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Review: Delta B737-800 Comfort+ (AUS-JFK)

Updated: 2 days ago

To kick off our trip to the Czech Republic, Norway, and Sweden, we had to first position to New York. Thanks to some issues with Air Canada we were changing this itinerary right up until departure, including a switch from Washington-Dulles to New York-JFK, so this flight was pretty last minute.


Booking

Due to our aforementioned issues with our Air Canada Aeroplan award bookings, we ended up booking this flight three days before departure. Fares were already steep and i booked our Economy tickets for $238 per person and used 9,900 SkyMiles to upgrade each of us to Comfort+. I considered not upgrading since it was an early morning flight, but the good exit row seats were already taken and I figured we had a better chance of an empty middle in C+.


Pre-Flight

We left our house in Austin at 5:30a and by 5:45a we were pulling into The Parking Spot. We parked next to our waiting shuttle bus and found ourselves at the Barbara Jordan Terminal at 6:00a.

Interior of a Parking Spot Shuttle Bus at Austin Bergstrom International Airport
All-Aboard the Parking Spot Shuttle

There was only one other person in the bag drop line and we were off to security a few minutes after arrival.

Austin Airport is currently undergoing multiple modernization and expansion projects which should ease the strain on the overcrowded terminal. However, there's some short term pain to go along with that which is evidenced by the security checkpoints. The west side checkpoint closed this month and will be closed until 2026. This leaves 3 security checkpoints available at the airport and all TSA PreCheck passengers are sent to Checkpoint 2E. The line gets somewhat confusing as the Southwest Bag Drop line cuts across the security line due to the limited space available.

TSA PreCheck Line at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
TSA PreCheck Line at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

The PreCheck line was long but it moved quickly and we were airside 15 minutes later and headed to the Delta Sky Club.

Delta Sky Club Exterior Signage at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Delta Sky Club at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Lounge

Since our domestic tickets weren't linked to our onward Business Class itinerary, we used our American Express Platinum Cards to access the Sky Club. With our cards linked to our Delta accounts, we just had to scan our boarding passes and were invited in.


The Austin Sky Club is one of my favorites in the Delta system and was constructed when they were building out a focus city in Austin. Those plans were put on hold until recently when the airline started adding new routes from Austin but there's still space to spread out here, especially early in the morning.

We just wanted to grab a quick bite to eat before boarding but my full write up from the AUS Sky Club, from a previous trip, can be found here.

Delta Sky Club Breakfast at Austin Bergstrom International Airport
Delta Sky Club Austin Breakfast

Boarding

Our flight to New York-JFK was scheduled to board at 6:40a, 40 minutes before our scheduled 7:20a departure. Boarding was delayed by a couple of minutes and started with passengers needing extra time, followed by First Class, Delta 360, and Diamond Medallion.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Gate 9
Delta Boarding Area at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Comfort+ was invited to board next and we headed down the jet bridge to our waiting Boeing 737-800.

Boarding a Delta Boeing 737-800 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Next Stop: JFK

Delta Air Lines

DL 1411

AUS-JFK (Austin-Bergstrom International - New York-John F. Kennedy International)

Seat: 15C (Comfort+)

B737-800 (N383DN)

Scheduled: 7:20a-12:00p

Actual: 7:16a-11:47a


Seat

Delta's Comfort+ cabin on the 737-800 makes up rows 11-15. The first row (Row 11) has fixed armrests and IFE screens that pull out from below the seat while the remaining rows have seatback IFE and tray tables that fold down from the seat in front.

Legroom was ok but, at 6'2" a standard economy seat would likely be on the tight side for me.


Delta B737-800 Comfort+ Legroom
Delta B737-800 Comfort+ Legroom

The IFE screen was large and crisp which was nice as Delta still has some older 737s flying around with tiny, outdated IFE screens. The flight attendants came around offering complimentary headphones during boarding.

Delta B737-800 Comfort+ Seatback IFE and Headphone Pouch
Delta B737-800 Comfort+ Seatback IFE and Headphones

Power outlets were available between the seats and USB outlets were available under the IFE screen.

The tray tables folded down from the seat in front and had enough room for me to comfortably work on my laptop during the flight.


Departure

We had a fairly light load this morning and boarding wrapped up early. The middle seat in our row ended up going out empty so we had even more space to spread out.


We pushed off the gate a few minutes early but had a long, almost 20 minute taxi our to the departure Runway, 18L behind an American 737 MAX 8 that was also headed to JFK.

Delta B737-800 Taxiing at Austin Airport
Taxiing at Austin Airport

At 7:35a we were cleared for takeoff and headed south before making a turn to the northeast over Circuit of the Americas. With nobody in the middle seat I pulled up the IFE on one screen and live TV on the other.

The Captain asked the flight attendants to stay seated on the climb out as some bumps were expected but it was smooth flying up to our cruising altitude.


In-Flight

45 minutes after takeoff, our in-flight service began with a pass of the snack basket. This is one of the ways Delta differentiates Comfort+ from American's Main Cabin Extra and United's Economy Plus, with elevated snacks and complimentary alcoholic beverages on offer. AA has complimentary alcohol in MCE while United provides neither. I took some pistachios and a Biscoff cookie.

Delta B737-800 Comfort+ Snacks
Delta B737-800 Comfort+ Snack Service

Ten minutes later, the beverage service began. Since we were starting vacation, I ordered a mimosa which consisted of some terrible, canned, sparkling white wine and a cup of OJ. At least they gave me a lot of juice so I could drown out the flavor. They also offered an additional serving of snacks and I took some almonds.

Delta Comfort+ Snack Selection
Delta B737-800 Comfort+ Snack Selection

Delta offered free Wi-Fi for SkyMiles members on this flight and the connection was seamless. I worked for most of the flight and the connection was strong enough that I could write, edit, and upload blog posts all from 37,000 feet.

Delta Wi-Fi Login Screen
Delta Wi-Fi Login Screen

During the flight, the crew made two additional passes through the Comfort+ and Economy cabins offering coffee and water.


Towards the end of the flight I headed to the rear lavatory which was absolutely filthy and falling apart. Liquids were all over the floor and the panels in the lavatory were falling off in places. Hand towels weren't stocked in the dispenser and instead were sitting in a stack on the counter.

As I headed back to my seat most passengers were sleeping and the cabin had been darkened, with a few rogue window shades left open.

Delta B737-800 Comfort+ Interior
Delta B737-800 Economy Interior

Arrival

We took a northern route, almost to the Great Lakes, on our way to New York and began our descent as we approached from the northwest.

Delta B737-800 Airshow
Airshow en route to JFK

We flew over Manhattan, with LaGuardia airport off to our left before heading out over the open ocean to get into the pattern for JFK.

We looped around and landed from the northeast on Runway 22L before a short taxi over to Terminal 4 and our arrival gate, B26.

We arrived almost 15 minutes early and were off the plane 5 minutes later. After a quick stop at the Terminal 4 Concourse A SkyClub for a bite to eat, we headed for baggage claim and the AirTrain over to Terminal 1.


Summary

The crew on this flight was top notch and made for a very pleasant flying experience. They were friendly, hospitable, and proactive with snacks and beverages. The plane was a bit of a mixed bag as it featured updated IFE but a lavatory that was dirty and literally falling apart.


Since Delta has historically operated an older fleet, their TechOps team is usually on top of small items like this but this one must have fallen through the cracks. I've been a loyal Delta flyer for many years and this flight is unlikely to change that.


In This Trip Report

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