Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, I enjoyed a wonderful trip to New York City and the Caribbean islands of Anguilla and St Martin. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 Upper Class from London to New York
- Review: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, New York City
- Review: TWA Hotel at JFK Airport, New York City
- Review: JetBlue Airbus A321 Business Class (Mint) from New York to St Maarten
- Review: KLM Airbus A330 Business Class from Amsterdam to St Maarten
- Review: Bemond La Samanna, St Martin
- Review: Belmond Cap Juluca, Anguilla
- Review: Four Seasons Resort Anguilla
- Review: Delta Airbus A350 Business Class from Detroit to Amsterdam (today)
Today : Review: Delta One Suite A350 from Detroit to Amsterdam (Business Class)
Early 2020, I flew with Delta Air Lines in Business Class (or Delta One, as it’s called by the airline) from Detroit (USA) to Amsterdam (The Netherlands). The flight was operated by a brand new Airbus A350. In 2017, Delta was the first airline to introduce an all-suite Business Class concept (although other airlines quickly followed suit, like Qatar Airways with the introduction of the QSuite, which I reviewed here). Overall, I was very impressed by the layout, privacy and space offered by the Delta One Suite, which ranks among my favorite Business Class products. In addition, the soft product on this flights was excellent, with chef-curated meals, wine pairings by Delta’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, terrific Westin in-flight bedding, and TUMI amenity kits featuring premium Le Labo skincare. The Delta One Suite is currently only available on Delta’s A350 and A330neo aircraft, which operate selected routes such as Seattle to Tokyo and Detroit to Amsterdam.
- Trip: Detroit (DTW) to Amsterdam (AMS)
- Airline: Delta Air Lines
- Aircraft type: Airbus A350-900
- Aircraft registration number:
- On time departure: Yes
- On time arrival: Yes
- Miles: 3930 miles (6320 km)
- Flight time: 7 hours and 30 minutes
- Seat: 7A
- Class: Business Class (Delta One Suite)
In this review (more information & photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Cost of my ticket
- Delta SkyClub Lounge at Detroit Airport
- Business Class cabin
- Business Class seat – Delta One Suite (+ best & worst seats)
- Amenities & bedding
- Onboard internet
- Other inflight experiences
- My verdict (score)
1. COST OF MY TICKET
I paid 1550 euro for my multi-journey Business Class ticket from Europe to the USA (London to New York and Detroit to Amsterdam). The ticket was booked on the Delta Airlines website during a flash sale.
Featuring a modern design and excellent facilities, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is often ranked by travelers as the best mega airport in America. Located in Michigan near the city of Detroit, is the 19th busiest airport in the USA and a pleasant place to start your journey or to connect to another flight. The airport is a major hub for Delta Air Lines, which uses Detroit as its main gateway to Asia for the Eastern USA.
Delta operates one of its flagship lounges at the airport, which it calls ‘Delta Sky Club’. The lounge’s entrance is located behind the main security checkpoint and features a small reception area. Here, the Delta staff checks access to the lounge, which is only available to the following travelers:
- Passengers with a paid Delta Sky Club membership and same day boarding pass
- Passengers flying Business Class (Delta One) with Delta or one of its SkyTeam alliance partners
- Elite members of Delta’s Medallion status program
- Holders of select credit cards.
From the reception area, a set of escalators takes guests to the lounge’s main area, which is located one floor above the main concourse. The lounge has an open plan design, with dozens of sitting areas, that offer a wide variety of seat types. One side of the lounge features large floor-to-ceiling windows, although – unfortunately – they don’t bring in natural light as they overlook the terminal’s interior. The lounge’s corporate decor feels a bit bland & dated, although Delta is currently in the process of refurbishing its Detroit flagship lounge.
A circular room is at the center of the lounge: on the outside are several dining tables, while the inside houses a buffet area. The self-serve buffet is ok for a USA lounge, offering the usual stuff like salads, vegetables, soups, and a few hot dishes (pastas and curries). Behind the buffet station is a separate room with drinks (e.g. beer, wine, soda and canned fruit juices), which also includes a makeshift Bloody Mary bar.
The lounge offers complimentary WiFi and there are also two shower rooms, which need to be reserved with a lounge agent.
3. BUSINESS CLASS CABIN
Delta’s Airbus A350 features 32 Business Class seats (which it calls ‘Delta One Suites’), all located in one large cabin in the plane’s front section. Spread over 9 rows, all suites face forward, offer direct aisle access, and are equipped with a sliding door. The seats are arranged in an excellent staggered 1-2-1 layout, whereby the footwell of each seat is located to the side of the seat in front. As a result, the seats – with a narrow armrest on one side, and a wider one with a console on the other – alternate in each row: some are closer to the aisle while others are closer to the windows or plane’s center.
- The window seats in odd numbered rows are closer to the windows (with their console on the aisle side). They are the best seats since it’s easier to look outside the window and they feel even more private when the suite’s door is open (though thanks to the sliding doors, all seats feel secluded). The window seats in even numbered rows are closer to the aisle (with their console on the window side).
- The paired seats in the center section don’t alternate like their window counter parts: there is always one seat closer to the aisle and one seat closer to the plane’s center per row. There are also sliding privacy dividers between center suites, which can be lowered for travel partners (however, contrary to Qatar Airways’ QSuites, these Delta One center suites cannot be converted into a double bed).
The cabin itself feels very spacious (more so than other planes) since there are no overhead bins in the center section (the only overhead bin space is over the window seats). Featuring a modern and fresh design, the cabin may feel a bit sterile at first because of the bright lighting and crispy white suite & cabin walls. However, that impressions quickly fades once seated in the luxurious suites, which all feature a warm decor on the inside, with a bright blue-and-black stitched seat, black interior walls, and some premium trim and finishes fitted in Delta’s signature red and blue colors.
4. BUSINESS CLASS SEAT (+ BEST & WORST SEATS)
The Delta One Suite’s main eye-catcher is its sliding door, which turns the suite into a private, quiet and residential-feeling space (where you don’t notice the activity on the aisle). The doors are left open (and locked) by the crew for takeoff and landing, but they are unlocked in the air, after which they can be closed with a quick press on a button. It is worth noting that there is a small gap between the suite’s wall and the door’s edge (so it doesn’t actually close all the way) and the door doesn’t go all the way up to the ceiling or down to the ground.
The seat itself is 24 inches (61 cm) wide and has a pitch of 76 inches (193 cm), offering a comfortable ride in the skies with memory foam-enhanced comfort cushion. The seat not only feels nice, it also looks nice with a white stitching against a blue upholstery, a black headrest, and some red design touches. In front of the seat is a 18-inch, high resolution TV screen, with a large footwell underneath. The latter becomes part of the flat bed when the seat is fully reclined. Like the seat, the bed is very comfortable and measures 6 feet, 5 inches (196 cm) in length
The seat’s wide armrest doubles as a large side table and also features a console with two levels of shelf space (large enough to store headphones, a bottle of water and some smaller personal items like a phone). A 110v outlet, USB outlet, and the headphones jack are found below the shelf. Also on this side of the seat are a panel with easy-to-use seat & lighting controls and a small box holding the inflight-entertainment entertainment and a tiny mirror. Beneath the side table is another control panel to adjust the bed mode and lighting, which is easier to access when the seat is fully reclined. A curved tray table is also stored below the side table; it is released by pushing on a button right by the seat controls
What are the best Business Class seats?
- As explained above (under the heading ‘Business Class cabin’), solo travelers should go for the window seats, preferably the ones in the odd number rows since these seats offer the best views and highest level of privacy. That said, if you end up in one of the window seats in the even numbered rows or even in a center seat, there is nothing to worry about as all seats feature sliding doors and movable panels that guarantee a fully enclosed and private space.
- Couples or friends should select a pair of the middle seats.
What are the worst Business Class seats?
- Passengers seated in one of the center suites in the first and last row of the Business Class cabin (1B&C and 9B&C) may experience some noise disturbance from the nearby lavatories and galleys.
Click here for Delta’s A350 seat map.
5. AMENITIES & BEDDING
Delta offers superb amenities on international, longhaul Business Class flights:
- An amenity kit, created by TUMI, which is presented as a stylish washbag. The kit, which lack a plastic wrapper (saving Delta 30,951 pounds of plastic per year) contains a Tumi sleep mask, hand cleanser, mouthwash, dental kit, socks and Le Labo toiletries. Born in Grasse, France, and raised in New York, Le Labo is a slow perfumery fragrance brand
- Delta was the first major airline to launch a bedding partnership and they went to the perfect place to find one: a hotel. The Westin Heavenly branded bedding includes a high-quality blanket and sleeping pillow. Bedding is very good (similar like what you find in a hotel), although it is no longer industry-leading and lacks a mattress pad (except on flights longer than 10 hours)
- Pajamas are not offered in Business Class, except on Delta’s ultra-longhaul routes from Los Angeles to Shanghai and Sydney.
- Delta-branded noise-cancelling headphones are provided (with a hanger for the headphones next to the seat).
On this red-eye flight, a 4-course chef-curated dinner was served after takeoff and a light breakfast 90 minutes prior to landing. I choose the following selection from the dinner menu:
- Two starters: Porcini mushroom soup + Harissa shrimps with apple, celery & arugula slad
- Salad: baby gem lettuce, croutons, shaved manchego cheese, tomatoes and caesar dressing
- Main course: soy glazed Chilean sea bass, served with ginger scallion rice, baby bok choy, and pineapple salsa
- Dessert: pear and caramel mousse tart
Food tasted absolutely great and was definitely a step up compared to most of Delta’s competitors. However, service was extremely slow. It took more than 90 minutes before dinner service started (in Canadian airspace) and we had already started our transatlantic crossing when the desert trolley was rolled out. That’s rather annoying on a red-eye flight where you want to rest as much as possible.
Breakfast was served about 90 minutes prior to touchdown and comprised a selection of seasonal fresh fruit, assorted breads, and vanilla almond granola with milk and yogurt (al served on one tray).
Each seat is equipped with a 18-inch, high resolution TV screen, which is the largest display offered by any USA airline. The screen is not only large and sharp, it’s also responsive and easy to use, too. Delta calls its inflight entertainment Delta Studio. There’s more than 1,800 hours of onboard entertainment, including a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music, live satellite TV, and podcasts. Delta also has a partnership with Disney+, offering movies and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic.
There’s one disappointment though: Delta has not installed exterior cameras, although they are available on the Airbus A350s of most other airlines. That means there are no nose or tail views during takeoff or landing (a bummer for aviation geeks).
8. ONBOARD INTERNET
The A350 was the first wide-body plane in Delta’s fleet to offer Gogo’s much-improved 2Ku WiFi, a next-generation technology that provides consistent, uninterrupted coverage nearly anywhere in the world, including over oceans. Delta is currently in the process of equipping its entire fleet of more than 600 aircraft with 2KuWiFi.
Current charges vary, depending on which package you choose and the aircraft type. There’s some good news though as Delta management has made it clear that the company is working towards offering free inflight WiFi to all passengers.
9. OTHER INFLIGHT EXPERIENCES
# CREW: Delta’s flight attendants are considered the friendliest of all USA airlines. The cabin crew on this flight was very outgoing and friendly. They were wondering why I was taking so many photos, but they were very enthusiastic once I told them I have a travel blog.
# LAVATORY: There are 2 lavatories for the Business Class passengers, both located in the galley behind the cockpit. Unfortunately, they are on the small side.
10. MY VERDICT
- Seat comfort (upright): 9/10
- Seat comfort (bed position): 9/10
- Food (quality): 9/10
- Food (quantity): 8/10
- Inflight entertainment : 9/10
- WiFi: 8/10
- Service: 8/10
- Cabin design: 9/10
- Overall experience: very good: 8,8/10