Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Quick Review Of Delta's New Economy Comfort Class

My knees in Economy Comfort.

I recently traveled from Prague to New York in Delta's new Economy Comfort class.

Since I've previously written about my experiences with Delta's Business Elite (here and here), I thought I'd offer a few quick thoughts about my experience with the new service.

Here's what my knees looked like in a Coach seat, just for comparison.

I'm tall, and so flying in coach on any airline is real torture. My knees press against the seat in front of me as a matter of course. You don't even want to know what happens if the passenger sitting in front of me decides to take a nap and recline his or her seat.

Delta's Economy Comfort class is not a new idea. Other airlines have been offering similar services for some time now, but I’m a Delta frequent flyer (it's the go-to airline in Prague to get to the United States) and so the news was most welcome. I simply can't afford to fly Business Elite more than once every few years.

The Economy Comfort section on my Prague-to-JFK flight.

Economy Comfort is its own little section between Business Elite and Coach. The seats themselves, which Delta says are new, felt pretty much like regular Coach seats to me, although they are supposed to offer 50 percent more recline. I didn't test this feature out, because I still feel guilty about putting my seat all the way back.

The big advantage is more leg room. Or more specifically, more knee room. Three to four inches (7-10 cm) more, according to Delta. That extra amount of room wasn't astounding, but it was noticeable. There wasn't enough extra room to cross my legs (unless I was sitting on the aisle), but it definitely made the flight more comfortable.

The other big advantage over Coach (other than priority boarding) is free booze. The food is the same as in Coach, but the booze is complimentary.

The dinner offering was the same as in Coach.

Except to really take advantage of this particular perk, you really have to be bold, swallow your pride, and unapologetically ask for it. Time and time again.

I asked for a bourbon on the rocks and then a glass of red wine with dinner. And then I had to ask again for one more of each. And then yet one more time. The flight attendants, unlike in Business Elite, don't come around and ask if you'd like refills. If you have to flag a flight attendant down and ask. It's slightly embarrassing. But they did humor me, and with the cutest little bottles of the sublime Woodford Reserve, to boot.

A single-serve bottle of the Woodford Reserve. On the rocks. In a plastic cup. No complaints.

I'm not totally sure, but I think Economy Comfort cost me around $75 more each way than a regular coach ticket.

Worth it? Yes. But only if you're tall, and only if you like a drink or two during your trip.

On the wing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012