by John Torquato on 06/27/11 at 11:09 pm
After searching the internet looking for pictures or unbiased reviews of Delta’s Economy Comfort seats and not finding anything, I decided I should try this new Delta service and write a review myself.
I had two international flights scheduled, with a length of 8 hours and 27 minutes each, so it would be the perfect opportunity to try the Economy Comfort seats.
Delta describes the services of the Economy Comfort as priority boarding, up to 4 extra inches of additional legroom, 50% more recline, free spirits and specialty cocktails in additional to free beer and wine and in-seat power on aircrafts that feature personal video.
Just to let you know a little about my flying background, here are some facts. I have been traveling on airplanes since I was a toddler, having flown in all kinds of aircrafts, from Cessnas and Senecas to medium and large size aircrafts such as Embraers, McDonnell Douglas (MDs), Fokkers (MK28), Airbuses and Boeings. With Delta Air Lines I have traveled some times, what is enough to know when their service is top notch and when it is mediocre, always receiving prompt and excellent customer service – I have experienced everything from perfect flights to major 4-hour delays with them.
On my first international flight with an Economy Comfort seat booked, I was the first person from zone 2 to board the plane as there was only a few Economy Comfort seats booked and other passengers were still passing through the security checkpoints. My first impression was that I had made a good deal for paying those extra bucks.
I was seated on 17F, right on the second rows of seats before I entered coach cabin. The extra legroom really made a difference, as my knee was not touching the seat in front of me. I am not a very tall guy (I’m 5’10”) and the pitch in other economy seats make it impossible for me to seat without touching the seat in front of me with my knee. So, I was feeling lucky.
There is probably one reason Delta doesn’t tell us how inches the 50% more recline means, because the difference between the Economy Comfort seats recline and other economy seats recline was not big at all.
The plane took off and I was pleased when a flight attendant offered me a complimentary cocktail, which was free for me. Even having declined the offer, I thought that it was nice.
During the flight, some passengers sat on Economy Comfort seats, and were promptly told by flight agents that those seats were paid and offered the option to continue on those seats paying for the service. That was courteous and fair.
The downside of this flight is that Delta made changes to the cabin to accommodate the Economy Comfort seats, but didn’t do anything to add personal video to the airplane. In such a lengthy flight personal entertainment would have been the cherry on the cake.
As soon as the planed arrived on the destination I was one of the first passengers to get out of the plane. When you are on an international flight, being one of the first to leave the plane is really important as you know you will not face big lines to passport control. Another plus for Economy Comfort.
So far, so good. I thought my other international flight experience with Economy Comfort would be at least as pleasant as this first time, but I was wrong. The truth is that I felt ripped off on the second time I paid for Economy Comfort.
It was flight 221 departing from Atlanta on 06/25/2011.
Gate agents called passengers from zone 1, and then from zone 2, on which I was. To my surprise, passengers from zone 3 and 4 were also boarding when zone 2 was called. The gate agents repeatedly made speeches in english and portuguese telling passengers it should be zone 2 passengers only, but the damage was already done. When I boarded the plane, I saw a huge line on the coach cabin isle. I had paid for priority boarding before zone 3, and didn’t receive it.
I thought that despite of this fact, the rest of the flight would have the same benefits as in my previous flight. I was now on seat 17A. Wrong again.
As fellow passengers were talking to each other, some passengers that were seated on the Economy Comfort seats were bragging around because they didn’t pay a penny to be on those seats. They making fun of the people who have paid for the service.
I do not know the reason why Delta gave Economy Comfort seats to passengers who didn’t pay to use it. I felt robbed, ripped of, and a fool. I also was embarrassed because Delta gave a reason for some passengers to make fun of others.
Differently from my first flight on Economy Comfort, when flight attendants would charge passengers to be on those free seats, Delta gave away Economy Comfort seats without telling anything to paying customers or apologizing to them.
This was my first terrible experience with Delta. Even when they ripped a footlong on the back on my carry on, they were prompt and did the right thing.
Until that flight, I thought Delta was an airline that cared for their passengers and delivered what you pay for, but now this impression have changed. Even if I asked for a refund and Delta awards me one, it would still be unfair to other people who paid for Economy Comfort seats on that flight. I don’t plan flying on another Economy Comfort seat, or on any Delta flight in the near future. Maybe sometime later, when they stop giving passengers a reason to feel ripped off.
In case you want to know a list of pros and cons of the Economy Comfort service, here they are based on my 2 different experiences:
- Priority boarding: it let you easily store your carry on items.
- Extra legroom: even being of up to 4 inches, it is worth. Your legs and knees will thank you. The bigger legroom on Economy Comfort seats are on the first row.
- Free specialty cocktails and spirits: If you drink, you won’t need to pay $7 each.
- In-seat power: great to recharge your allowed electronic devices.
- As you are seated closer to the aircraft door, you leave the plane earlier on your destination.
- The 50% more recline didn’t impress me.
- If you are on the first Economy Comfort row, there is no storage area on the floor in front of you, what means all your carry on items should be placed on the overhead compartments.
- Heavy drinkers may try to get the money they spent on the Economy Comfort seats back by drinking a lot, and one of these heavy drinkers may be the passenger seated next to you.
- While most people have to pay for the service, some people get it for free. It may be unfair to you, depending on your judgment.
- Economy Comfort seats are near restrooms, so you may get disturbed due to high people traffic.
Because of what I experienced on my second flight on an Economy Comfort seat, I can not recommend this service. Use your own judgment and decide what is the best for you.
I hope this review helped you select your next seat on a Delta flight. Thank you for reading.
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