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Delta Air Lines Review: Customer Experience, Prices & Baggage Size

Delta Air Lines Review: Customer Experience, Prices & Baggage Size
Nicolle Harwood-Nash
Last Updated: April 22, 2024

As one of the longest-standing airlines in the world, Delta Air Lines has solidified its place in the aviation industry. Carrying on average over 200 million passengers a year, there's an abundance of Delta Air Lines reviews to sift through that can help you gauge how people feel about the service the airline offers.

To save you time and effort, our team of legal experts at AirAdvisor have put together a thorough evaluation of Delta Air Lines. In this article, we discuss the airline's pricing structure, passenger experiences, baggage stipulations and safety protocols to equip you with valuable insights, whether you're a frequent flyer or contemplating your maiden voyage with Delta Air Lines.

About Delta Air Lines

Delta air lines airplane

Delta Air Lines, one of the major players in the global aviation industry, is a US-based carrier with an extensive history dating back to 1928. As mentioned, it provides service to hundreds of millions of passengers annually, connecting an impressive range of domestic and international destinations. Delta seeks to cater to a broad spectrum of passengers, from those looking for cost-effective options to others desiring a more luxurious travel experience.

In the competitive landscape of airlines, Delta has managed to carve out a distinctive reputation. It has managed to balance quality service with an extensive network, maintaining a solid customer base. While it faces the same challenges and criticisms as other airlines, it consistently works towards improving its services and offerings. As we progress in this review, we aim to provide a balanced and insightful assessment of what Delta Air Lines has to offer to its potential passengers.

Based on the most recent AirAdvisor Ratings for 2023, Delta Air Lines has achieved impressive scores in various categories:

  • Number 1 Airline in the US: Delta Air Lines has secured first position among the best airlines in the United States in terms of overall performance.
  • Number 1 Most Reliable Airline in the US: Delta Air Lines holds the first spot in terms of reliability among airlines in the US. To explore the complete list, you can visit the US’ Most Reliable Airline Rankings page.
  • Delta Air Lines is recognized as the 9th most affordable airline in America. For a comprehensive list of budget carriers in the US and their rankings, you can refer to the US Budget Carrier Rankings 2023.

Delta Air Lines Rating by Passenger Reviews

Average star rating
Total Reviews


4 out of 5
3.6 out of 5
2 out of 5
1.7 out of 5
3.6 out of 5

Ticket Purchasing and Check-in

the ticket purchase page on the delta air lines website

Ticket purchasing with Delta Air Lines is designed to be a seamless process, accomplishable through multiple avenues. The most direct method is via their official website or mobile application, where you can search flights, compare airfares, and choose your desired seats. In addition to Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First Class tickets, Delta also offers 'Basic Economy' for budget-conscious travelers. Delta Air Lines also provides options for flight insurance, car rentals, and hotel bookings, making it a comprehensive platform for your travel needs.

Online check-in is another streamlined process with Delta Air Lines, available starting 24 hours before your flight's scheduled departure. Through the airline's website or mobile app, you can check in, choose or change your seats, and print your boarding pass or have it sent to your mobile device. If you have checked luggage, you can drop it off at a designated Delta counter when you're at the airport.

Please note that online check-in closes an hour before domestic flights and up to 2 hours before international flights. As procedures can vary depending on the airport and your destination, it's always best to confirm the specific check-in policies for your journey on Delta's official website.

Delta Air Lines App Ratings

Download Wizz Air from App Store
4.8 out of 5
5475716 total
Download Wizz Air from Google Play
2.7 out of
43726 total

Delta Air Lines

Airport Experience

Navigating the airport as a Delta Air Lines passenger can be quite efficient, thanks to a multitude of services designed to expedite the process. Self-service kiosks are available at many airports for quick check-in, and there are designated drop-off counters for checked luggage.

Delta's customer service representatives are usually on-hand to assist passengers with any queries or issues. For those who opt for Delta's premium services or are part of the SkyMiles loyalty program or Diamond Medallion®, Delta offers access to its exclusive Sky Club lounges. These lounges offer a comfortable space to relax, with amenities such as complimentary refreshments, Wi-Fi, and entertainment.

In terms of security procedures, Delta Air Lines works in close cooperation with airport security to ensure a smooth and safe transition for its passengers. As with any flight, passengers are encouraged to arrive well in advance of their departure time to account for any unforeseen delays during security checks. It's also worth noting that Delta provides real-time flight updates and gate information via its mobile app to keep passengers well-informed.

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Boarding procedures with Delta Air Lines are systematic and tiered according to the type of ticket and the SkyMiles status of the passenger. The process begins with pre-boarding for passengers needing assistance or extra time, followed by premium cabins and higher-tier SkyMiles members, before proceeding to Main Cabin and Basic Economy passengers. This structured approach ensures an orderly boarding process, minimizing the common rush and confusion that can occur during this phase of the journey.

Once aboard the Delta flight, attendants welcome passengers and guide them to their assigned seats. For those in premium classes, a pre-flight beverage service is typically provided.

Overhead storage is ample, but as always, is subject to the amount of carry-on luggage by all passengers. It's important to pay attention to the flight crew's safety demonstration or video at the start of the flight, even if you're a frequent flyer, as procedures can vary between different aircraft types.

Airplane Interior

screenshot with information about delta air lines onboard interior

Delta Air Lines is known for its comfortable and thoughtfully designed cabins. Its fleet comprises a mix of narrow and wide-body aircraft, all featuring contemporary designs with a focus on passenger comfort. The interiors are marked by clean lines, soothing color palettes, adjustable lighting, and ergonomic seating.

Depending on the aircraft and class of service, seats may offer features such as ample legroom, adjustable headrests, personal power outlets, and seat-back entertainment screens. Wi-Fi is available on most flights for a fee, though it's complimentary for simple messaging.

Seat Space

Delta Air Lines aims to prioritize passenger comfort across all classes of travel, with the space allocation varying according to the specific class. As the seat dimensions and spacing can differ based on the aircraft type, it's beneficial to verify the details when reserving your flight. For more detailed information on seat space, see below:

Basic Economy (Economy Light)

In Basic Economy, Delta Air Lines provides a cost-effective travel solution for passengers prioritizing affordability. While this fare offers the same in-flight services, comfort, and amenities as Main Cabin, it restricts seat selection until after check-in, limiting your choices.

Also, changes or upgrades to the reservation are generally not permitted with a Basic Economy ticket. This fare class is a good choice for passengers who are certain about their travel plans and don't mind where they sit.

Main Cabin (Economy)

Within the Main Cabin, Delta's equivalent to Economy Class, the seats are designed for comfort, featuring adjustable headrests. The standard seat pitch, or the distance from one point on a seat to the same point on the seat in front of it, ranges between 29 and 32 inches (approximately 73.5 to 81 cm), providing sufficient legroom for most travelers.

If you require additional space, you can opt for a Comfort+ seat which offers up to 3 extra inches (about 7.6 cm) of legroom. However, this option may incur an extra charge and certain responsibilities in emergency situations.

Delta Comfort+ (Premium Economy)

In Delta Comfort+, which is Delta's Premium Economy class, passengers are treated to increased seat pitch of about 34 inches (approximately 86 cm). This, combined with a greater recline than the Main Cabin seats, enhances the comfort on long-haul flights. If even more space is desired, seats near the emergency exits might be an attractive option.

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Delta One (Business Class)

Delta One, the Business Class offering by Delta Air Lines, features full flat-bed seats to maximize passenger relaxation. The seat arrangement is designed to allow all passengers to have direct aisle access. With the seats extending to approximately 76-81 inches (about 193 to 205 cm) when fully flat, space is abundant in Delta One. However, this class of service may not be available on all aircraft or routes.

Delta One Suite (First Class)

The Delta One Suite, which constitutes Delta's First Class, is the pinnacle of comfort and spaciousness. Each suite provides a fully flat bed extending to about 76-81 inches (about 193 to 205 cm) in length and a seat width of up to 21-24 inches (approximately 53 to 61 cm), ensuring optimum relaxation or sleep. The private suites are crafted to offer the ultimate in privacy and space, truly encapsulating a luxury travel experience.

Like the Delta One class, the availability of the Delta One Suite may vary depending on the aircraft type and route.

Delta Air Lines Review – Service

Delta Air Lines' customer service has a general reputation for being responsive and professional. Ground staff, in-flight crew, and support representatives typically demonstrate a clear commitment to passenger assistance. The company offers dedicated services for special needs passengers, including individuals with disabilities and unaccompanied minors, reflecting their inclusive approach.

In the digital arena, Delta's website and mobile app are user-friendly, offering easy booking and check-in procedures, real-time flight updates, and efficient management of travel disruptions.

Despite the inherent challenges of the aviation industry, Delta's proactive communication with passengers helps mitigate potential issues, underlining the airline's focus on customer satisfaction.

Food & Drink

nformation about in flight meals

Delta Air Lines' in-flight food and beverage offerings consistently receive good reviews from passengers. The airline offers a variety of complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic drinks on all flights, while meals and alcoholic beverages are provided on long-haul and certain international flights.

The quality of the meals is commendable, often featuring a diverse menu that caters to various dietary preferences. The airline also partners with renowned chefs and beverage experts to create a premium dining experience, particularly in the higher classes of service.

Delta Air Lines Business Class

In regard to their Business Class, known as Delta One, the airline offers an elevated travel experience that stands out in terms of comfort and service. The full flat-bed seats ensure maximum relaxation during long flights, and every seat is equipped with direct aisle access, providing convenience and privacy.

Onboard amenities include noise-canceling headphones, premium dining options, and high-quality amenity kits. The attention to detail and emphasis on passenger comfort make Delta One a highly praised option for business travel.

Flight Disruptions

In the course of air travel, disruptions such as delays or cancellations are an unfortunate reality. Delta Air Lines, like all carriers, occasionally experiences such interruptions, which can stem from diverse factors including inclement weather, technical problems, or restrictions imposed by air traffic control.

Should you encounter a delay of over 3 hours or an outright cancellation with Delta, you could be eligible for specific remedies, depending on the legislation in place at your point of departure. Some of these remedies may encompass the possibility of compensation for flight delay in US or compensation for cancelled a flight. The exact amount of compensation varies, contingent on the length of the delay or advance notice of cancellation, and the distance of the flight.

You can discover more precise details concerning Delta Air Lines delayed or cancelled flight compensation on the airline's official website. It's crucial to recognize that if the interruption resulted from 'extraordinary circumstances' beyond the airline's control, even with all reasonable precautions in place, compensation may not be applicable.

In certain scenarios, particularly when a flight delay exceeds 5 hours, or a flight is cancelled, passengers may have the right to a refund for a flight cancellation, instead of a reroute.

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How to Make a Complaint

In case you face an unsatisfactory situation with the airline and decide to lodge a complaint, the Delta Air Lines complaints procedure allows you to do this directly via their official website. The usual process involves completing an online form where you explain the problem, furnish details of the flight, and upload any pertinent documentation. It's essential to maintain a record of all interactions and have all flight details readily available, as this information will be required for the complaint submission.

It's worth mentioning that this procedure can sometimes be drawn out and demands a comprehensive understanding of the passenger rights applicable to your point of departure. This is precisely where AirAdvisor can provide invaluable assistance, especially when it comes to compensation claims. Our legal professionals have a deep knowledge of passenger rights and can rapidly assess if you qualify for compensation.

You simply share your flight details with us, and we take care of everything else, from registering the complaint to communicating with the airline. The service we offer is done so on a 'no win, no fee' basis. This means you're not required to pay anything unless we successfully procure your compensation.

Delta Air Lines Review – Conclusion

a delta air lines plane in flight

In assessing the plethora of Delta Air Lines reviews, one encounters a broad spectrum of passenger experiences, which is understandable given the airline's wide reach and diverse customer base. Delta, as a brand, often reflects the positive elements of air travel, showing a commitment to high-quality service, a comprehensive aircraft fleet, and an excellent safety record, which contributes to its good reputation.

With that said, Delta, like any major airline, has its shortcomings. Some passengers report inconsistencies in service quality, and there have been instances where dealing with disruptions like delays or cancellations hasn't been as smooth as expected. However, the airline generally stands as a reliable choice for many, with notable comfort levels and customer service.

Despite occasional challenges, Delta's efforts in managing services under various conditions and commitment to passenger rights affirm its credibility within the global aviation industry. It's clear that the airline strives to maintain a balance between the needs of its passengers and operational demands.

FAQ / Common Questions: Delta Air Lines Review

For those still seeking further clarification regarding Delta Air Lines, the following FAQs should help address some common queries:

Is Delta a reliable airline?

Delta Air Lines is widely recognized as a dependable airline. As one of the oldest operational airlines, it provides an extensive network of domestic and international routes. Delta has earned a reputation for steady performance, timeliness, and a strong emphasis on safety. They employ seasoned pilots and crews and operate a modern, well-maintained fleet, contributing to their dependability.

Are Delta Air Lines' flights really cheap?

While Delta Air Lines isn't a budget airline, their fares can be competitive, particularly considering the range and quality of services provided. Included in the fare are amenities such as complimentary meals and beverages on long-haul flights, free seat selection 24 hours before departure, and a reasonable free baggage allowance.

Delta also offers regular sales and promotions that can make their flights more budget-friendly.

How uncomfortable is Delta Air Lines?

Comfort on Delta Air Lines flights can vary based on the aircraft type, travel class, and individual preferences. Generally, the airline is recognized for providing a comfortable journey for its passengers. Even in Basic Economy, seats are designed with adjustable headrests, and on longer flights, passengers are provided with blankets and pillows.

Delta's First Class and Delta One® offer heightened comfort with wider, reclining seats and additional amenities.

For flights over 1.5 hours in duration, Delta Air Lines offers free water, in addition to other non-alcoholic beverages, tea and coffee.

Can I take a 10kg bag on Delta for free?

Yes, you can. Delta Air Lines' carry-on policy generally allows each passenger, regardless of the class of their ticket, to bring on board one piece of carry-on luggage and one other small item, like a handbag or laptop bag for free. Delta does not specifically state a weight limit for carry-on luggage, but passengers should be able to lift and store their luggage without help. It must also fit within the airline's size requirements.

For instance, carry-on luggage should not exceed 22" x 14" x 9" (or 56cm x 35cm x 23cm) and should fit into the overhead compartment or under the seat in front. The personal item must fit underneath the seat in front of you.

Delta's checked baggage allowance varies depending on the service class and ticket type, typically starting at 50lb (23kg) for Main Cabin and Comfort+ passengers, up to 70lb (32kg) for Delta One, First Class, and Diamond Medallion passengers. However, this policy is subject to change, so it's always best to check Delta's website for the most current information.

Why do people not like Delta Air Lines?

Although Delta Air Lines receives positive feedback for its services, some criticisms persist. Complaints often relate to unexpected flight delays or cancellations, inconsistency in the quality of in-flight meals, and occasional customer service lapses. Issues also arise around luggage handling, confined seating spaces, and the perceived inefficiency of Delta's SkyMiles loyalty program.

Has Delta Air Lines ever crashed?

In 1985, Delta Air Lines experienced a tragic event when Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011, crashed while attempting to land at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, due to a microburst-induced wind shear. However, this represents an exceedingly small portion of the numerous flights that Delta has operated throughout its history.

Delta adheres to strict international safety standards and has one of the most robust safety records in the aviation industry.

Does Delta fly Boeing or Airbus?

As of July 2023, Delta's fleet consists of approximately 55% Boeing aircraft, translating to a total of 501 planes. Airbus contributes the remaining 45%, accounting for 421 aircraft. When we examine the type of planes, the majority (81%) of Delta's fleet, equating to 749 aircraft, is composed of narrow-body planes. The wide-body counterparts, with a count of 173, make up the rest of the fleet, filling the 19% slot.

Does Delta Air Lines cancel flights often?

While no airline can guarantee that flights will never be canceled, Delta doesn't frequently cancel flights. As a leading international airline, Delta operates an extensive network with multiple daily flights on numerous routes, offering considerable flexibility in schedule management. They have substantial resources to predict and address potential disruptions that might necessitate cancellations.

Flight cancellations are usually the last resort for airlines, as they pose logistical challenges and potential reputational harm. Delta adheres to industry norms to avoid cancellations when possible. However, unpredictable scenarios such as severe weather conditions, air traffic control directives, or mechanical difficulties might occasionally require flight cancellations.

Will Delta Air Lines automatically refund Cancelled flights?

If Delta cancels a flight, they'll typically give you the option to rebook on a subsequent flight, reroute your trip under similar conditions, or receive a full refund. The decision is yours. However, the refund or rebooking process isn't automatic. You must contact the airline to arrange this.

Is Delta Air Lines food free?

Yes, for flights over 1.5 hours, Delta provides complimentary food. The type of meal provided depends on the duration and time of the flight. On long-haul international flights, passengers are usually served a full meal, which includes a starter, main course, dessert, and beverages. Shorter domestic flights typically offer complimentary snacks and beverages.

For passengers with specific dietary needs, Delta offers a selection of special meals that must be pre-ordered at least 24 hours before the flight. However, it's recommended to verify the most recent service offerings at the time of booking, as onboard provisions may occasionally change.

How can I avoid Delta baggage fees?

To avoid Delta's baggage fees, the best thing to do is to meet the requirements of the airline's baggage allowance, which varies depending on your ticket class. Generally, Delta allows one piece of carry-on luggage and one personal item in the cabin, as mentioned.

For those traveling in Main Cabin on long-haul flights, you're typically allowed one piece of checked luggage up to 50lb (23kg) free of charge. Delta One®, First Class, and Diamond Medallion® passengers are allowed additional or heavier bags.

Where is the best place to sit on a Delta Air Lines plane?

The best place to sit on a Delta plane depends on your preferences. If you prioritize legroom, an exit-row seat might be your best option. For quieter seating, try to choose a seat as far from the engines as possible, often towards the back of the plane.

Window seats in the center section of wide-body planes can offer direct aisle access while still providing the advantage of a window view.

How old are Delta Air Lines' planes?

Historically, Delta has chosen a cost-effective approach towards its fleet management, opting to buy or lease second-hand aircraft or stick with older generation models. This strategy allows them to curb upfront acquisition expenses and extend the operational lifespan of these planes compared to their rivals. In line with this strategy, Delta has also established a comprehensive maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) division, known as TechOps.

That being said, Delta hasn't shied away from procuring more economically priced new models, especially when manufacturers transition to next-gen designs or offer bargains on less popular variants. As of 2023, Delta operates the oldest fleet among the traditional carriers, with the average aircraft age being approximately 14.8 years.

Does Delta run on time?

According to a recent study by OAG Aviation Worldwide, Delta Air Lines holds the crown for the highest on-time performance among North American airlines, recording an impressive punctuality rate of 81.79% for departures throughout 2022.

How to get a good seat on Delta Air Lines without paying?

Getting a good seat on Delta without paying an additional fee can be a bit of a gamble, but there are ways to increase your chances. If you don't choose and pay for a specific seat, Delta automatically assigns you one when you check in online, which is usually from 24 hours before the flight. At this point, you can check for any available preferred seats.

Flying at off-peak times or on less busy routes could also increase your chances of getting a good seat without paying anything extra. Delta’s SkyMiles Medallion® Members can usually select their seats for free within a certain timeframe before their flight, depending on their level of membership.

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