Airline: Delta Air Lines | Aircraft: A320-211 | Class: First Class (Domestic) | Flight: DL44 (MCO-JFK)
After spending two weeks in the United States, I made my way back to Singapore with a flight from Orlando to New York on Delta Air Lines. This was the second time (my first was from JFK to TPA) that I was flying on the airline in Domestic First Class so I was pretty clear on what to expect. I returned the car at the airport before making my way to the main building in Orlando International Airport (which is in no way as nice as Tampa International Airport) - getting through security took a while and there was no premium lane for passengers traveling in First Class (only Sky Priority check-in).
Unlike my previous flight on Delta Air Lines' Boeing 717, my flight from Orlando to New York was on a much newer Airbus A320 and therefore, I actually got the opportunity to try the latest domestic First Class product on this flight. There are 16 seats in First Class on Delta's A320 and it features 36" of seat pitch as well as 21" of seat width. In comparison, Economy Class offers just 30" (up to 31" if you select the right one) of seat pitch and 18" of seat width.
The seat pocket in front of me allowed me to place important documents and personal devices (e.g. my mobile phone) there and there is enough space under the seat in front of me to stow my camera bag (unfortunately, Delta Air Lines explicitly discourages the use of professional cameras on the flight so I have taken all the photos using my iPhone on this flight). First Class passengers sitting in Row 1 do not have any stowage space since that is a bulkhead row and it is not uncommon to see some of them placing their personal belongings under the seat (even though that space technically belongs to those in Row 2) so be wary of that.
One thing I really liked about flying Delta Air Lines is the free WiFi (for messaging only) that comes with it. While I understand that this may be a common offering amongst airlines in the US for domestic flights, being able to chat on WhatsApp or Messenger makes that 2-hour flight feel so much shorter. If you do require streaming or premium WiFi access, it is available for a fee (subscription plans are also available). 1-hour stream pass (the fastest speed you can get on the flight) is available for USD 10. If you travel a lot domestically, subscription plans on Delta Air Lines start from USD 49.95 a month.
Unlike my previous flight on Delta Air Lines, the First Class seats on this one come with an In-flight Entertainment (IFE) System. Even though the selection on the IFE system was not extensive, having a brand new touchscreen-enabled screen on a 2-hour flight is impressive enough! There is also a USB charging port located directly underneath the screen and in the event that you are using your own headphones or earphones (even though these are provided on the flight as well), you may use them conveniently as there is no need for an audio adapter on this flight. There are also universal power outlets located in front of your seats so you can actually get decent work done on the flight.
Since First Class passengers were invited to board the aircraft first, we had plenty of time to make ourselves comfortable while the rest of the cabin were getting seated. As soon as I arrived at my seat, I noticed that a bottle of water was already placed near the arm rest and drink orders were also taken shortly after - I opted for a Gin & Tonic and it was delicious (also very strong).
Once again, food served on Delta Air Lines in First Class took me by surprise. Much like what was served on my flight from New York to Tampa, the crab cakes served on this flight did not look delicious at all but actually did taste quite good. Even though the rice was a little dry, everything else on the tray had decent flavours - that oatmeal raisin cookie was also delicious! Since the flight from Orlando to New York was over 900 miles, it was categorised as a 'Medium-haul Flight' and therefore, a chef-curated meal service was offered. If you are flying First Class on domestic flights under 900 miles, only savoury and healthy snacks would be made available.
I was craving for a bag of salted chips after the meal and asked if there was any on the flight - to my surprise, there was none! Times like these I actually miss JetBlue since they actually offer complimentary brand name snacks and beverages on every flight (and yes, this is a low-cost carrier!). With that being said, the flight attendant was kind enough to get me a bag of salted snack mix (containing pretzels and bread sticks mostly) from Economy though.
Once again, my experience in First Class on Delta Air Lines has been great and apparently Delta Air Lines alongside Alaska Airlines and JetBlue are amongst the best airlines in the US for domestic flights.