Delta One 777 review – It’s time for an upgrade Delta!

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Lisa looks happy to be on-board

While my wife is smiling warmly tucked into one of the best Delta One seats on a 777 I would rather have been sitting on an A330 that I had booked. But, Delta being Delta (with no notice clearly) swapped out the jet for a chunky old 777.

Ugg – Got paint?

These birds are set to be refurbished with Delta One Suites and Premium Select seats soon and let me tell you it can not come soon enough. This product is just flat out beat up as you can tell. I will not cover the seats as I have posted about them before (here and here for example) and they are going away soon anyway.

OK, this really is nice Delta!

What I will cover instead is the outstanding service that is just the norm every time I fly Delta One to Europe and the meal service. I do like the personal touch of a card from the head purser to me as a Diamond Million miler. I know they are encouraged to do this but do not have to so it still means something to me.

What would you choose?

Menus are normally either passed out before takeoff or already at your seat. I like this as speeding up service for those who want to sleep ASAP matter. Since I did want to sleep (or at least try to) I choose the seafood pasta dish.

Click any photo for full screen slideshow

Meal service was quick once we were at cruise altitude. The appetizer and soup was unimpressive. But the Caesar salad was nice so I mostly focus on that. Now the entree

Much better than it looks.

While this may not look all that impressive it really was quite good and I enjoyed just about every bite.

It was packed with shrimp and scallops. These kinds of entries where they are almost all pasta are disappointing but not this one. Well done Delta.

Feeling rather full after all that pasta I went with a simple cheese and fruit plate with a cognac before drifting off with the Delta Westin Heavenly blanket and pillow.

During a lav visit I noticed they did have a snack basket out with extra waters for you to help yourself. I also like the slightly larger waters they use on these flights vs. the domestic mini bottles.

I slept through breakfast as I had enough time to visit the KLM Crown Lounge before my next flight and for whatever reason I am never that impressed with the pre-landing breakfast choices anyway. But I did wake up enough to get some great Skyteam shots on the way to the gate (not enough time to visit the observation deck sad to say)!

Overall this was another nice Delta One Atlantic crossing to start our adventure in Barcelona and our Epic Haven Transatlantic crossing. I was thrilled to find it for 70k Level 1 business class one way award but clearly disappointed in the equipment swap. To be fair Delta had offered to swap me to another routing via JFK (direct to BCN from there) but that flight would be so much shorter and arrive so early that A) I would not sleep much and B) could not check in to my hotel that early.

You tell me – are you still impressed with Delta One meals in general and the service the Delta FAs provide? What do you think of the 777 Delta One seats vs. others? Are you looking forward to seeing Premium Select seats on these jets or will you miss the “free” medallion Comfort+ upgrades you can now get on the 777. Let me know in the comments below! – Rene

 

 

 

18 comments

  1. The DL 777-200 seats are terrible, I agree. They lack privacy and have no storage. The “suites” are a huge improvement over the DL 777 seats. They have a little bit of storage and a door. But the privacy comes more from the way the seats are aligned and the wall the door recesses into rather than by adding a door to the narrow opening to the seat. The A350 seats are not herringbone style but face straight ahead like the business-class seats on the DL 767s. That means feet are wedged under the console of the seat in front and that there is a narrow passage between the console and the seat in front just like on the 767. On the A350, you have some of the same “foot claustrophobia” as on the 767. The reverse herringbone Super Diamond seats on American 777-200s and 787-9s have more storage and feel more comfortable compared to the A350.

    As much s DL wants to pretend that it has a first class product (Delta One), the A350 and 777 “suites” are not first-class seats and do not offer first-class service. Moreover, SkyMiles cannot get anyone a ride in first class on any airline. With sky-high Skymiles prices for business class, I hate to think what DL might charge for an award in first class.

    Premium economy at the expense of C+ economy seats is not a good trade off IMO. DL food is good and I’m glad it has finally dumped the faux wood trays. As far as service, DL is very good. The service on American, in my experience, is also very good. Both have a way to go to equal many of the Asian carriers.

  2. The D1 food is improving, but still has a lot of weak areas. For instance, the soup is never hot. You are lucky if it is warm. (In contrast on a recent KE flight, the soup was actually hot. I asked how they didi it and the answer was they heat it in the oven. DL uses a thermos the caterer filled with soup, and by the time they serve it, it is almost cold.) Also, there have been mix ups. I had the lamb pave on my last trip to Europe, and what was supposed to be mashed cauliflower puree was actually mashed potatoes! The bread in D1 is usually stale by the time I get it. Finally, my biggest beef is that once they serve you, they do not return to ask if everything is OK, like they do in a restaurants. Often times it is not, but when they do not return to you until dessert, it is too late to do anything. Use the call button? Usually pisses them off.

    And I agree 100% breakfasts are bad. Occasionally I have had a really nice omelet, but usually not. And the croissants? Awful.

    So D1 food has improved in many areas, but still has gaping holes in quality and service.

  3. I usually can’t sleep on planes so I try to catch up on movies. Thus the snacks are as important as the meals D1 snacks are far skimpier and more boring than domestic first class. I miss the NWA days when they would just put out a 2# box of Godiva. I have complained on Delta.com and to FA but the snacks only seem to get worse.

  4. @Glenn, agree 100%. I used to take NWA, ATL to BKK all the time in Biz, and the snacks were great. They had wonderful upscale chocolates including Godiva and Toblerone. The snacks in D1 are pitiful.

  5. I recently flew D1 777 and was surprised at the “worn” feeling inside the cabin. The bathroom was ill kept and smelled of old urine which I pointed out to the FA.
    The pumpkin soup was meh and I skipped it. The beef was rather tough and not up to snuff. On the otherhad , the cod entree was excellent! I am hoping for a bit more variety. And looking forward to refurbishment. Next week I’ll be flying to Narita in premium comfort and am excited to experience this for the 80k points I booked it for! More soon! I find the Asian meals from the Asian countries to be lovely

  6. I agree 100% about the seafood spinach lasagna! I had that dish in late October in D1 during a 767 flight from Seattle to Beijing and I loved it. As you noted, the lasagna has tons of seafood. In September, I had the lamb pave during a D1 flight from SFO to JFK, and it was fine, but the lasagna was a real surprise.

    On the way back, I was in D1 on a 777 from Shanghai to Los Angeles. I know I am in the minority, but I like the herringbone seats. I sleep on my side and like to move my legs and feet around, and I hate having my legs in a tiny tube. The only D1 seats I like on the 767 are in the first row. Based on what I have read, I expect I will not like the leg room of the D1 Suites.

    Next month I am taking Virgin Atlantic from San Francisco to Delhi. A ticket in “Upper Class” was only $3400 and will earn me more than $7600 MQDs. I will probably also knock out an additional $1000 MQDs flying domestic on Jet Airways in India. Meeting the MQD requirement will end up being a lot easier than I imagined.

    Given the new partner charts, it does seem that Delta is biasing Diamond Medallion status in favor of the international flyer. I guess this makes sense. Delta really does not need to reward the loyalty of domestic fliers given the completion from United and American, but both Star Alliance and Oneworld have some really wonderful members.

    The first leg of the Virgin flights will be on an A340, and the last three legs will be on Dreamliners. I have never flown on Virgin Atlantic or a Dreamliner, and am looking forward to the experience. While I have read quite a few negative reviews of Virgin’s herringbone seats, I think I will like the seats.

  7. I love the C+ Medallion upgrades on the 777, esp. if I can get the bulkhead row 29, which I always do. I fly JNB-ATL each year, and I go for the window 29A or J, because there is so much leg room you can easily get out without disturbing your neighbors. I’m a whopping 5’7″ and 135 lbs, so economy seats are not physically challenging for me, but I could not come close to being able to touch the bulkhead wall with my feet. So I put my bag down and can elevate my legs and sleep like a baby.

    And at least they are still 3-3-3 in steerage and have not gone to 3-4-3 like most other airlines.

  8. The foot wells on the 777 are preferred by me over 767 footwells. I much prefer the 777. I’ve chosen to go to C+ on 767 as the strain on my knees and hips from the narrow footwell is just too uncomfortable.

  9. Delta flies the 777s on its ATL-JNB route and my GUC’s cleared both ways. I am always happy to be in business, but agree, the D1 product needs an upgrade. Everything ended up great, but not excellent. I used Skymiles to fly VA Upper Class from JNB to NYC on a 787 and it was by far a better experience. D1 on the 777 still better than KLM’s 777, mainly due to the heringbone layout.

  10. had a smoked provolone ravioli this week on DL first class not edible!! so much for pasta!! they ran out of the chicken after 12 peeps .so only veggie choice. Think too much veggie meals vs meal 6 pastas// too many no one wanted them.

  11. This is probably a first world problem but I am getting tired of flying Delta One to and from Europe. I fly MSP to either AMS or LHR round trip at least once a month. Well, way better than flying coach but nothing changes on Delta and thus it becomes a boring experinmence. The seats are OK, food is OK if you are hungry, wine list is a joke for what they charge for the ticket, etc… Thus, now that I know what to expect I board the plane and just ask for a bottle of water and to not be bothered until we land. No food, no wine, no movies. I try to sleep as much as I can. For almost $10k a trip I expected much more than what I get.

  12. I fly to ICN regularly. On my last trip, I flew a DL codeshared KE 777-300ER in and returned on a DL A350. This was my first time on the A350 and had really high expectations. I was really looking forward to trying out the D1 suites as my previous trips had last minute 747-400 equipment changes.

    A350 is a great plane. Very quiet. The air quality (pressure, moisture, etc) is great. I especially appreciated this as I was not feeling well. The window seat with the door closed was great privacy. I slept pretty well. How was everything else? I still think the reverse herringbone seats on the 747-400 and A330 are slightly more comfortable for taller folks sleeping. They also offer more storage and superior layout. I was really surprised at how dense the A350 was. After we hit cruising altitude, all I could hear were the FAs preparing for service in the galleys. They don’t have much space to work. It seemed like one of the FAs in PS breaking up ice could only work in an aisle near the economy door.

    In the end, I found myself missing the KE 777-300ER. The food in KE business is really good. The quality of their salad is like perfect. You honestly forget you’re on a plane. They use proper plating and bowls on top of white linen. They don’t mess around with those cluttered trays. They also change silverware between courses. On Delta, they won’t hesitate to move dirty silverware coated with food onto clean linen or tray to be reused.

    DL A350 D1 Pros:
    -Brand new air craft
    -Quiet plane
    -Climate and air quality
    -Good drink service, selection and nuts
    -Great IFE and WIFI connectivity

    DL A350 D1 Cons:
    -Crowded layout. Passengers can’t easily reach restrooms and FAs have no space to work.
    -Inconsistent service. Definitely not polished. At best, friendly. At worst, sometimes surly and impatient. Overall, acceptable.
    -Restrooms are not well tended to
    -Food quality is subpar. The menu is almost too ambitious to consistently execute.

    KE 777-300ER Pros:
    -Tons of space and storage
    -Polished service
    -Spotless restrooms
    -Excellent catering

    KE 777-300ER Cons:
    -Cabin can be too warm at times for westerners
    -Prestige bed can be too short in some positions for taller folks

    What would make the best D1 experience? Send DL FAs to work alongside and train with KE FAs. Also, DL was maybe perhaps too greedy with their layout. Give FAs (and their passengers) more room to work.

  13. @Jeff, I agree with you on all the good points of the KE 777-300. (and additionally I didn’t find the cabin too warm and I’m short so the bed was just fine). I have not yet experienced the DL A350. But I fly the DL 777 on this route a lot and agree the rest rooms are not well cared for, and also that the food is so-so at best, and the service poor. As for the rest rooms on DL, by the end of the flight, all the rest rooms look like pig sties and the paper towel trash bins are all overflowing. How is that KE (and AF and KLM) keep their rest rooms so clean?

  14. Something similar just happened to me this week on a flight I have from ATL-CDG in D1, I bought the ticket two months ago and it was scheduled to be an A-330. Five days before (today) they just decided to change it to a 777 without notice, I am flying with my partner who also without notice was moved to a different seat, now we can’t fly near to each other. Is there anything you could do about that? Thank you!

  15. @Fernando – Nope (unless they want to be nice). The type of aircraft is not a reason to get free changes per Delta.

  16. Delta has already stated that they’re planning to replace the seats on these with the D1 Suites, right? It will be nice once they get these retrofitted and the 767 fleet replaced with A330s.

  17. I am not looking forward to Delta One 777 back to Sydney, Australia. I find the seats to be horrible and lack privacy. They just need to speed up their upgrade of these seats. As far as Delta One cabin service is concerned, I found it to be insincere and dare I say “fake”. This will be my last time on Delta One – I am going back to Qantas A380 First Class service.

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