Trip Report: Delta Air Lines (A321) Comfort+ MSP-ORD

The Details

  • Flight: DL1268
  • Aircraft: A321
  • Class: Comfort+
  • Seat: 14A and 14B
  • Route: Minneapolis-Saint Paul International (MSP)-Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
  • Distance: 369 miles
  • Flight Time: 55min
  • Departure: 3:44PM
  • Arrival: 5:14PM

The Preflight

After spending a weekend in Saint Paul attending a friends wedding, my fiancé and I were heading back to Chicago. We took the Blue Line tram from downtown Minneapolis which took 40 minutes to get to Terminal 1 at MSP. The terminal was absolutely packed for a Sunday but it was nice to see air travel rebounding.

We made our way to the Clear line which we both have thanks to our AMEX Green Card. There were two other passengers in front of us. Clear allowed us to jump to the front of the TSA Precheck line which was about 30 passengers deep.

Once through security, we made our way to the Delta Sky Club located in the F/G concourse.

This lounge was also packed. Social distancing was impossible but we both felt comfortable thanks to our vaccinations.

There was an assortment of complimentary beverages, alcohol, and food available.

There were self-serve coffee containers, fountain drinks, tea, water, and espresso machines.

Bar snacks included pretzels and peanuts. Two bartenders were working behind the bar and were very efficient.

Cold fresh food options were served cafeteria style by lounge staff. Options included a grain bowl, tomato cucumber salad, caprese sandwich, BBQ chicken wrap, and turkey club sandwich.

Other cold dishes included pasta salad, spinach salad, salsa, hummus, and raw veggies with ranch.

There were also two hot offerings; a meatball sandwich and Italian beef sandwich. Dessert was salted caramel cookies, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and blondies.

Other snacks included oranges, Rice Krispies, and potato chips.

With 10 minutes until boarding, we headed towards gate G14 for a 3:04PM scheduled boarding time. The aircraft taking us down to Chicago was a 2.2 year-old A321, registration N377DN, that was delivered to Delta Airlines in April of 2019. She was one of 99 active A321s flying for Delta.

Boarding began four minutes after the scheduled time at 3:08PM. Comfort+ boarded after First Class and Diamond Medallion members.

The Seat

All of Delta’s A321s feature 20 First, 29 Comfort+, and 142 Main Cabin seats. The Comfort+ seats are arranged in a 3-3 configuration between rows 10-14. We were seated in the last row of Comfort+ and originally had the window and aisle with an open middle. However, the flight ended up going out completely full with a non-rev taking the last seat in our row.

Each seat was 18 inches wide and had 34 inches of pitch. I found the padding to be very comfortable for this short hour long flight.

Unlike American, Alaska, and United, Delta has installed seat back entertainment screens on the vast majority of their mainline fleet. The touchscreen was fast and responsive. Below the screen was a headphone jack and USB port.

I loved the Delta inflight entertainment which provides a plethora of information about the flight and our aircraft.

There was also a standard tray table.

Despite the literature pocket being low, I found that there was plenty of room for me to stretch my legs out. Between each seat was a power outlet and an additional USB port.

The recline button was located in the right hand armrest.

Delta has done a phenomenal job branding their seats and cabin, giving the Comfort+ section a very premium feel.

The Flight

Upon boarding, every passenger was given a sanitizing wipe. I have found the distribution of these wipes to be hit-or-miss at this point in the pandemic, with each flight being 50-50 on whether they are passed out or not.

Boarding was complete at 3:40PM about half an hour after it began. We pushed back two minutes late at 3:44PM and had a 20 minute taxi on hold on runway 30L before finally taking off at 4:03PM.

Service began 20 minutes after takeoff with drinks and snacks. Due to COVID-19, Delta has greatly cutback their inflight service. Since this flight was less than 400 miles, drinks in Comfort+ included coffee, tea, water, beer, or wine.

Snack choices included either a Biscoff or pretzel bag.

We had a very smooth rest of the flight cruising over Southern Minnesota and Northwestern Illinois.

Just 10 minutes after getting my coffee, we began our initial descent into Chicago and I was forced to down the rest of my drink quickly. With a westerly approach there were no views of the Chicago skyscrapers.

We landed at 4:55PM local time at O’Hare on the dreaded runway 9L (the furthest runway from the terminals). The taxi to Terminal 2 took almost 20 minutes and we finally pulled in at 5:14PM at gate E11.

Thanks for the ride!

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