Home Airlines An Unexpected Flight On Delta’s First A321neo

An Unexpected Flight On Delta’s First A321neo

by joeheg

Delta Air Lines took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo in March 2022. The more efficient version of the A321 is planned to be a major part of Delta’s narrowbody fleet, as they’ve ordered 155 planes set to be delivered by 2027.

Delta has 23 A321neo planes at the current count, so it’s still a bit of a novelty if you get to fly on one. For those with high enough status to get upgraded on Delta flights, the A321neo features Delta’s new first-class seat.

While some are thrilled to fly on a new plane, I don’t follow things like this. I’m searching for the route and price and for this flight I was looking for a dependable positioning flight to get us to Los Angeles.

In addition, this wasn’t the first A321neo we’ve flown, as we got to try one of JetBlue’s new planes last year and were impressed.

I was going to type my usual domestic airline review about how much legroom there is, how much space in the overhead bins and under the seat and if there are IFE screens and power outlets.

I took a picture of the plane as we walked to collect our bags at LAX. It was the second one back, Registration number N501DA.

I did my usual post-flight search about our plane and saw it was delivered on 3/23/22. That date was familiar as it was the same as the Delta press release celebrating the delivery of the first A321neo I had just read.

It turns out we unknowingly flew on Delta’s very first A321neo. Now that it’s nearly celebrating its first birthday, how’s the plane holding up?

We boarded with group MAIN 1 and headed back to row 32. Delta’s website says Main Cabin seats are 18 inches wide and have 31 inches of pitch. That means just enough legroom when my bag is under the seat in front of me.

There’s enough space under the seat to fit a normal-size backpack. The quoted under-seat area is 20x19x9.

The IFE screen was touchscreen and very crisp. There was also very little glare.

There was a USB charging port under the screen. There was also a power plug and USB charger by the floor between the seats.

Our flight featured free Wi-Fi from Viasat for Delta SkyMiles members.

While we could use our phones or tablet to browse the internet, our favorite thing to watch on the IFE for domestic flights is the flight tracker. Ignore the out-of-proportion size of the plane. This is the trend for all flight tracker software.

The only difference we noticed was that nothing showed the food or drinks available for our 5-hour flight. Delta has gone to a virtual menu and you scan a QR code to see what’s available.

Final Thoughts

While I didn’t know it at the time, it was neat to fly on the first A321neo delivered to Delta Air Lines. But the experience wasn’t that much different than from Delta’s other A321s which, on average, are only 3 years old.

I appreciate how much better of an experience it is on an A321 instead of the 737-900ER we flew to LAX last year. For the average US traveler, Delta offers an onboard flight experience that, except for JetBlue’s newest planes, is the best in the sky.

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