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Guide to Delta One and Delta First Class: What does each offer?

Will Essilfie | (TNS)

Delta Air Lines is one of the largest airlines based in the United States, having transported over 190 million customers to 290 destinations around the world in 2023, the company says, with plenty of options for frequent flyers and occasional travelers alike.

But for its most premium flyers, Delta offers two options that enable you to have a more comfortable and efficient journey from check-in to landing. Continue reading to learn about Delta’s premium cabin offerings — Delta One and First Class — and what to know about both before you book your next flight.

Delta One and Delta First Class are the most premium cabin options on Delta flights. Delta One is the airline’s most premium cabin offered on long-haul routes as well as select transcontinental flights within the United States. It offers a lie-flat seat that turns into a bed and premium food and drink options.

Although “first class” usually denotes the best an airline has to offer, Delta First refers to the airline’s domestic front-of-cabin seats that are a larger recliner seat vs. a lie-flat experience.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from Delta One and how it differs from Delta First Class:

Delta One

Delta One is the airline’s most premium cabin offered throughout its fleet. Every Delta One flight includes lie-flat seats, access to the Delta Sky Club airport lounges, and SkyPriority to ensure fast and smooth check-in and boarding experiences. Once in the air, Delta One passengers also receive a refined culinary experience with a variety of seasonal meal options inspired by regions around the world, wine pairings and complimentary spirits and handcrafted amenity kits.

But the airline didn’t stop there.

In 2017, Delta began flying an updated version of Delta One seats known as Delta One suites. In addition to being a lie-flat seat, these suites include a full-height door that passengers can close for additional privacy along with a Do Not Disturb sign that can be activated. The seats include enhanced memory foam cushioning, improved storage options within the suite for your shoes and underseat carry-on, customizable ambient lighting, and upgraded high resolution entertainment screens.

Delta One suite seats have direct aisle access and can be found on board the airline’s Airbus A350 and A330-900neo planes. For passengers on Delta’s Boeing 767-400 fleet, you can expect a modified version of the suite, but without a door.

Regardless of seat, expect a premium environment and a seat that can lie-flat for sweet dreaming on all Delta One experiences. Delta One is available on long-haul international flights (like New York to Accra, Ghana or Atlanta to Cape Town, South Africa) and select domestic transcontinental routes (like San Francisco to New York).

Delta One airport amenities

The perks of being a Delta One passenger begin at the check-in experience. Included with your ticket is Sky Priority, which provides access to dedicated check-in areas, priority security lines (at select airports) and early boarding. If you check a bag (two free checked bags are included with your Delta One ticket), your bags will be expedited to arrive first at baggage claim once you reach your destination. In select airports, including LAX in Los Angeles and JFK in New York, Delta One passengers have access to exclusive entrances and premium check-in areas.

Once you’ve made it through security, you have access to Delta’s airport lounges, the Delta Sky Clubs, where you can enjoy free food, drinks, WiFi, TV and even a shower in some locations prior to boarding. Starting later this year, Delta plans to begin opening exclusive premium lounges, starting in New York-JFK and Los Angeles-LAX, that will be accessible to select people, including Delta One passengers. Details are limited, but expect an even better on-ground experience once these lounges open.

Delta One seat options

While all Delta One cabins offer lie-flat seats, the experience and seat offerings can vary depending on the operating aircraft for your flight.

On older aircraft (including the Boeing 767-300, premium 757s, Airbus A330-300 fleets), Delta One seats offer an older seat with a smaller entertainment screen and no doors. On premium 757 planes, seats are in a 2×2 configuration, meaning not all seats have direct aisle access.

On newer aircraft (including the Airbus A330-900 neo and Airbus A350-900 fleets), you can find the latest Delta One suites product.

If you want to know the aircraft for your route to ensure you are in a Delta One suite, check for the Delta One suites tag when searching flights on Delta’s website.

Delta One flight amenities

Once you’ve boarded and found your seat, expect to find a handcrafted amenity kit by Someone Somewhere. Inside the kit, you will find a toothbrush, lotion, lip balm and other tools to help make your flight more comfortable.

Alongside the kit will be a comfortable duvet and pillow to use during the flight. On select ultra long-haul flights you will also be offered a lumbar pillow that can also function as a mattress pad.

Your suite also includes a larger entertainment screen (and access to hundreds of TV shows, movies, podcasts and music through Delta Studio), WiFi, universal outlets and high-powered USB ports to keep your devices fully charged during the flight.

Delta also offers free messaging through iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp on all WiFIi enabled flights.

Delta One meal options

Delta continues to elevate meal options onboard its aircraft. In addition to offering a variety of meal options to meet most dietary needs (must be reserved ahead of your flight), the airline has been rolling out the ability to pre-select or opt-out of a meal for your upcoming flight, giving you better clarity into what to expect once onboard.

Food and drink offerings

Delta has spent the last few years upgrading its onboard product offerings, including its food and beverage program.

Delta One passengers can enjoy a dining experience with seasonal, chef-curated meals (your choice of entrée, bread and dessert) made with locally sourced ingredients and paired with wines, top-shelf spirits or assorted beers. Entrees can change depending on your departing airport. On flights from Japan, you might be offered ramen noodles as an entree versus on a flight from Accra you may be offered local jollof rice, letting you try dishes from around the world.


Delta First Class

Delta’s First Class fare option offers many of the same amenities as Delta One, though it’s missing some of the special touches that set the Delta One experience apart.

Delta First Class airport amenities

Customers flying First Class on Delta Air Lines enjoy many of the same airport amenities as Delta One passengers, including SkyPriority services (accelerated check-in, security and baggage handling), priority boarding and two free checked bags weighing up to 70 pounds each. What First Class doesn’t come with, though, is day-of-departure Sky Club access and a guaranteed lie-flat seat once on board.

Delta First seat options

Most Delta First seats are recliner style with a large, push seat and entertainment screen. On newer A321neo aircrafts, Delta is rolling out a new first class seat that provides privacy shields, more space to store your phone during the flight and larger, high resolution entertainment screens. All seats provide a comfortable experience to help your journey fly on by.

Delta First Class flight amenities

Delta’s First Class cabin provides premium perks similar to that of Delta One, with a dedicated flight attendant and chef-prepared meals that can vary depending on your route.

While there are differences depending on the aircraft, seats in First Class offer an extra eight inches of legroom and can recline an additional 50 percent compared to seats in the Main Cabin.

Many First-Class seats also feature seatback screens of up to 11 inches, albeit with fewer entertainment options than those in Delta One suites, and flyers who forget their headphones will be offered a free pair of earbuds.

Other Delta First Class benefits include plenty of built-in outlets and fast WiFi to help you stay productive in the air but the pillow and blanket waiting at your seat — while flimsier compared with Delta One’s bedding — may entice you to have a snooze so you can arrive at your destination rested and refreshed.

Delta First meal options

Delta First provides a meal option on most flights with a variety of fresh and delicious options. Similarly to Delta One, Delta often allows passengers in First Class to pre-select their meal ahead of their flight via the Fly Delta app or main website.

Food and drink offerings

Delta Air Lines’ First Class food and drink offerings vary by mileage. Here’s what you can expect based on the length of your flight:

—Less than 900 miles: Prepackaged snacks (one sweet and one savory, these may include the airline’s now-ubiquitous Biscoff cookies, goldfish crackers, potato chips and Clif bars); bottled water, tea and Starbucks coffee; complimentary beer and wine service as well as mini cans of soda, juices and mixers

—900 to 2,299 miles: All of the above, and may include meal service depending on the time of day (breakfast for flights between 5 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., lunch on 9:46 a.m. to 3:59 p.m. flights, dinner on 4 p.m. to 8:59 p.m. flights)

—2,300+ miles: All of the above, plus full meal service 24 hours per day

How to use your Delta SkyMiles for a cabin upgrade

The number of Delta SkyMiles required for a cabin upgrade varies based on the flight, time of year and what kind of upgrade you want.

Delta SkyMiles are dynamically priced, so there’s no fixed award chart to make an easy estimate. (That said, we peg the value of Delta SkyMiles at around 1.2 cents on average, according to our latest airline mile valuations.)

Luckily, using your Delta SkyMiles to book a cabin upgrade is easy. All you have to do is choose “Upgrade with Miles” in your Trip Summary on prior to finalizing your purchase.

If you already booked your ticket, log in at or the Fly Delta app, find your reservation in “My Trips,” pick an available seat and choose “Pay with Miles.” (You can also set your account preferences to automatically request an upgrade whenever you make a reservation with your SkyMiles number.)

If you don’t see an option to upgrade your seat online or in the app, you may be able to get help from a SkyMiles representative. Here’s how:

—Call Delta Reservations at 1-800-221-1212.

—Ask to book a mileage upgrade award.

—If an upgrade is available, your reservation is eligible and you have enough SkyMiles in your frequent flyer account, the representative can confirm your upgrade over the phone.

In addition, all Delta Medallion members (regardless of their tier) qualify for unlimited, complimentary upgrades to First Class — no miles required. (You could even get a day-of-departure upgrade to Delta One on U.S. flights, when available.)

Medallion members who have Diamond status can use a global upgrade certificate on both international and domestic Delta flights in addition to select flights with Delta Air Lines partners, such as Air France or Virgin Atlantic.

Diamond and Platinum members alike can trade in a regional upgrade certificate to move up to First Class or the domestic Delta One experience on the same routes that qualify for free upgrades.

Delta cabin upgrades are refundable for credit after purchase, which means you’ll receive your upgrade cost back as miles or eCredit depending on how you purchased your upgrade.


—What is Delta business class called? Delta’s premium business class product is known as Delta One. It’s an enhanced business-class option the airline offers on longer international flights and select domestic routes.

—Can I use the Delta lounge when flying business class? While Delta One passengers have full access to Delta airport lounges before flying, First Class customers on domestic flights do not — unless you’re a SkyMiles member with Diamond, Platinum or Gold Medallion status (or hold a qualifying Delta credit card, such as the Delta SkyMiles Reserve or Reserve Business).

—Is Delta First Class better than Delta One? Delta First Class is a different level of service and seat features compared to Delta One but is still considered a premium offering. On domestic flights and select short-haul international flights, Delta First Class is the highest service class offered on the plane. When flying on routes with Delta First Class, you can expect a larger seat (but most likely a non lie-flat seat) and other premium class amenities. Be sure to review which service class you will be in before purchasing your ticket.

The bottom line

If you are looking for a more premium experience when flying with Delta, Delta One and Delta First Class are both great options for ensuring a more comfortable journey. Delta aircraft only offer one, not both of these cabins on flights. When flying domestic, expect that you will be in a Delta First cabin barring select premium transcontinental routes. For long-haul international routes, relax and unwind in Delta One with a lie-flat seat, amenity kits and premium food and drink offerings to make your trip a memorable one.

Delta is almost always near the top of J.D. Power’s North America Airline Satisfaction study and offers a great experience for passengers for both short and long-haul flights. Ultimately, when considering a premium experience or upgrade, be sure to keep in mind if the cost and other benefits make sense for you. If they do, Delta One and Delta First can make a long journey even more pleasurable.


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