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Review: Delta A321 First Class (SLC-DFW)


After three wonderful days in Park City it was time to head back home. After a short drive down the mountain and an afternoon in Salt Lake City, we returned the rental car to National and started our trip back home.


Booking

This was the return portion of our roundtrip Comfort+ tickets from earlier in the week. I booked the tickets using my American Express Platinum Card which gave me 5x points on airfare. As a Delta SkyMiles Gold Medallion member I was very surprised to see that my upgrade cleared at T-48 for both of us.


Check-In

Late on a Sunday night, the SkyPriority and the remainder of check-in was deserted. It seemed like we were one of the only people in the departure hall and were the only people in the SkyPriority lane where our bags were quickly tagged to DFW. From there, we were off to the security checkpoint. Both CLEAR and TSAPre were deserted and we were through in seconds.



Lounge

We headed straight from security to the new Delta SkyClub, located in the main atrium, which we had access to thanks to my Platinum card. A quick scan of our boarding passes and we were welcomed inside. The lounge was fairly crowded but we managed to find seats near the large fireplace overlooking the atrium. I set off in search of some food and settled on some chicken salad, a sandwich and macaroni and cheese while my fiancé had some cookies and a glass of red wine. We relaxed in the lounge for a little over an hour before starting the short walk to our boarding gate.



Boarding

We arrived at the gate right as boarding was scheduled to begin. However, there were a large number of pre-boards on this flight so they didn't board First until about 10 minutes after the scheduled time. While we waited to board, I saw a fellow consultant who was no doubt making some last minute edits to a slide deck before a Monday morning presentation. When it was time to board, the agent called for First/Diamond Medallion and we made our way onboard.



Delta Air Lines

DL 2373

DFW-SLC (Salt Lake City International - Dallas/Fort Worth International)

Seat: 5C (First)

A321-200 (N381DZ)

Scheduled: 9:04p-12:48a (+1)

Actual: 9:24p-1:04a (+1)


We settled into our seats where PBD bottles of water were already waiting. As boarding was about to end, a Delta representative boarded the aircraft and an older woman (who was on oxygen) and what I assumed were her daughter and granddaughter got off of the plane. After a few minutes the daughter and granddaughter got back on the plane and EMS arrived. Soon after, the daughter and granddaughter got off again. After they were off the plane, a few maintenance folks boarded with a small oxygen tank and fiddled with a few things in the rear of the aircraft before signing off on some paperwork. I'm not sure what the issue was but we ended up pushing off the gate 20 minutes late without those three passengers.


Seat

Our seats were located in the last row of the 5 row first class cabin. There were mini bottles of water waiting for us at our seats. The cabin felt fresh and new and there was a large, high resolution screen in the seatback.



In-Flight

We taxied out to the runway and took off to the South. As we climbed out of SLC, we hit some turbulence though that quickly passed and we made our turn to the Southwest towards Dallas. Though most passengers chose to sleep on the flight, our team of Atlanta based FA's were extremely attentive and came through the cabin multiple times with snacks and beverage service.



As I'm unable to sleep on planes I spent the majority of the time chatting with the crew and watching more episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and, before long, we were descending into Dallas.


Arrival

Roughly two and a half hours after departing SLC, we arrived at DFW and taxied over to gate E16. The best part about flying something that isn’t American at DFW is the short walk to baggage claim and the parking garage. We waited about 10 minutes for our bags and by 1:30a we were driving out of the airport towards our house. With no traffic on 183 or I-35 we made it home just before two where Gumbo, our German Shepherd was waiting for us.



Summary

Delta’s first class on the A321 is a very comfortable ride and is worth a slight premium over the carrier’s Comfort+ seats. Though the pitch can be tighter than First Class on other airlines, the crew is what makes the Delta experience. I can’t say enough good things about our ATL based crew and I look forward to the opportunity to fly with them on another Delta flight.


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