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Delta One Business Class Review A330-200 Frankfurt Germany FRA to New York JFK

June 9, 2023
Osman Dadi
This was standard Delta One International experience in an A330-200, a perfect example of using a Global Upgrade Certificate for good value. The A332 Delta One configuration is perfect for a 6-10 hour flight. The crew was excellent, very hospitable prompt, and friendly.
From
Frankfurt FRA
To
NY JFK
Duration
8hr 57min
Via
Delta Airlines
Seat(s)
3J
Points Used
GUC
Cash Spent
$1,598.78

This Delta One flight was an adventure! I almost missed my flight because of Frankfurt airport’s insanely slow security line, which, even in the Premium/Priority side, took about 55 minutes to get through. I ended up arriving at my gate like an Olympic runner finishing an endurance event.

the Reverse herringbone seating is super comfortable even with the absence of doors
The Reverse herringbone seating is super comfortable even with the absence of doors

That being said, this was standard Delta One International experience in an A330-200. Although these are the non-Suite Delta One planes, this one is topping my list of favorites – (the A350, A330neo, and B767-400 are a couple in the Suites category).

The Delta One right-hand console is perfect for a mouse pad
The right-hand console is perfect for a mouse pad

<Editorial Note: Later in 2023, I also flew the competition on the same route, on Singapore Airlines in a B777-300ER and on Lufthansa in a B747-800i to Newark EWR.>

Booking A Delta One Ticket

This flight was the perfect example of leveraging my Delta status. First, I booked a Premium Select fare, which set me back $1,488. I then used one of my Global Upgrade Certificates to push me up to a Delta One seat.

While the pricing was definitely on the steep side, I intentionally did it just after January  1 to get a jump-start on Elite Status for the year. However, I’m still unsure if it’s something I will pursue.

More importantly, this routing via Frankfurt (along with the preceding flights on Oman Air) was by far the quickest schedule to get from Thailand all the way to New York.

The Ground Experience

The ground experiment in Frankfurt was good and bad. On the one hand, this was the easiest connection to make and was super convenient. From Oman Air coming off Terminal 2A in Frankfurt to the other side of Terminal 2E at the E Gates.

This quick changeover makes Frankfurt a great airport in which to have this type of interchange between flights (with only Carry On luggage, in my case). All in all it took approximately 10 minutes, so in the end, I was about 2h50m early for my flight – and chose to spend most of this time in the lounge.

Delta One Business Class Check In

This time around, check-in was a bit of an adventure. Online check-in was supposed to be easy thru the Delta App. However, I actually had to call Delta to complete the Check-In, as the Global Upgrade Certificate did not properly transfer into the reservation when the original booking was made.

Fortunately, hats off or Delta customer care, and within about ten minutes, an Agent on the phone was able to take care of this for me. Once that was done, I could easily check-in via the mobile app since I only had a carry-on.

The Primeclass Lounge In Frankfurt Terminal E

Getting into the lounge was relatively simple. I used my Priority Pass Select membership, which I have through the Capital One Venture X credit card, to gain entry. I chose the Primeclass Lounge due to its proximity to my departure gates.

Entry to the Primeclass Lounge
Entry to the Primeclass Lounge

One thing I will say is that the staff was a little wary of me taking images in this lounge for the review. I’m not sure why. Maybe they just weren’t used to it. However, I still managed to take enough pictures for a review.

Seats are placed a bit tight, I didn't have any company when I was initially here - but it filled up later.
Seats are placed a bit tight, I didn’t have any company when I was initially here – but it filled up later.

Overall, the lounge was pretty basic and was configured as one large space with a built-in mini-screening room; however, it got the job done and provided a great place to sit and chill for an hour and a half.

The lounge Features a nice screening room
The lounge Features a nice screening room
The simple built-in mini screening room.
The simple built-in mini screening room.
The dining area is pretty spacious, considering the size of the lounge.
The dining area is pretty spacious, considering the size of the lounge.

The lounge offers basic buffet food, a coffee machine, and bottled drinks, including beer and wine. However, I did get the chance to take a shower while using this lounge, which was perfect and gave me a chance to freshen up.

They offer fruits and breads for light meals.
They offer fruits and breads for light meals.
A couple of buffet style choices are available for a meal.
A couple of buffet style choices are available for a meal.
Coffee, lemonade, and some beers are available in the beverage section.
Coffee, lemonade, and some beers are available in the beverage section.

The lounge was quiet, to say the least. When I first arrived, I was one of two visitors. Although by the time it got closer to 8 am, it had started to get extremely crowded.

The shower room is simple but serves its purpose
The shower room is simple but serves its purpose. 

Security and Boarding Delta One

At 8:40, I set off to head for the gate, which was just a 5-minute walk away. My, in hindsight, flawed thinking figured an hour would be enough time to get on the plane – boy, was I super wrong!

My oh my, security at Frankfurt Airport is an absolute mess.

Each group of 4-5x Gates has a dedicated security queue. Even though it is split into Regular and Premium/Priority, the Priority Line took about 50 minutes. The main culprit was that the security agents were forcing folks to take out all electronics and various kinds of belongings. To make matters worse, they re-screened them at the end of the process.

This line was quite literally just crawling at a snail’s pace. I’d estimate each person was taking about 4 minutes to process; that is a ludicrous amount of time to process one person.

A couple of us in similar positions had to cut ahead of others and prioritize to get on the flight. About fifteen people were affected in all. Thankfully we all boarded with only minutes to spare.

If you are transferring at Frankfurt, I would budget at least 90 minutes time for crossing any security lines.

Boarding Delta One

Delta used Gate E5 today. Thankfully, once I got to the gate after security, it was a breeze to check in at the gate (even having time to print a boarding pass) with friendly agents.

Gate E5 for my Delta One  boarding pass and check in. 

Gate E5 for my boarding pass and check in. 

I was one of the last to board, and went in through the rear jet bridge, even though both were connected.

the interior View from the hallway beside my assigned seat. Delta One
View from the hallway beside my assigned seat.

The crew was excellent at this point, and the flight attendants were highly enthusiastic and welcoming on board. In the end, I chatted with several of them at multiple points throughout the flight, as they were inquiring about my photo habits during the flight.

The Delta One Cabin and Seat 3J

Unfortunately, due to my delay and extremely late boarding, I could not take many pictures of the cabin interior before taking off. However, I was able to take a decent amount of pictures of my seat 3J.

Delta One Seat 3J is one of my favorite seats on this aircraft type.
Seat 3J is one of my favorite seats on this aircraft type.

Seat 3J

Delta’s A332s use reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 layout; Business Class is also separated into two cabins. My favorite seats on this aircraft are 3J and 6J, and I was able to secure the former seat on this flight.

Delta one Leg room is comfortable and spacious in this seat type - It may be less comfortable if on the wide side
Leg room is comfortable and spacious in this seat type – It may be less comfortable if on the wide side.
IN this Delta one seat the Windows are aligned with the seat and have an excellent clear view of the engines.
Windows are aligned with the seat and have an excellent clear view of the engines. Water and orange juice (Champagne) are offered as pre-departure drinks.

3J is particularly attractive, and the windows are perfectly aligned to the seat, allowing you two windows in one bay. The windows also have a clear view of the engines, making the seat perfect for AV geeks.

Power port and USB charging are available for your devices in this Delta One seat,  and a headset as well.
Power port and USB charging are available for your devices, and a headset as well.
the Delta one storage is spacious, although it  encroached on your legroom. A pillow and blanket set is provided.
Storage is spacious, although it  encroached on your legroom. A pillow and blanket set is provided.

The icing on the cake and what makes the seat is if you’re right-handed, the right-side console makes for a perfect mouse or work surface. Also, I find the tray table stows out in the right direction for best support.

the table folds out in two locations to become a single, large table. Very stable and effective for work.
The table folds out in two locations to become a single, large table. Very stable and effective for work.

The seats fully recline and are spacious enough to lie flat in. However, the footwell is small but comfortable enough for me. In the end, I slept well for the last 3 hours and 45 minutes of the flight.

On this type of seat, the  functions are pretty basic, including:

  • Lie Flat, Lounge, and Takeoff/Landing
  • Move Forward/Back
  • For both the upper torso and feet, forward/back movements.
  • Lumbar support.
  • Seat Functions
View of the Delta One IFE screen - Push the button, and it pops out for viewing.
View of the IFE screen – Push the button, and it pops out for viewing.

The Delta One Amenity Kit

I was intrigued to see how I would react to the amenity kit. I was coming off Oman Air First Class, after all.

Amenity Kit beside the pre-departure drinks
Amenity Kit beside the pre-departure drinks

How would I react to Delta One kit an older aircraft? Definitely a big change; however, I was also satisfied with what I got on Delta.

Amenity Kit Contents (this is from another flight, but the same contents)
Amenity Kit Contents (this is from another flight, but the same contents)

The Delta Amenity kit is pretty basic. However, I do find the packaging colorful and attractive. One thing worth mentioning is that these kits are a huge step up from United’s Amenity Kits.

One oshibori warm towel is handed out shortly after take off and before meal service. The Delta One Amenity kit
One oshibori warm towel is handed out shortly after take off and before meal service.The Delta Amenity kit

The amenity kits included the following;

  • Pen
  • Lip Balm
  • Eyemask
  • Earplugs
  • Bamboo Toothbrush

The Inflight Entertainment & Wi-Fi

The Inflight Entertainment system on these older aircraft is dated, and it shows. The controls are old and basic, and the screen size is more limited.

The IFE screen pops out with the press of a button, and is a touch screen.

However, that being said It gets the job done. And you still have access to the same massive collection of Delta Media content, plus an excellent moving map.

Delta One Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi was excellent on the flight. As a result, I was able to get lots of work done in the first four hours of the flight.

Delta One WIFI page
 I was surprised to see that the Wi-Fi was “relatively inexpensive” for such a long flight, at $21.95.

Overall, the Wi-Fi – service was good, seamless, and remained stable throughout the flight.

Delta One Frankfurt to JFK Flight

Take off on this flight was really exceptionally entertaining. Our gate position was perfectly aligned with our takeoff runway entry. Thus we were already in takeoff position about 7 minutes after backing off from the gate.

Our take off in a foggy Frankfurt morning, and landing in a very wet New York JFK

The DAL A332s are equipped with powerful Pratt Whitney engines, which rocketed the aircraft up into the air in a steep climb. Looking out of the window, I enjoyed seeing the fog over the entire Frankfurt metropolis. Before long, it was time for the service to begin.

The Meal Service

The crew was excellent on this trip and exceeded my expectations. They went out of their way to take care of me on the flight, including drink refills and some long conversations.

When it came to food, I was still completely full from the Oman Air experience, but nevertheless, I selected a Short Rib meal. However,I  asked the FA to wait until around the 5-6 hour mark before serving it to me.

 some wine, cheese, and coffee.
I did sample some wine, cheese, and coffee.

This is where I made a mistake! Unfortunately, I slept right through the afternoon meal service. As a result, I was unable to sample any food on the flight except for the mid-flight cookie!

Chateau Argadens, which was delicious.
Chateau Argadens, which was delicious.

On the positive side, I sampled some wine and excellent cheese in the first half of the flight. So We’ll have a review of the Delta One meal experience on another, future review here on Oscape.

Mid Flight Snack

The warm cookie was offered at the four-hour mark. This made the plane cabin smell absolutely delicious, and I thought it was a very nice touch from the crew.

plate with two cookies
An extra cookie for me!

Arrival at New York JFK

Landing in JFK was relatively straightforward. The crew announced the landing about 45 minutes before touch-down. I was woken up in surprise that we were almost there. I did not expect to sleep for so long.

In a flask, we were on the ground, at the gate and disembarked, and headed over to immigration.

Entry to the US

I was lucky JFK wasn’t too busy, and it only took about 15 minutes to clear through customs and immigration.

However, at this point, I was exhausted despite my sleep. I was thankful for my journey despite the cost. I was happy I didn’t take the Etihad flight that would have brought me into IAD for a second, final connection!

Final Thoughts

This flight definitely qualifies as an excellent use of a Global Upgrade Certificate. However, on the downside, it was still a bit pricey altogether.

I like the A332 Delta One configuration and seat; I find it perfect for a 6-10 hour flight. The crew was excellent, very hospitable prompt, and friendly. Of the eight flights on my trip to Thailand, this one ranked number #3, which is not bad!