Review: Delta One Suites A350 Detroit To Beijing

Introduction: A Mess Of A Trip
Review: Delta SkyClub Detroit Airport
Review: Delta One Suites A350 Detroit To Beijing
Review: Park Hyatt Bangkok
Review: Thai Airways First Class Lounge Bangkok Airport
Review: Thai Airways First Class 747 Bangkok To Hong Kong
Changing (And Canceling) A Mess Of A Trip


Both Delta and Qatar Airways introduced business class suites with doors last year. I had flown Qatar Airways Qsuites just weeks before this trip and was blown away by the experience, and was wondering how the new Delta One Suites compared.

Delta 189
Detroit (DTW) – Beijing (PEK)
Tuesday, February 13
Depart: 12:50PM
Arrive: 3:10PM (+1 day)
Duration: 13hr20min
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Seat: 5A (Business Class)

I boarded through door L1, and then turned right into the business class cabin — WOW! Delta’s A350-900s have a total of 32 business class suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. All of the seats are in a single cabin, with a total of nine rows (rows one and nine each have just two center seats and no window seats, due to the locations of the lavatories and galleys).


Delta A350 business class cabin

My initial impression was extremely favorable, though perhaps that’s thanks largely to the A350 itself. Since there are no overhead bins in the center section, the cabin feels especially spacious, much more so than other planes.

While I thought the cabin overall was impressive, I didn’t think it felt especially elegant. Instead the finishes strike me as being sterile and cheap-looking, though I’ve always felt that way about Delta’s international business class cabin finishes.


Delta A350 business class cabin

The new Delta One Suites are modified Vantage XL seats (you’ll find Vantage XL seats in SAS business class, for example), which is one of the best staggered configurations out there. In this configuration, the seats in each row alternate, so that you place your feet to the side of the seat of the person in front of you.


Delta One Suite A350

The seats in each row alternate. In the window seats in even numbered rows, the window seats are closer to the aisle, which is to say that the big console is on the window-side of the seat. Generally speaking this would be my less preferred seat choice, since it’s tougher to look out the windows, and you also don’t feel like you have as much privacy.


Delta One Suite A350 — seat closer to the aisle


Delta One Suite A350 — seat closer to the aisle

In the window seats in odd numbered rows, the seats are closest to the windows, which would be my first picks. In these seats it’s easiest to look out the window, and you also have the most privacy.


Delta One Suite A350 — seat closer to the window


Delta One Suite A350 — seat closer to the window

The seats in the center section alternate in a similar fashion, with a privacy partition between seats that could easily be lowered if traveling with someone. It’s great how customizable the center seats are in that regard, since even these aren’t “bad” seats. However, unlike on Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines, there’s no option to create a double bed in the center seats.


Center Delta One Suites

I had assigned myself seat 5A, a “true” window seat around the middle of the cabin. Tiffany was seated right behind me.


Delta One Suite A350


Delta One Suite A350

Now let’s take a look at the actual features at my seat. At my seat the console was on the aisle-side. I’m not sure why Delta chose to install the console the way they did, but I found it to be fairly impractical. All the surfaced were curved in such a way that I couldn’t even place my laptop on the console without it either being “wobbly,” blocking the seat controls, or hanging over an edge. It just seems like an odd design to me.


Delta business class seat storage & controls

Underneath the part of the console that stuck up was a 110v outlet, USB outlet, and the headphone jack.


Delta business class power outlet & headphone jack

The seat controls were in a logical place, though I didn’t find them to be responsive at all. You had to push really hard to get anything to move.


Delta business class seat controls

Beneath that was another set of controls, which you could just use to place the seat into bed or upright mode, as well as adjust the lighting. Presumably these are intended to be easier to access when the seat is reclined.


Delta One Suite controls

The entertainment controller is in a panel next to the seat controls, and there’s even a mirror there.


Delta One Suite entertainment controller

The tray table could be released using a button right by the seat controls. The tray was a single, big, curved table.


Delta One Suite tray table

Then at the back of the seat was an exposed storage compartment that was quite small, and it’s where they placed the headphones during boarding, thanks to the hook there.


Delta business class seat storage

Along the interior wall of the suite was both a cool-looking light fixture and the button for releasing the suite door.


Delta One Suites lighting

I love the stitching on the seat itself. These seats also have shoulder harnesses. I’m not sure what exactly causes a seat to require them. I know it comes down to the certification process, but if anyone has more info on the exact details (because some airlines have very similar seats, with some requiring harnesses and others not requiring them), I’d love to hear them.


Delta business class seat shoulder harness

The A350 has the coolest looking overhead panels, in my opinion. The seatbelt and no smoking sign are on a little screen. Fortunately Delta also has individual air nozzles at each seat, which I consider to be the most underrated business class amenity out there.


Delta One Suites individual air nozzles

I was worried that the footwell at this seat would be tight when in bed mode, though I didn’t find that to be an issue at all.


Delta One Suites legroom

Since the unique feature of this seat is the door, let’s briefly look at that. First of all, the door doesn’t actually close all the way. There’s maybe a half inch gap when you close it. I’m not sure why exactly they chose to design it that way, and it’s not a big deal, I just found it to be strange. The door also doesn’t go all the way down to the floor.


Delta One Suite door gap

My real issue with the door was how difficult it was to operate. After takeoff I tried out the door and couldn’t open it, at least not without applying so much force that I was scared I’d break something. I called over a flight attendant, and he couldn’t figure it out either, even though he tried to pull hard. He then called over the purser, and she just pointed out that we weren’t applying enough pressure.

They really need to adjust the amount of pressure required to open this door, because it was a pain to do so every time. I also feel like it’s a potential safety issue, either in an emergency, or just generally for kids, seniors, and those who have mobility challenges. Meanwhile the Qatar Airways Qsuites door just easily slides open and closed, and you can even leave it half open if you want.


Delta One Suite door

So, what are my overall thoughts on the hard product? The Delta One Suite is a good product overall, though I’m disappointed about aspects of the design. I feel like they didn’t spend enough time testing the seat in a way that would be useful to someone actually on a plane, including how difficult the suite door is to open, how difficult it is to push the seat controls, the lack of flat surfaces to store things, and more.

Also, while the window seats that are closer to the aisle have a storage compartment underneath the console, the window seats closest to the windows don’t, so the seats are badly lacking storage.

After exploring the seat itself, I took a look at some of the amenities at the seat. At the seat was Westin Heavenly Bedding, including two pillows and a blanket. I remember that eons ago when this was introduced it was cutting edge, though at this point I feel like the bedding has seen better days, and the competition has also caught up and surpassed them. So the bedding is perfectly fine, but is no longer industry leading.


Delta Westin Heavenly bedding

Also waiting at my seat were a pair of LSTN headphones and a bottle of water. It’s rare I have this strong of an opinion on something, but these LSTN headphones are absolute garbage. Delta only recently introduced them and even heavily promoted them, and it blows my mind they did so, because they’re uncomfortable and don’t have great sound quality. Talk about style over substance.


Delta LSTN headphones

There were also slippers waiting at my seat.


Delta business class slippers

Then there was a Tumi amenity kit, which is industry-leading. You can even get the kits monogrammed for free at a Tumi store.


Delta Tumi amenity kit

Not only is the kit worth keeping, but it has a good selection of toiletries.


Delta Tumi amenity kit contents

Once settled in, one of the flight attendants came through the cabin to distribute menus for the flight.


Delta One menu

A few minutes later pre-departure beverages were served, with the choice between champagne, orange juice, water, and beer. Unlike American and United, Delta serves pre-departure beverages in glassware.


Delta business class pre-departure champagne

About 10 minutes later pajamas were distributed, which Delta offers on select longhaul flights.


Delta business class pajamas

The pajamas were pretty good quality.


Delta business class pajamas

The boarding process was on the hectic side. Even though they had both jet bridges attached to the plane, a vast majority of passengers boarded through the forward door.

Initially business class was only supposed to be half full (two hours before the flight there were 16 of the 32 seats occupied, with no one on the upgrade list), but then after operational upgrades and non-revs, the plane ended up going out with six empty seats in business class.

At 1:15PM the main cabin door closed, and then a few minutes later the captain added his welcome onboard, informing us of our flight time of 13 hours. He said our route of flight would take us over Canada, Northern Alaska, Russia, and then China, and apologized for the delay in departure, which he said was due to a “TSA audit” of the plane.

Shortly thereafter the purser, Karen, made her welcome aboard announcement, on behalf of the 12 flight attendants, and then screened the safety video.

After the safety video the crew came around to take meal orders. Delta only lets you pre-order the Chinese option, which it seems you have to do, since they ran out of those very quickly.

At 1:30PM we began our pushback.


Pushing back Detroit Airport


Delta A330 Detroit Airport

Five minutes later we were taxiing towards runway 22R.


Delta planes Detroit Airport


Taxiing Detroit Airport

Snow sure is beautiful to look at, though as someone who likes warm climates, I was happy to view it from inside the plane. By 1:50PM we were cleared for takeoff.


Taking off Detroit Airport

Ah, the beautiful A350 wing!


View after takeoff from Detroit


View after takeoff from Detroit

As we climbed out, I played around with the entertainment selection, starting with the airshow.


Airshow enroute to Beijing


Airshow enroute to Beijing

Delta’s entertainment choices are very good, with plenty of movies and TV shows to choose from.


Delta entertainment selection


Delta entertainment selection


Delta entertainment selection


Delta entertainment selection

Delta also offers wifi on their A350, which costs $28.95 for the entire flight with no data caps. I think that pricing is fair, though unfortunately I had many issues with wifi usability — the wifi briefly worked after takeoff, then stopped working for about half the flight, then a few hours before landing it worked again but wanted me to buy another pass. The speeds weren’t good either. Overall I was very disappointed by the inflight wifi experience, especially since this is supposed to be Gogo 2Ku.


Delta A350 wifi


Delta A350 wifi

About 15 minutes after takeoff the crew manually unlocked the seats so the doors could be opened and closed.

I was impressed by how quickly after takeoff the meal service began. The menu read as follows:

The drink list read as follows:

Just 20 minutes after takeoff I was offered a warm towel.


Delta business class meal service — warm towel

I was served a drink 25 minutes after takeoff. I ordered some champagne (Lanson Black Label), sparkling water, and warm, mixed nuts.


Delta business class meal service — mixed nuts, champagne, and water

Then about an hour after takeoff a cart was rolled down the aisle with the first course, including an appetizer, salad, and soup. This included an appetizer of pickled shrimp with vadouvan sauce and cashews, a salad of butter lettuce with poached pears, pecans, and goat cheese, and a soup of porcini mushroom with croutons. I was also offered a selection from the breadbasket, and chose a pretzel stick.

The food was fairly good, I thought. It wasn’t amazing, but I do appreciate that Delta offers an appetizer, soup, and salad in business class, which not many airlines do.


Delta business class meal service — appetizer, salad, and soup

While appetizers were served from a cart, the main courses were brought out on a tray as each person finished their starter. I ordered the crab cakes with winter vegetable slaw and meyer lemon remoulade, which I enjoyed. The dish was small, but I appreciated that, since the meal was already plenty filling.


Delta business class meal service — main course

Tiffany had the lacquered roast chicken breast served over black truffle risotto and herb butter glazed winter vegetables.


Delta business class meal service — main course

There was a bit of a break after the main course, and then at 3:50PM the dessert trolley was rolled down the aisle, with the choice between a vanilla ice cream sundae, chocolate lava cake, and a cheese plate. I ordered the chocolate lava cake, which consisted of the cake in one bowl, and then a scoop of ice cream in another.


Delta business class meal service — dessert

Tiffany had the cheese plate.


Delta business class meal service — cheese plate

The meal service was done a bit over two hours into the flight, at which point we had 10hr40min remaining to Beijing. Overall the service was unremarkable. The crew was perfectly fine, they went through the motions, but nothing more. They weren’t any better or worse than a crew you’d find on any other US airline, in my opinion. On average I find Delta has better flight attendants than American and United, though I find that difference is most noticeable on domestic flights, rather than international flights.


Airshow enroute to Beijing


Airshow enroute to Beijing

Shortly after the meal service the cabin lights were turned down. With the mood lighting on, that sure is one pretty cabin.


Delta A350 cabin

I visited the lavatory, of which there are two at the front of the cabin. Both lavatories were tiny.


Delta A350 lavatory

I then closed the door to my suite and got some rest.


Delta One Suite with door closed

The bed was comfortable (despite the lack of a mattress pad), though I wasn’t actually that tired, so I only managed to sleep for about two hours. Fortunately the inflight entertainment had Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is one show where I could watch reruns all day long.


Delta entertainment selection

As we reached the halfway point of the flight, the crew came through the cabin to offer the midflight snack to those who were awake. The snack menu read as follows:

As you can see, the midflight snack consisted of teriyaki beef tenderloin with edamame puree, shiitake mushrooms, and sriracha aioli, and was served with a side of vegetable slaw, fresh fruit, and a Ghirardelli chocolate square.


Delta midflight snack

I tried to go back to sleep after the meal, but just couldn’t. It’s always frustrating when you know you still have a long day ahead of you but can’t actually get any sleep. Fortunately the wifi eventually started working again, so I spent a few hours online.


Airshow enroute to Beijing


Airshow enroute to Beijing


Airshow enroute to Beijing

The pre-landing snack was served about 75 minutes before arrival. The menu read as follows:

I ordered the ginger miso chicken with rice pilaf and sautéed spinach, which was served with a side of fresh fruit.


Delta business class pre-landing meal

The chicken itself was bland, though the sauce it was served with helped give it a bit of flavor.


Delta business class pre-landing meal

Tiffany selected the other option, which was pork with steamed rice, bamboo shoots, and Chinese pickles.


Delta business class pre-landing meal

After the meal the purser came through the cabin to distribute chocolate mints.


Delta business class pre-landing chocolate

As is often the case in Chinese airspace, we started our descent way early, about an hour out. It just felt like we were descending forever. At around 3:20PM the captain announced that we’d be landing in about 35 minutes.


Airshow approaching Beijing

The views on our initial descent were beautiful.


View approaching Beijing


View approaching Beijing


View approaching Beijing

About 20 minutes before landing the seatbelt sign was turned on, and as is often the case when approaching Beijing, there wasn’t much in the way of views as we approached due to the smog. On our final approach the views got better once again.


Final approach to Beijing Capital Airport


Final approach to Beijing Capital Airport

We touched down at Beijing’s Capital Airport at around 4PM.


Final approach to Beijing Capital Airport


Final approach to Beijing Capital Airport


Beijing Capital Airport control tower

From there we had a long 20 minute taxi to our arrival gate at Terminal 2, where we parked next to an American 787 at around 4:20PM.


American 787 Beijing Airport


Delta A350 Beijing Airport

From there we had a layover of a few hours before continuing to Bangkok on China Eastern. Unfortunately the transit process in this terminal isn’t quite as easy as when flying Air China, so that whole process ended up taking quite a while.

Delta A350 business class bottom line

Overall I have mixed feelings about the new Delta One Suites. On one hand, I commend Delta for introducing a suite with doors in business class. I found the seat to be comfortable for the most part, and in bed mode was impressed by how spacious it was. Because of that, I rank this as one of the world’s best business class seats.

But the seat also has some shortcomings, and some areas where I feel like they should have done better. For one, I don’t love Delta’s sterile cabin finishes. Qatar’s new cabins feel so elegant, while the same can’t be said for Delta’s cabins. However, that’s purely cosmetic.

My bigger issue is with the design of the suite, and in particular how tough it is to open the door, the lack of storage in the “true” window seats, and how difficult some of the seat controls are to use. When I flew Qsuites I felt like an incredible amount of thought went into the design, while in this case I couldn’t help but wonder to what extent they had tested the seats, rather than just slapping a door on a Vantage XL seat without much thought.

Then I also had issues with the wifi, as it didn’t work for much of the flight, and even when it did work, it was painfully slow.

I thought the soft product was reasonably good — the crew went through the motions and nothing more, and some aspects of the meal (the appetizer, soup, and salad with the first meal) were good, while the rest of the food was just okay.

So for a US airline this was pretty good, but I was hoping for better.

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Comments

  1. Hey Lucky, the WiFi issue is due to the polar routing of the flight. Most communication satellites utilized are in a geostationary orbit so they move with the spin of the earth and cover a large part of land without ever appearing to move over head. This usually means telecommunications companies don’t typically invest in launching satellites to cover polar regions as there’s not a lot of people there to utilize them. That’s why your coverage resumed as you got further south towards land. I really do wish Airlines who utilize polar routes would make this obvious to flyers.

  2. Lucky, thanks for the fair DL review (even though I disagree with you on the finishes, but that comes down to a personal preference). I’m flying in the same seat DTW:AMS next week and expect a similar experience sans mid-flight meal before connecting on with KLM. In my experience the DL international cabin crews coming out of DTW and MSP still have a lot of legacy NW team members and are consistently less friendly and helpful than those coming out of ATL, SLC, SEA, and even JFK.

    Random question: did they proactively offer you or have on the beverage cart the Lanson Champs in flight? In my experience they keep it in the galley and make you request it including refills. My suspicion is that this is part of the program because the Lanson retails for 2-3x what the other wines on offer run.

  3. @ Mitch Cumstein — They don’t. But if you’re in the center seats you’ll be sitting fairly close to your companion.

  4. @ Rob — Thanks for the heads up. In the past I’ve certainly had issues with wifi on Polar routings, though I find in the past it has mostly been an issue when going really far North, while I was surprised by how quickly the wifi cut out here. But you’re right, I do wish they’d make it more clear where there is and isn’t coverage.

  5. @ DLPTATL — Funny you mention that, as I noticed that and thought it was odd. They did indeed keep it in the galley, and had to run to get it. I’m guessing that’s to limit consumption, as you note.

  6. Although it’s nice to have air nozzles, it’s important to note that due to the lack of overhead bins, the center bins do not have air nozzles. Temperature sensitive travelers need to avoid these seats.

  7. @ Neil S. — A mattress pad of some sort would be nice, and personally I found the bedding to not be very soft/new-feeling. That’s probably due to how many wash cycles it has been through. Don’t get me wrong, the bedding isn’t bad, it’s just that I feel like Delta used to be the best among the “big three” when it came to bedding, while now I think United is better, and American has caught up as well.

  8. The shoulder harness is required based on crash test results with head injury. The reason that you see them on some airlines vs others with similar seats is due to the customization aspects of the seat and also the angle they are installed. I dealt with this while working at an airline recently and actually had to go back and add shoulder harnesses to the business class seats after failing numerous crash tests.

  9. Just to add on to what Mark said, some airlines only have harnesses on certain seats. Basically, they’re tested at 16 Gs and depending on the angle of the seats or what is in front to cushion possible impacts, they might need harnesses. I know this was an issue with OZ when they had the crash at SFO — while the seats held up, all the force was concentrated where the lap belts are. Passengers seated with harnesses weren’t injured to the same extent.

    Fun reading in 14 CFR 25.785 if you care for the details.

  10. Delta’s also had issues with GoGo not installing the WiFi properly. The radomes they initially installed weren’t de-ice proof, causing a whole bunch of connectivity issues.

  11. 1. I wouldn’t say that pajamas are offered on “select” long-haul flights when Delta only offers them on flights to China and Australia.
    2. You know that Delta is going to take your statement that its amenity kit is “industry-leading” out of context by claiming its Delta One business-class is “industry-leading.” They’ve done this with other people’s reviews and ratings. The same for when at the end you wrote that Delta has “ONE of the world’s best business class seats.” I’m sure they will claim they are now “the world’s best business class seats.”
    3. Not only are the lavatories smaller, but Delta’s A350 has significantly fewer lavatories per passenger than the 747 or 777. Delta’s A350 also has fewer lavatories than other airlines with the A350.

  12. I believe part of the reason for the shoulder harnesses is that certification rules for seats with a lot of space in front of them have gotten stricter recently, so seats that were certified before the new rules can get away without the shoulder straps, but they’re likely to become increasingly common on any new seats introduced going forward. Airlines can either use shoulder straps or the airbag-style seat belt (like what Virgin Atlantic has for example). And the rules are getting tougher even in coach — I know some of JetBlue’s newest planes have airbag seat belts in coach at seats with a lot of room in front of them.

    Personally I prefer the shoulder harness for any seat that reclines into a bed using the same seat belt, since the airbag seat belt would be very clunky in bed mode — on Virgin the bed flips over so there’s a different bed seat belt.

  13. Also I totally agree on the headphones. I really can’t imagine what they were thinking with this partnership and making such a big deal out of it, because the sound quality of these headphones is complete garbage. I think the crappy old non-branded headphones they used to have might have been better.

    And it’s not like Delta couldn’t have found this out before or ordered a cheap version of the product — I have a LSTN speaker at home that I got for free during a promotion and it’s also terrible. I think all of their products have the same problem.

  14. It’s really pathetic when you have to say “So for a US airline this was pretty good, but I was hoping for better.”

    People should really hold US airlines to a higher standard.

  15. @Cedric personally I am in love with AA as my last J class flight from LHR to DWF was awesome in all aspects. But praising an airline based on nationalist wouldn’t create competition and this has disastrous results because airlines don’t feel any urge to compete with overseas carriers and this led to make Asian airlines the best in the world. Give a look at Skytrax and see the ratings. Alitalia my national carrier is a 3* (and I think they also have been quite generous). Airlines should feeel the pressure and understand that loyalty is not given for granted.

  16. “In my experience the DL international cabin crews coming out of DTW and MSP still have a lot of legacy NW team members and are consistently less friendly and helpful than those coming out of ATL, SLC, SEA, and even JFK.”

    LOL. I’ve had some dreadful ATL crews. I would suspect quite a few SEA-based folks are legacy NW, btw, since DL didn’t have much of an operation there.

  17. I’m flying DL in C ATL-EZE later this year on a 767. Can I expect basically the same amenities (including the headphones) but just a different seat?

  18. Lucky,
    I love your site and your reports! One thing, any chance you could add a link to your homepage to the top of the screen (Next to the “Start here” “best credit cards” Trip reports” ect..) ? The only way to get back to your homepage after reading an article is to scroll all the way back up (in Chrome at least). Not a huge deal.. Just makes it easier to navigate your great site. Thanks! P.S. Loved the nice comments about the Detroit Airport- We love our Main terminal here 🙂

  19. I second what Grant said about the homepage link. So much scrolling to get back up to the top.. (to get back to the home page, to read another article).

  20. I think it would be helpful if you created a matrix to review both the hard and soft product.

    It’s difficult to weigh comments such as, “I feel like they didn’t spend enough time testing the seat in a way that would be useful to someone actually on a plane, including how difficult the suite door is to open, how difficult it is to push the seat controls, the lack of flat surfaces to store things, and more” against “I rank this as one of the world’s best business class seats.”

    A hard product likely boils down to (in no particular order) privacy, aisle access, storage, bed comfort, seat comfort, entertainment / wifi. There’s items like air nozzles / cabin temp which can likely be dumped into one of the above categories. For an example, see Doug DeMuro’s Doug score on cars he reviews on YouTube. Find a few categories that you and your readers find important and compare products across those categories.

  21. Tirmenat : agree.

    I’m not that old, and I can remember Prague being behind the Iron Curtain with American visitors being spied upon, forget about being swarmed with American tourists. And Communist China being the most Forbidden of all destinations, pun intended. So to read a review of a routine flight to China, pulling up along another American airliner on a routine flight, I still find remarkable, even though I’m well aware of the extensive travel now between the two countries.

    Remember, the spread of capitalism – the spread of wealth and growth in living standards – is a slow running river that carves a canyon. So I’m happy to read stuff like this hoping that we erode the rule of a corrupt government over time.

  22. @Lucky:

    Even though you were eventually able to use the internet, I’d still request a refund from Delta, if you haven’t already. Both from Gogo’s own blog as well as the satellite operator’s website, the SES-15 satellite used for Gogo 2Ku should cover all of the continental US and the vast, vast majority of Canada providing uninterrupted service throughout North America. While @Rob is correct about geostationary orbits and lack of service on polar routes, you shouldn’t have encountered any connectivity problems until you were nearly leaving Canada’s provinces of Nunavut and Northwest Territories – at least a couple of hours into your flight. Additionally, you shouldn’t be redirected to the Gogo/Delta splash page requiring you to purchase another pass. This sounds like a hardware/software problem on the plane as a result of the drop in initial connectivity. Plus, Delta needs to be more forthcoming about the inherent limitations of satellite footprints and beam coverage if they’re selling a pass for an entire flight even though the plane will be outside the footprint for half or most of it.

  23. Great review, looked like a nice experience! I just flew United in business to Beijing last week and had a great flight. One thing that Delta appears to offer that United doesn’t is a lunch arrival snack, while United typically serves breakfast on their Asian arrivals. @Lucky do you know if that’s the case for all Asian routes Delta flights?

  24. Nice report about this much talked about DL One Suite..I find it an extensive report and would not bother to try it as I will be fly SK and QF this year and I believe they are the same seat only without a door. I like the amenity kit and pyjama most, sad no matress pad, terrible headphone..had you have a great sleep..the space seems narrow..

  25. The SAS Business version of Vantage XL has shoulder belts, but they are not required in cruise and you can detach the shoulder belt from the lap belt. Not sure what the policy is with Delta.

  26. How on earth did you get that flight for $2,000????? The A350 D1 is usually around $9,000 on a GOOD sale!

  27. I think you may have gotten a wonky seat. When I flew the D1 suite DTW to NRT, I had no problems with the seat controls or the door. The door glided open smoothly, and closed without needing much force. I also didn’t notice much of a gap – maybe 1 cm. I was in a middle seat, if that makes a difference.

    I completely agree with you on the design, however; they could have utilized the space much better and included more storage (there was lots of “dead” space). Maybe they prioritized form over function (and missed both). Having said that, the pictures make it seem smaller than it is – it’s actually quite spacious, and I would choose it over any other business class seat from the domestic 3.

    Oh, and those LSTN headphones are garbage – mine buzzed the whole flight. They seem like the old unbranded headphones with some tacky wood grain stickers on the sides.

  28. I really don’t understand the mentality of serving champagne in plastic cups. For the whole business cabin, they might be carrying 40/50 more champagne glass and it makes a lot more class than serving drinks in plastic cups?

  29. The food looks great and the doors on the ‘suites” are a nice touch. Great review btw. I flew yesterday FRA-EWR on UA’s 773 and I have to say I love the Polaris cabin which IMHO seems much nicer in design and cabin colors – Delta One seems very bland

  30. Complain about the Wi-Fi is ridiculous. Delta has no control over that service that is provided by a third party. Agree on the rest but you should compare Delta with United and AA. You cannot compare any US airline with an international because there is no comparison.

  31. I’m sorry, but that menu screams out for comment.

    First, the so-called “Chinese” menu is appalling. The first starter appears to have some vaguely Chinese-ish elements to it, though it falls down on the Brussel (sic) sprouts and the cherry tomatoes. These ingredients are totally foreign to Chinese cooking. And I’m doubtful about the grilled pear, the asparagus and the Michigan cherries. Which region of China is Michigan in again? (And bloody learn to spell Brussels sprouts, Delta!)

    The salad is completely disgusting to Chinese tastes. Vegetables should be eaten cooked, and the thought of goat cheese would make them retch. (Personally, I think the salad would be lovely, but I’m trying to speak from a Chinese perspective here.)

    And the soup is totally Western. Again, maybe a perfectly fine soup, but to describe it as Chinese is absurd. (Yes, I do notice that the same salad and soup are also on the Western starters as well. Point and match.)

    Salmon is not well known in Chinese cuisine, though the black bean sauce and steamed rice are reasonable.

    If Delta wants to offer a Chinese menu, they should offer things that Chinese people actually recognize as food. Frankly, with this menu they might as well offer pizza as Chinese food.

    Then let’s turn to the wine menu. No full-bodied red on offer is a bit of a problem, but the GSM might be lovely. But what’s the deal with the indication of the pronunciation of Gigondas “(jhee-gone-DAHS)”? Is this because they think their clientele are such Philistines that they need a hint on this one word (and why only this one)? And why not give a hint on Rioja (REE-owe-jaw)? Really, Delta? Do you normally insult the intelligence of your business class passengers? Do you think that’s a good marketing strategy?

    And under the rubric of spirits we have something called “Single Malt Scotch Whisky”. OK, which one? Is there a region there, Highland, Lowland, Speyside …? Any hints at all? What should I expect if ordering this? There’s a bit of a range here.

    This is not a well thought through menu. Not at all.

  32. @YULtide ….. uhhhh, you do understand that both Rioja and a GSM from the Rhône are full bodied wines? Hmmmmm, maybe you don’t. You do understand that many people, from many different cultures, don’t actually know how to pronounce those words? Hmmmm, maybe you don’t.

    Yawn, your complaints are silly. And uninformed. But you sure sound snooty.

  33. @Eric

    Yes, I do. Does Delta? Read the menu. The GSM is labelled “Medium Body” and the Rioja is labelled “Light Body”. Given that they are using a sommelier to select and describe the wines, one has to wonder what is going on here.

    And, yes, I get that people from different cultures don’t know how to pronounce words from other languages. I have the same problem with unfamiliar languages. Danish is beyond me. But, honestly, there is no obvious reason that this one (and only this one) word has been treated as needing a pronunciation gloss out of all the various words in the menu. Why not “porcini”? And where should it stop? It sticks out like a sore thumb.

  34. Wifi on my Delta flight worked all the way across the pacific from Sydney to LA. It was great, Snapchat and videos on fb all loaded fast! That was the older Ku on the 77L too.

  35. Very thorough report. The most dismal aspect of US carriers premium cabins these days is the ludicrous spirits selection – there is absolutely nothing premium about it (Tennessee Honey Whisky? Really??).

  36. I flew Delta One, twice in last 12 months. Not on the A350. But both times we had mattress pads. The bundle of bedding was quite large and took up a lot of space. I actually was impressed with Delta’s bedding. I slept quite well in Delta One.

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