Formerly known as a Bombardier C-Series Airplane
Flying on a new airplane for the first time is exciting! As an avgeek, it is similar to that first time driving a new car. I had this opportunity to catch this new aircraft, my first time on a Delta Airbus A220, flying to Dallas-Fort Worth for a few days of planespotting mayhem with my friend Matt. It turns out this was also my last trip before everything shut down for the virus at the end of March, 2020.
The first time on a Delta Airbus A220
According to Airbus.com, the “A220 Family aircraft are designed to deliver the feel of a wide-body jetliner in a single-aisle aircraft. The cabin provides space where it matters the most, leading to an unparalleled passenger experience.” Does it?
All observations for today’s flight come from my seat in first class. Therefore my observations do not include those of a typical economy passenger. Economy is configured with two seats on the left side of the aircraft (as oriented when seated) and three on the right. Unless you are traveling with two other people, I’d try for the left side, just saying.
One immediate surprise occurs at boarding, as the aircraft threshold still identifies this as a C-Series aircraft.
The C-Series labeling indicates this aircraft production prior to the Airbus purchase. Or they just had a bunch of these stickers and decided to use them rather than throw them out…
The Airbus statement assumes that you know what a wide-body experience is. A wide-body experience evokes in me room to stretch, big overhead bins, and a generally spacious cabin. Some of this is not really possible, of course, given the physical size of the fuselage of approximately 12 feet. For comparison, a wide-body Airbus A350 checks in with a fuselage diameter of approximately 20 feet.
How was the room to stretch? The seat itself is representative of most domestic first class seats I’ve flown with 21 inches of with with a pitch of 36 inches. The center area console between the seats is larger in the first class section of other aircraft such as the Airbus A320 series or Boeing 737 series of aircraft. Each series has a much larger center console area, not a real complaint, it just represents more room and less elbow rubbing with your single serving friend.
One additional surprise was the inclusion of a seat-belt airbag on this aircraft (you can see it next to the center console). First time I’ve flown with one of those.
How about the big overhead bins? I didn’t have an bag to put in the overhead bin, but they looked large. Everyone seemed to be able to find bin space, at least in first class. First class passengers can be some of the worst offenders when it comes to large and over-sized carry-on bags in my experience.
How about a generally spacious feel? I would describe the feel as in-between a wide-body and a regional jet. The Bombardier CRJ-700/900 feels small to me and the Airbus A350 which definitely feels wide.
I guess the Airbus marketing statement is partially true, in my opinion.
Now the Dirt, Literally
As you can see in the thumbnail for the YouTube Video, I refer to this as a “dirty and gross Delta A220”. I captured this trip report on March 10, 2020. I don’t think many of us will forget, but this is right as the virus is shutting down the country. Delta made several announcements about the cleanliness and cleaning processes they used for all flights. Unfortunately for me, that seemed just lip service on this flight.
My first class flight came with a gluten free meal (more on that soon). Opening the the tray table, I see stuff spread all over. Clearly it had not been cleaned. When you are unsure of where, who, and what may get you infected, finding stuff all over the tray table left me doubting the entire cleaning process.
I’m a frequent Delta Airlines flyer and have earned status with them for 3+ years now. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only frequent Delta flyer who is also gluten free. At this point I’ve probably had each of the gluten free entree options offered by Delta: meatballs with marinara sauce, grilled chicken and rice, barbecued chicken with sweet potato puree, and cold chicken salad. They may have more, but I seem to get one of these. Most often I get the cold chicken salad.
As I say in the video, it’s not a bad meal, it just isn’t great after a dozen attempts. Somewhat bland, the best part of the meal are the items from Udi’s!
Delta, if you read this, please update your gluten free selections!
That’s a Wrap!
Other than the dirty tray table and repetetive food, the flight was good. I don’t think anything other than a wide-body provides a wide-body experience, but it’s really just a really, really good regional jet! I would definitely seek to fly on one again the future. Remember to check those flight details when booking if you want to get on one yourself.
Stay safe out there and Happy Travels!