I flew on Delta's Airbus A220 from New York to Dallas in economy. I enjoyed the smaller jet and its unique lavatory window.

  • I recently flew four hours from New York to Texas on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A220 in economy.

  • The smaller aircraft has Delta's usual seatback screens, power, and WiFi but fewer middle seats.

  • My flight was comfortable and on time, and I finally saw the A220's funky lavatory window.

Delta Air Lines has always been my go-to carrier.

I regularly flew the airline to and from Atlanta growing up, and now take advantage of its huge hubs at my nearby New York City area airports.

Other airlines are starting to grow on me, but my dozens of Delta flights over the years have been on time, and I appreciate its large network and consistency in terms of product and customer service.

To add a little excitement to a recent domestic flight from New York to Dallas/Fort Worth, I specifically booked Delta's Airbus A220.

Although the jet is smaller than a typical mainline plane, it's just as comfortable — and you might actually want to visit the lavatory on this one.

My Delta flight left out of Terminal 4 at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The Delta One check-in area in JFK Terminal 4.
Premium customers can use the designated Delta One check-in area at the far end of Terminal 4.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

The giant hub has been renovated with a spacious check-in area, and new SkyClub lounges have been added for business, first-class passengers, and other eligible customers.

Delta is expanding its lounge collection in June 2024 by opening its first "premium lounge" at New York-JFK — a 38,000-square-foot space complete with a year-round terrace.

The airport was packed, and the Delta counters and kiosks had lines of people waiting. Luckily, I only had a carry-on, so I went straight to security.

A woman in a hijab holding a baby and standing in line at a Delta kiosk.
The lines to use a kiosk signal the busy travel season is here.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

I rarely check a bag and avoid the airport crowds by checking in on the mobile app and saving my boarding pass to my phone.

If you are flying this summer — especially out of giant hubs like New York-JFK — I recommend budgeting extra time to account for the busy peak season crowds.

I used TSA PreCheck to speed through security, but Delta also has a special facial-recognition line for eligible SkyMiles members.

People standing in Delta's digital ID lane at security.
Delta's digital ID lane moved quicker than TSA PreCheck, but the "expanded pilot" technology is only at some of Delta's hubs.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

The biometrics digital ID program lets eligible travelers expedite bag drop and security, according to Delta.

To use the program, customers must upload their Known Traveler Number and passport information to their free SkyMiles account and have the Delta Fly Mobile app.

I used PreCheck out of habit but later realized the shorter Delta digital ID line would have been a few minutes faster — maybe next time.

After a quick stop at the newly opened Chase Sapphire Lounge, I boarded Delta's A220-100 at Gate B30.

Collage of pictures from the Chase Sapphire lounge at New York-JFK, including check-in, the bar, the buffet, and seating.
The Chase Sapphire Lounge at New York-JFK, located on the same level as security, is the best Priority Pass option in Terminal 4, in my opinion.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

As a regular economy flyer, I rely on my Priority Pass membership for lounge access. I get the perk through my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.

It was small but had comfortable seating, an a-la-carte menu with items like eggs benedict, a buffet, and a bar.

Only a few other US airlines fly an A220 variant, including JetBlue Airways and Breeze Airways.

Flying on Breeze Airways' A220.
The author flew on Breeze Airways' A220 in 2022.Taylor Rains/Insider

Delta started flying the modern jet in February 2019 and is the only mainline operator with the plane, flying both the A220-100 and A220-300 models.

The aircraft was previously known as the Bombardier CSeries before Airbus took over the program.

Smaller than mainline narrowbodies, the A220 family has middle seats on only one side of the cabin.

A woman standing in a Delta airplane cabin.
Delta's A220 family is configured with rows of two on the left and rows of three on the right. The A220-100 can carry 109 people, while the A220-300 can carry 130 people.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

The A220-100 aircraft I flew on offers 12 first-class seats in a 2×2 layout at the front of the jet, followed by 15 comfort+ seats and 82 regular economy seats in a 2×3 layout, according to Delta.

The right side of the jet has middle seats, meaning customers who don't pre-pay for seats have a better shot at getting a random window or aisle.

I took my chances with a random assignment and ended up in 22D — a middle seat. It was still plenty spacious despite the smaller plane.

The seat on Delta's A220.
The seat on Delta's A220.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

My regular economy A220-100 seat offered 18.6 inches of width and 30 inches of pitch. Some coach seats have up to 32 inches of pitch, while Comfort+ seats offer 34 inches.

First class are larger loungers with 37 inches of pitch and more than 20 inches of width.

At only 5'3" tall, I had enough legroom for the four-hour flight. However, the 30 inches of pitch could be cramped for taller travelers.

The legroom onboard Delta's A220.
Taller passengers may consider upgrading to Comfort+ or booking an exit-row seat, both offering more legroom but the same seat width.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

Delta's 30 inches of pitch is not uncommon, with American Airlines and United Airlines offering similar legroom onboard their narrowbody airplanes.

Though, it still doesn't beat the industry-leading legroom on JetBlue's A220, which is 32 inches.

While the pitch is not as generous as competitors, Delta's cabin is consistent — complete with TVs, WiFi, power, and headrests.

The Delta inflight television screen with the A220-100 aircraft on it.
Passengers also get a tray table, a decent-sized seatback pocket, and a complimentary drink and snack. The cabin also features mood lighting.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

According to Delta, it has more than 161,000 seatback screens across 850 aircraft, with TVs being added to Airbus A319s, Airbus A320s, and Boeing 737-800s by the end of this summer.

Delta offers complimentary and paid inflight WiFi options, including free sessions to SkyMiles members and eligible T-Mobile customers on more than 650 domestic narrowbody planes.

I like knowing what to expect when flying on Delta's mainline planes.

Almonds and coffee on a tray table.
I was served a snack and drink onboard, with drinks served upon request as well. Taylor Rains/Business Insider

Delta's consistent mainline cabin means I can almost always rely on its in-flight entertainment in case I forget mine, and I'll have access to power and WiFi for working.

JetBlue has a similar consistency, while both American and United have been growing familiarity across their narrowbodies

Unique to Delta's A220, however, is a surprise window in the aft lavatory — which is why I wanted to fly on this specific jet.

Delta A220 lavatory window.
The lavatory was modern and clean.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

The full-size lavatory window is a design unique to Delta; neither JetBlue nor Breeze installed the window.

It may sound silly, but we aviation enthusiasts love little details that give us a random "loo with a view."

The best part is the window-equipped lavatory is in the back of the aircraft — meaning it isn't reserved for just first-class flyers.

The author standing in the Delta A220 lavatory in the mirror.
The window is commonly called a "loo with a view."Taylor Rains/Business Insider

This is debatably the best "window seat" flying.

The Dallas/Fort Worth-bound flight was overall comfortable and on time — though I did have issues with the WiFi.

Deplaning the A220 with screens facing the camera.
This isn't unique to Delta, considering I've had internet issues on every US mainline carrier at some point.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

Delta's WiFi is typically fast and reliable over the US, but I still find it susceptible to disruptions at times.

Airline WiFi relies on satellites, which can be impacted by natural events like solar storms. The time it takes for signals to travel between satellites and planes can also lag the internet.

Moreover, turbulence can physically shake a WiFi antenna attached outside the aircraft, causing it to cut out. Flying over water can also cause internet issues.

And I'll admit that I prefer American's tablet holder over Delta's TV screen.

The Kindle Fire on the tablet holder.
I used the tablet holder to watch reality shows that airlines don't stream, like Deal or No Deal Island.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

American's narrowbody planes have a tablet holder in lieu of a seatback screen for holding electronics, such as tablets and phones. I've also seen it used for a Nintendo Switch.

Although not a popular opinion, I prefer this set-up because I like to binge my own shows on flights, and the angle is better than watching from the tray table.

Still, I like Delta's consistent comfort and reliability. And it A220 is worth purposefully flying if you want a funky inflight experience.

The first-class seats on a Delta A220.
First-class on Delta's A220.Taylor Rains/Business Insider

Delta's recent lounge upgrades, improved cabins, beefed-up route network, and overhauled loyalty program indicate the airline's focus on developing its "premium" product to attract more high-paying flyers.

Personally, I have had very few bad experiences with Delta, and its customer service is typically helpful.

However, its SkyMiles changes make it harder to earn status, and the "premium" aspect that is at times boosting fares is less important to me. I'd likely book a competitor if the price and timing were right — especially as American, in particular, climbs in my rankings.

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