Delta First Class / 737-800 (738) / Seattle-Austin

 
 

AIRLINE: Delta Air Lines »

ROUTE: Seattle to Austin

FLIGHT TIME: 3h 48m

DATE: December 12, 2018

AIRCRAFT TYPE: Boeing 737-800 (738) »

CLASS OF SERVICE: First Class »

SEAT: 1A

 
Delta has built Seattle into a relatively large operation in the last five years. It occupies gates in the A and B Concourses, as well as the South Satellite. My flight to Austin departed out of the South Satellite, which is accessible via underground train. Delta boards flights by Zone. Travelers needing extra time or assistance, families traveling with small children, and active duty military (in or out of uniform) are allowed to pre-board. First Class boards immediately following pre-board, and is called the Premium Cabin.

Delta has built Seattle into a relatively large operation in the last five years. It occupies gates in the A and B Concourses, as well as the South Satellite. My flight to Austin departed out of the South Satellite, which is accessible via underground train. Delta boards flights by Zone. Travelers needing extra time or assistance, families traveling with small children, and active duty military (in or out of uniform) are allowed to pre-board. First Class boards immediately following pre-board, and is called the Premium Cabin.

Delta has two boarding lines in Seattle - SkyPriority and General Boarding. The flight was scheduled to board at 4:55 and depart at 5:35. Boarding began at 5:00. Boarding is generally a free-for-all with everyone storming the boarding area. This flight was more civilized.

Delta has two boarding lines in Seattle - SkyPriority and General Boarding. The flight was scheduled to board at 4:55 and depart at 5:35. Boarding began at 5:00. Boarding is generally a free-for-all with everyone storming the boarding area. This flight was more civilized.

Delta’s First Class cabin on the 737-800 has 4 rows - arranged in a 2x2 configuration. The seats are 21 inches wide, offer 36 inches of pitch, have 4 inches of recline, and include adjustable head rests. First Class passengers are also provided with bottles of Dasani water upon arriving at their seats.

Delta’s First Class cabin on the 737-800 has 4 rows - arranged in a 2x2 configuration. The seats are 21 inches wide, offer 36 inches of pitch, have 4 inches of recline, and include adjustable head rests. First Class passengers are also provided with bottles of Dasani water upon arriving at their seats.

I was in seat 1A, which is a bulkhead seat. These seats don’t offer as much room to stretch your legs, but do have better knee clearance than the other 3 rows in First Class.

I was in seat 1A, which is a bulkhead seat. These seats don’t offer as much room to stretch your legs, but do have better knee clearance than the other 3 rows in First Class.

There is no under-seat storage in the first row, so everything must be stored in the overhead bins. These seats are easier to get in/out of without disturbing the other passenger - which is beneficial if you are traveling by yourself.

There is no under-seat storage in the first row, so everything must be stored in the overhead bins. These seats are easier to get in/out of without disturbing the other passenger - which is beneficial if you are traveling by yourself.

There is generous space in the first row, even with the bulkhead.

There is generous space in the first row, even with the bulkhead.

First Class customers are offered preflight drink service before takeoff - including alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and spirits), non-alcoholic beverages, and coffee.

First Class customers are offered preflight drink service before takeoff - including alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and spirits), non-alcoholic beverages, and coffee.

Each seat has a large touch-screen TV with movies, shows, music, games, and live TV. The video content consists of both new releases and older movies and shows. There is also a USB charging port below the screen. Row 1 does not have a traditional power port, like the other rows in First Class.

Each seat has a large touch-screen TV with movies, shows, music, games, and live TV. The video content consists of both new releases and older movies and shows. There is also a USB charging port below the screen. Row 1 does not have a traditional power port, like the other rows in First Class.

The 1,764 mile flight was blocked for 4 hours and 4 minutes gate-to-gate. The scheduled flight time was just under 3 and a half hours.

The 1,764 mile flight was blocked for 4 hours and 4 minutes gate-to-gate. The scheduled flight time was just under 3 and a half hours.

We pushed back from the gate 3 minutes early and taxied for approximately 20 minutes. The flight attendants came around to collect the cups from the preflight service about 10 minutes into the taxi.

We pushed back from the gate 3 minutes early and taxied for approximately 20 minutes. The flight attendants came around to collect the cups from the preflight service about 10 minutes into the taxi.

There were scattered rain showers in and around the Seattle area, so the departure was rather bumpy. In fact, it didn’t smooth out until roughly half-way into the flight.

There were scattered rain showers in and around the Seattle area, so the departure was rather bumpy. In fact, it didn’t smooth out until roughly half-way into the flight.

Cabin service began approximately 20 minutes into the flight. The flight attendants came around and took our dinner and drink orders. On this flight, dinner requests were taken from the front of the cabin to the rear. There were two dinner options - braised short ribs or salmon. The meal options were displayed on a screen so passengers could see what the meal looked like ahead of time. Drinks were delivered shortly thereafter and we were offered a hot towel before the meal was served.

Cabin service began approximately 20 minutes into the flight. The flight attendants came around and took our dinner and drink orders. On this flight, dinner requests were taken from the front of the cabin to the rear. There were two dinner options - braised short ribs or salmon. The meal options were displayed on a screen so passengers could see what the meal looked like ahead of time. Drinks were delivered shortly thereafter and we were offered a hot towel before the meal was served.

I selected the short ribs, which were on a bed of rice and had a side of broccoli. There was also a side salad and ice cream for dessert. The flight attendants brought around a bread basket and offered several varieties of rolls.  The short ribs were extremely salty (which is common with airplane food), but still tasted good. They were very tender. There was no sauce on the rice, which made it rather dry. The side salad was good, but the olive oil and vinegar bottle was so cold that the oil was too solid to pour onto the salad.  Overall it was an average meal - not the best I’ve had on a flight but also not the worst. The flight attendants continued to walk through the cabin throughout the flight offering to refresh my drink. On some flights they come around with a snack basket halfway through the flight, but they didn’t on this occasion.

I selected the short ribs, which were on a bed of rice and had a side of broccoli. There was also a side salad and ice cream for dessert. The flight attendants brought around a bread basket and offered several varieties of rolls.

The short ribs were extremely salty (which is common with airplane food), but still tasted good. They were very tender. There was no sauce on the rice, which made it rather dry. The side salad was good, but the olive oil and vinegar bottle was so cold that the oil was too solid to pour onto the salad.

Overall it was an average meal - not the best I’ve had on a flight but also not the worst. The flight attendants continued to walk through the cabin throughout the flight offering to refresh my drink. On some flights they come around with a snack basket halfway through the flight, but they didn’t on this occasion.

We arrived in Austin about 20 minutes ahead of schedule - 3 hours, 48 minutes gate-to-gate. I was the first person off the plane and my bag still arrived within 30 seconds of getting to the baggage claim.

We arrived in Austin about 20 minutes ahead of schedule - 3 hours, 48 minutes gate-to-gate. I was the first person off the plane and my bag still arrived within 30 seconds of getting to the baggage claim.

 

My overall First Class experience on the 737-800 was very good. The crew was friendly and attentive and the seats were comfortable.

If you are traveling alone, consider sitting in the first row - despite the restricted space to stretch your legs. If you are traveling with someone else, I suggest sitting in the second row - you’ll get pre-flight drink service before rows 3 and 4, you’ll have underseat storage and a power outlet, and you won’t be the last to order your food if they start in the rear of the cabin (sometimes they run out of options and you get what is left, even if it isn’t what you wanted).

I recommend Delta’s First Class product to anyone traveling domestically and with the means to do so.

JW Marriott Austin

Austin Trail of Lights