Canadian Wanderer

Travel plans, thoughts & lessons

Flight review: Economy Comfort seats on Delta Airlines

After making me an offer I couldn’t refuse I confirmed a remarkable Delta Airlines deal roundtrip Edmonton – Hong Kong over Chinese New Year in February 2015 another of the airline’s offerings proved equally as impossible for me to resist.

In May 2014 Delta announced it was reinstating the Seattle – Hong Kong route previously flown by Northwest Airlines, an airline which merged with Delta in 2010, and much to my delight nabbed a roundtrip ticket with connectors from Edmonton under $500 with tax. While the price was right the thought however of 14 hours in regular economy seats between Seattle and Hong Kong in what would likely be a full aircraft wasn’t something to be savoured but rather more endured despite Delta’s recent improvements to their intercontinental economy in-flight service. The biggest consideration was the relative smallness of the legroom afforded passengers in regular economy so after some consideration opted to upgrade to what the airline calls Delta Comfort + which are the first four rows in the economy cabin with  an extra 4 – 5 inches of legroom. Within these seats on the Airbus A330-200 I flew roundtrip from Seattle there are some that are better than others as some research found the bulkhead row 10  seats directly behind the business class cabin offered even more legroom for the same price as other Comfort + seats.

Hong Kong February 2015 016

The aircraft is configured with two seats on either side of the central block of four seats and is my preference for being in a window seat within normally only one passenger to jump over to access the aisle. That however wasn’t a concern at all as these bulkhead seats have enough legroom to easily step out past the passenger in the aisle seat and stretch the legs in the aisle.

Hong Kong February 2015 017

I’m 5 foot 10 inches tall and was able to fully stretch out my legs and have my feet on the bulkhead – although the flight attendants don’t like you doing this – so plenty of room to stretch out. The added seat recline wasn’t too big a bonus but the extra legroom definitely was.

Beyond the added legroom however another perk of Delta’s Comfort + seats is priority boarding, something very important to this flyer who travels only with carry-on and prefers to board early to secure overhead bin space and avoid having to gate check my trusty Briggs & Riley carry-on.

The $160 one way Economy Comfort upgrade premium is non-refundable so should be seriously considered before being confirmed. It should  be noted that depending upon your elite status in Delta’s Skymiles frequent flyer program these upgrade costs can be reduced or even waived altogether but alas as I hold no special status on Delta I paid the full price but felt it was worth it for the additional legroom and priority boarding on a route that should be fairly full over the high demand Chinese New Year travel time to & from Hong Kong. I could’ve rolled the dice and waited until check-in to see if any of these upgraded economy seats were left available for a smaller upgrade cost but at a high demand season felt the chances of the extra legroom row 10 seats being available were small so opted to confirm them around 70 days prior to departure and not take any chances. The decision quite literally sat well with me.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Hello, how did you feel flying in a smaller plane for this international flight over the ocean? I usually take fly from LAX or DFW with AA and EVA on a larger plane (about 300 seats) and I am abit reluctant to fly on this Delta Airbus300-200 from Seattle to Hong Kong this summer. Thanks.

    • Canadian Wanderer

      May 20, 2016 at 6:41 PM

      I’ve travelled on Airbus A330-200 with a number of airlines and like the layout with two seats on either side of the center section of four seats. In-flight comfort was good so would opt for this aircraft over other larger ones all things being equal.

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