it worked. My first ride was parked next door to my next ride and I all but walked off one flight and onto the next to fly back.

problems with IFE DeltaONE from JFK Delta Points blog

My return flight was nothing like my outbound. We departed on time but that was one of the high points of this JFK based crew return flight. To start with the IFE was buggy and had to restart. Next, the service was just about the worst I have had in over 50 segments on Delta this year. I had to, for the first time all year, hit the “ding” button just to get a water. What a complete let down after the amazing outbound crew.

appetizer DeltaONE 757 dinner from JFK Delta points blog

dinner DeltaONE 757 from JFK Delta Points blog

Much like the outbound, dinner was two courses (I removed the ugly tray btw). I have often referred to the Delta transcon service as international “lite”. I think a better choice would be domestic plus or D+ service as it is better but nothing like Delta international. The starter course, prosciutto, cheese and asparagus was quite good. The dinner, while it may not look like much, was a little bit of chicken, sausage and spicy jambalaya and it was good too. Nice fire for the taste buds. I enjoyed it.

I am really happy I got to test this out and at a decent price. I earned 5,172 MQMs for this round trip (and a few thousand SkyMiles I no longer care about) for just $310.60. That would have resulted in 6CPM (not all that great) but I used a bump voucher so my net cost was zero. I even used a voucher to fly out to SFO, so my positioning cost to try the product was also zero and I scored an extra 4,178 MQMs for those flights.

Some final thoughts. If you are flying with a partner it really is no big deal not to have direct aisle access. However, the space is REALLY tight and getting out if your seat mate does not get up is a challenge. I had window out and aisle back and was happy to pop up when my seat mate wanted up. Please do this if you are in these seats.

I have to say my overall impression, maybe partially due to half amazing half lack luster service, was underwhelming. Yes, this is a nice product and a step above normal Delta business class service but I would not pay hundreds more over standard business class. I would NEVER EVER use a global upgrade certs for this flight alone unless it were incorporated into an international trip with this as one of the segments.

Lastly, with confirmed seats, Delta is currently upgrading the Skyclub food choices preflight. An interesting idea and I think we may see more and more of this as Delta does focus their attention on improving the Skyclub experience overall.

Have you had a chance to fly the Delta transcon service? Have you been impressed? – René
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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

18 Comments

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  2. FNT Delta Diamond Reply

    I’ve flown DTW-BOS-AMS-BRU (all in domestic first-class/Delta one/KLM intra-Europe business-class) and BRU-ATL-DTW (Delta one/domestic first-class) in the last week.

    KLM’s ground staff is unhelpful and doesn’t follow Delta policies, but the flight attendants are mostly friendly, rather attractive and even on a 25-minute AMS-BRU flight provide service. Delta’s international service was good, but slow (two hours on an overnight flight to even get to my main course!). On my return, catering was an issue as many special meals didn’t make it aboard. Plus, there’s no real lounge in Brussels, despite Delta one airfares routinely above $7,000.

    I really wish Delta would give me a voucher for say $75 at an airport restaurant for dinner in lieu of eating onboard. Not only don’t I enjoy eating at 10 p.m. on an overnight to Europe, but it also impacts my sleep — the most important and only compelling reason to spend the money, miles or certificates for Delta one.

    • @FNT – Txs for feedback. As mentioned, I think you will see more food choices in Skyclub pre-DeltaONE flights moving forward. A nice option for those who just want to go to sleep like you.

  3. I’m a Diamond and take LAX-JFK-LAX at least monthly, sometimes twice a month — and usually redeyes. I was always upgraded prior to March 2014, but since then have seen many flights sold out in Business even a week before the flights, so I use K fares and miles to confirm Business seats. Even those seats are hard to find, though mileage upgrades seem to get priority over any complimentary upgrades.

    Regarding service, I have never experienced what you describe on your return. The FAs have ranged from very good to terrific, glasses are always refilled, and attitudes are always good. Usually I’ve been on the 767s, and I prefer seats 1A and 1D for the extra room for feet and the privacy afforded all window seats. The couple of times I’ve taken the refurbished 757s, I’ve discovered that again Row 1 provides a lot more room for feet, though of course not the same privacy. My main problem with the 767s (and this may be limited to one plane I keep getting) is that the reclining mechanism needs to be reset. It’s always been fixed pre-flight — one time the captain did it himself — but be sure to test your seat before departure.

    Anyway, I’ve always had great service and feel the extra cost of a K class fare and 25,000 files round trip is a good value. It’s comfortable; you get a fine meal (even the burgers on the eastbound redeye is excellent); and the only disadvantage is that I usually sleep through the warm cookie service — but there are usually a couple of extras the FAs will bring me during initial descent.

    I realize I’m not getting much out of being a Diamond except the phone reps and the global upgrades. The best I can hope for next year is to be Platinum, and even that will be a stretch. Most likely I’ll continue the same routine next year on LAX-JFK flights and just burn through the miles.

  4. When did you fly this route? The dinner looks very different to what I have experienced on this route in the past year (most recently in early April) — the starter used to be an elaborate plate of various Italian snacks, while the mains were truly international quality. That jambalaya main you had appears to be the same thing I had on an ATL-LGA a few months ago — good, but really not “Delta One” quality.

    It would be a tremendous shame if they’ve downgraded the meal service on these routes as it was really one of the crown jewels of Delta’s catering operation, in my opinion.

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  8. Wow Rene!! that looks like a real downgrade in meal quality from before!!

    Was wondering when those $599 Mint fares and the pressure on fares for Delta would have an impact on the product.

    What a shame. I last flew that route in April and it was much better looking than what you were served.

    Was the cheese plate available?

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  11. Hey Rene, I am about to fly this on the jfk lax route and was wondering about the bulkhead? In the pictures it seems to have a much larger foot area like on the 767s, did you notice if thats the case? I’m just debating where to sit.

    Thanks!

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