Review: Delta One A330 Dublin To Atlanta

This was my first time flying Delta One, so I was really excited. I found award space on this route for only 70,000 SkyMiles (the lowest redemption rate for Delta flights between the U.S. and Europe), so it was a decent deal (and included a connecting flight to BWI in first class).

Check-in was a breeze – there were no lines in the Delta area. (Aer Lingus, on the other hand, was packed.) I noticed that my boarding pass had the dreaded “SSSS” on it, meaning I was subjected to extra security screening. This was the first time I’d ever experienced this. They thoroughly searched my bags and my person, but it wasn’t too bad. It probably took me an extra 15 minutes to get through security.

As you may know, Dublin has pre-clearance for U.S. customs and immigration. With Global Entry, it was a breeze.

Boarding was a bit hectic, as there wasn’t enough space in the gate area for all the passengers on the flight. But once aboard, things were much more civilized.

Delta A330-300

The Seat

I can’t say that I like the blue leather that’s found throughout Delta’s fleet…but colors aside, the seats were good.

DeltaOne A330 Seat

These are reverse herringbone seats, so they’re reasonably comfortable and private, in a 1x2x1 configuration (I had 6J, a window seat). The space for feet is a bit confining, but I wasn’t really bothered by it.

The cabin is beginning to show its age in some ways. The entertainment screen in particular is small and looks like it has seen better days. Ditto for the remote and seat controls.

DeltaOne seat controls and remote. The “Push” button releases the TV screen from the latched position.

Amenities

At the seat were a Westin Heavenly-branded pillow and blanket. They were amazingly plush and comfortable – some of the best I’ve ever experienced in the sky. Why can’t more airlines have bedding like this!? I slept for about 3 hours, despite it being a daytime flight.

Westin Heavenly pillow and blanket

The amenity kit was from Tumi. I really like the kit itself. As far as contents, it included some standard items, as well as lip balm and hand lotion from Kiehl’s – nice! It also had mouthwash. I love when amenity kits have mouthwash…I wish more of them did.

DeltaOne Tumi Amenity Kit
Kiehl’s from Tumi Amenity Kit

LSTN-branded noise-canceling headphones were at the seat. I thought they were fine, but not as good as Bose’s QuietComfort headset.

LSTN headphones

The business class lavatories (which were otherwise unremarkable) had Malin+Goetz soap and lotion, which I really like (you’ll find that in first class on Delta’s domestic flights as well).

Malin+Goetz in the lavatory

The Flight

Shortly after boarding, I was offered some champagne as a pre-departure beverage (I said, “Hey, why not? It’s not like I’m driving the plane,” to which the flight attendant responded, “I’m sure we’re all better off that way.” It was almost as if she knew how bad I am at Flight Simulator).

Obligatory selfie

We departed on time, at which point the purser made some announcements in a very odd, sing-songy voice, kind of like she thought she was speaking to a plane full of kindergarteners. But she was friendly, at least.

A few minutes into the flight, another flight attendant made some announcements. He said that there were a total of ten Delta million-milers on this particular flight, including one passenger who had flown over two million miles and another who had flown over three million. Crazy!

Shortly thereafter, he announced that there was something wrong with the entertainment system, and it would have to be reset. Resetting it took half an hour…yikes.

You’ve heard that a watched pot never boils? Apparently a watched entertainment system never resets.

Speaking of the entertainment system, it seemed to have a wider selection than I usually see on Delta Studio on domestic flights. I watched the movie Lion, which is about a guy who got lost as a small child in India, was adopted by Australians, and tries to find his original family.

A word of warning: do not watch this movie in public. I was ugly crying at my seat. The flight attendant must’ve thought I was really unhappy with my meal when she saw me. Thankfully, these seats are relatively private…it would’ve been more embarrassing in economy!

Generally I find food in Delta domestic first class to be subpar. The food on this flight was a few steps above that – not the best food I’ve had in the sky, but still pretty good.

DeltaOne menu
DeltaOne menu
DeltaOne wine list

The starters included poached shrimp and codfish, both of which were tasty. There was also a cauliflower “couscous” with nuts, plums, and parmesan cheese, which I thought was unusual and delicious. I also really enjoyed the parsnip cream soup – it was my first time trying something parsnip-based, and I am glad to have found another vegetable I like. They also came around with a bread basket, and I selected pretzel bread.

DeltaOne Dublin to Atlanta starters

For my main course I ordered the beef. It was good, but not amazing. The barley and kale pilaf that came with it was actually a nice change from the usual rice and/or potatoes.

DeltaOne Dublin to Atlanta main course

For dessert I had a sundae with hot fudge. Again, it was good but not amazing, probably because it was a little on the plain side.

DeltaOne dessert

A few hours into the flight, they served a warm chocolate chip cookie. It was soft and quite tasty. I could have had ten more. Also, you know that trick that realtors use where they bake chocolate chip cookies at open houses to make people feel more at home? Well, the warm cookies made the cabin smell amazing, and if I had the cash, I definitely would’ve bought that A330 on the spot.

Chocolate chip cookie!!!

Finally, about 90 minutes before landing, they served a chicken and cheese sandwich that was actually fairly tasty. Even better, at the end of the meal they gave me a Belgian chocolate.

DeltaOne pre-arrival snack
Belgian chocolate
Yum.

Service on this flight was friendly and professional. The flight attendants were efficient, and always smiled. This was an experienced cabin crew, as is typical on international flights operated by U.S. airlines.

Bottom Line

At 70,000 SkyMiles, this 9-hour flight was as good value. The seats were comfortable and private, and the service and food were good. It’s not the best business class flight I’ve ever experienced, but I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Delta One on an A330 again.

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Comments

  1. Curious…Is this a seasonal DL flight? I was just in Europe and trying to get back to ATL and I don’t remember seeing this as an option.

  2. Great review.

    I’m always deeply suspicious when food items are placed in inverted commas (you’d call those “quote marks”). Is it “couscous” or isn’t it?

    Hot selfie. I’ll be stalking you now. You’ve had fair warning. 😉

  3. I take the A330 to and from Europe once a month on Delta One. My impression is the same as yours. It is a fine product for 9 hours but not the best. Having Wi-Fi during the entire flights is a big plus. The food is not that bad but since they do not change the menus every month (they have Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) I end up eating the same food more than once. What is a shame is their wine selection. Nothing you can’t find at your local liquor store for less than $20/bottle. When you pay over $7k for a ticket I would expect a better selection.

  4. Thanks so much for the review, Andrew! I’ve never flown Delta One but am quite familiar with United Polaris. I love the Polaris bedding but it seems like Delta’s bedding is great also. How do they compare? Does Delta also offer a mattress pad?

  5. @BrooklynBoy: No, Delta Ones does not offer a mattress pad. They have a really nice well padded blanket/comforter and a great pillow. If the cabin is not full I usually get another comforter and use it as a mattress pad for my seat.

  6. I’ve always found the built in IFE’s to have huge selections (maybe not the biggest of any airline ever, but still they have a ton of movies). Delta Studio always seems to just have a handful of options.

  7. @Garrett — Delta’s AVOD systems vary across aircraft types, so it’s not possible to make a blanket statement about the breadth of Delta Studio options. But even their most limited configuration, as found on 737s, offers at least a few dozen feature-length films plus TV shows and the like. So far more than a “handful.”

  8. Factual clarification: Delta does NOT serve champagne as a pre-departure beverage. It is always cheap Spanish sparkling wine (aka cava) and it would be ILLEGAL in Dublin, being part of the Republic of Ireland, for Delta to call that sparkling wine “champagne.” Unfortunately, Delta flight attendants — at least most of them — are not informed enough to be honest with passengers that they are not drinking champagne. Worse yet, many flight attendants don’t open the real champagne in-flight and instead continue serving the cava.

  9. How long has Delta One been out? Was this an upgrade to C like United did with Polaris? Or they just renamed it but no hard product upgrade?

    I don’t fly DL often, that’s why I ask.

    I cried during Lion also 🙂

  10. So is it a requirement to be able to write on this blog that you must ALWAYS order pretzel bread with your meal?? Always the case with Lucky…..and now you Andrew?? 🙂

  11. Delta One as a name is 3-4 years old, but the basic product with lie-flat seats has been on the market since 2009. It wasn’t until 2013-ish that every longhaul aircraft had the product. The soft product like amenity kit, food and beverage and in-flight entertainment has changed since 2009.

  12. The food on American airlines always looks like crap. That meal looks like an economy meal on JAL (excluding the ice cream).

  13. Great review! Delta One is fine. The food is usual Legacy carrier mediocre. I never have any problem finding a film or 3 to watch (and also loved/wept at Lion Ravi Patel is so cute…). Not a fan of the seat I know I’m suppose to be impressed cuz it’s leather (ugly blue quilted leather) but I find them uncomfortable, as you pointed out the bedding helps. All in all I usually only fly them on my hubby’s points so who am I to complain? A bed in the sky is a luxury and if it flies direct then perfect. Delta strikes me as being all about business and tho I find the staff mostly great their fleet is ancient and worn and the new 350 isn’t going to be flying out of NYC any time soon. Oh and @FNT delta diamond I’m pretty sure on my last delta flight they showed me the bottle o champagne and poured from it at my seat. Tho whose to say they didn’t funnel Cava into a fancy bottle. Truth be told I kind of like Cava 😉

  14. Ha Ha Ha, c rying over a film, yes I’ve done that a few times, Dogs life??, about the dog that dies, and comes back in another breed to owner? I pretended something was in my eye, the flight attendant bought water and tissues, what a wimp i was,

  15. @Andrew, did you expect the crying comment would elicit the most comments? Always appreciate your humor, btw.

    PS Are you single? 🙂

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