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When Delta Airlines launched its Comfort Plus seats a few years back, it was merely an upgrade to the main cabin economy seats.
At the time, you needed to book your flight then pay a little extra to be bumped up to Comfort Plus.
However, today, Delta Comfort Plus is a class on its own, paid for separately and offering extra bells and whistles to your flight experience. In this Delta Comfort Plus review, we’ll break down what you get over the economy level (main cabin) and whether it’s worth the extra bucks.
To put together this review, we took our own experience and spoke with a number of other people who have flown in Comfort Plus once or twice before, in order to come up with an objective conclusion on whether Delta Comfort Plus is really worth it. Keep reading to find out all you need to know.
What is Delta Comfort Plus?
Delta Comfort Plus is a seat level, in Delta Airlines, between Economy Class and Business Class. In other airlines, it would be called Premium Economy.
So, these seats are basically Economy Class but with some added benefits like extra legroom, more reclining and priority boarding among others. We’ll dive deeper into the extras a little bit later.
Difference between Comfort Plus and First Class
Perhaps you’re wondering why the slight bump in comfort when you can simply go all the way into First Class. Well, indeed, there are certain features that differentiate the two classes, one being the price.
First Class is significantly more expensive than Comfort Plus but the features offered at this level are way more.
One difference is that, in First Class, your reclining angle will be more than in both Economy and Comfort Plus. Also, you get much more legroom. Therefore, if your budget is within the Standard Economy range, it would be easier for you to upgrade to Comfort Plus than First Class without leaving a big dent in your wallet.
|Features||Delta Comfort Plus||Delta First Class|
|Seat Pitch||Up to 4 inches more legroom than Main Cabin||Up to 8 inches more legroom than Main Cabin|
|Seat Width||Same as Main Cabin||Wider than Main Cabin and Comfort Plus|
|Seat Recline||50% more recline than Main Cabin||Up to 150% more recline than Main Cabin|
|Dedicated Overhead Bin Space||Yes||Yes|
|In-Flight Entertainment||Same as Main Cabin||Enhanced selection|
|Complimentary Food and Beverages||Yes (limited options)||Yes (full meal service)|
|Complimentary Alcoholic Beverages||Yes||Yes|
|Blanket and Pillow||Only on long-haul international flights||Yes|
Difference between Comfort Plus and Standard Economy
Known as the main cabin, Standard Economy is for those traveling on a budget.
The luxuries of First Class and Comfort Plus aren’t a thing you’re interested in. So, in Economy Class, you have to deal with a bit more cramped space, a non-dedicated overhead bin and boarding after everyone else has settled in.
However, as you’ll see in this review, the selling point of Comfort Plus is the extra space which, from my experience, is what people dread about Economy Class. Is there a significant difference in legroom? More on that a little bit later.
Delta Comfort Plus also grants its passengers a dedicated overhead bin, something that Economy passengers don’t get.
|Features||Delta Comfort Plus||Main Cabin|
|Seat Pitch||Up to 4 inches extra||Standard|
|Seat Width||Up to 3 inches extra||Standard|
|Recline||Up to 50% more||Standard|
|Overhead Bin Space||Dedicated||Shared|
|Complimentary Snacks and Drinks||Yes||Yes|
Key Features of Delta Comfort Plus
1. Priority boarding
Some say this is what compels them to pay extra for a Comfort Plus seat. For me, priority boarding is neither here nor there since everyone eventually ends up on the plane. Anyway, with a Comfort Plus ticket, you’ll be allowed to board before the ‘common folk’ of Economy and right after the First Class elite and people with disabilities.
2. Dedicated overhead bin
This perk is something you’ll appreciate if you’ve ever been forced to store your bag in an overhead bin that’s way down the aisle. With a Comfort Plus ticket, you get dedicated storage so you’ll know, for sure, that there’s somewhere for you to tuck your carry on.
3. More space and comfort
Now here is why most people would choose to pay extra for Comfort Plus seats: the extra legroom. Delta says that this is basically four inches more than in Economy but in a long-haul flight, every inch counts. Whether the extra inches are worth it or not is a discussion for later in this review.
You’ll also get to recline a little bit more (precisely 50% more) than in Economy. The seat in Comfort Plus has a nifty way of sliding forward as the backrest tilts back, offering a larger reclining angle and, as a result, added comfort over Economy.
4. Upgraded snacks and drinks
Delta call these premium snacks and meals. In international flights, meals and drinks are standard for everyone but in domestic flights, you get to enjoy free alcohol as well, something Economy Class passengers don’t get. There are also extra snacks for Comfort Plus flyers.
5. Amenity kits for Comfort Plus passengers
While everyone gets a sleep kit, in Comfort Plus, you’ll be given an amenity kit which is packed with earplugs, a travel toothbrush, and a mini toothpaste. You’ll also get a blanket and pillow to help you snuggle up during the flight.
However, most of these amenities are standard for all passengers on international flights so if you want to upgrade for a mini toothpaste and toothbrush then consider just sticking to Economy.
Who Is Delta Comfort Plus For?
From the list of features above, it’s clear that the main differentiating factors between Delta Comfort Plus and Economy Class are priority boarding, the extra comfort and the dedicated overhead bin.
On international flights, features like complimentary snacks and drinks as well as in-flight entertainment are standard. However, domestic flights offer a clearer difference since, in these flights, Economy passengers don’t get alcoholic beverages and, in some flights, they also don’t get headsets. This is where, as a Comfort Plus passenger, you’ll feel a bit more taken care of.
So, I would say that Delta Comfort Plus is more suited for those who need the extra space and don’t mind paying more. The elderly or those who have knee issues would definitely appreciate the extra comfort, especially on an international flight.
Also, if you’re taller than average, then a seat in Comfort Plus might be something you would consider.
However, if you don’t really care for extra legroom and more reclining, for whatever reason, and you’re fine with possibly stowing your carry-on far from you then perhaps save the extra cash and fly Economy. But will you be saving a significant amount for the tradeoffs? More on the costs a little bit later.
Most passengers are happy to pay for the extra space, especially in long-haul flights. Every extra inch on a plane counts and the added reclining angle makes a huge difference if you’ll be flying for hours.
What is the price difference?
If you’re on a domestic flight, you’ll notice a clear distinction between Main Cabin and Comfort Plus. Other than priority boarding, the added legroom and the dedicated overhead storage, you’ll also get to enjoy an alcoholic beverage as the Main Cabin passengers look in envy.
Comfort Plus on Domestic flights
But how much extra will you pay for these perks? We have flights within the US for Main Cabin and Comfort Plus below.
From New York to Houston Comfort Plus
For a flight from JFK to Hobby, the lowest you’ll pay is $218 for a Main Cabin seat while Comfort Plus costs $292. The cost difference is $74.
From San Francisco to Los Angeles Comfort Plus
This is about a one and a half hour flight so you might not really get the chance to savor the benefits of Comfort Plus to the fullest. However, if you choose to pay extra this is how much it’ll cost you: the lowest Main Cabin fare costs $98 while Comfort Plus costs $117, a difference of $19.
From Atlanta to Chicago Comfort Plus
If you’re taking this two-hour flight, the lowest it’ll cost you is $156 for a Main Cabin seat and $185 for a Comfort Plus seat, a difference of $29.
On a flight like LA to San Francisco, the added legroom might not make much of a difference since you won’t be stuck in the air for too long. Ask yourself whether the extra $19 or $29 is worth the extra space and overhead storage. These are, in my opinion, the important benefits over Main Cabin.
Your considerations change when it’s a five-hour flight, like New York to Houston. Here, the extra comfort makes more sense but would you fork out $74 more for this? Remember, you’ll also get to board before the folks in Main Cabin so perhaps that might influence your decision a little bit.
Comfort Plus on International Flights
On international flights, all passengers, whether Main Cabin or Comfort Plus, get complimentary drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), snacks and entertainment. Of course, the meals and snacks in Comfort Plus are a little bit different.
However, the biggest difference between the two is priority boarding and the added comfort. So, how much more would you pay? Here’s a look at some popular international flights from the US.
New York to London Comfort Plus
This flight lasts about seven hours so you’ll appreciate a bit more room to stretch. The lowest fare for a Main Cabin seat is about $1628 while a Comfort Plus seat costs about $1732, a difference of $104.
Miami to Toronto
This is a popular route which takes about 5 hours with a stop in Atlanta. The cheapest Main Cabin fare is $217 and a Comfort Plus seat costs $302, an extra charge of $85.
Los Angeles to Tokyo
Delta’s non-stop flight from LA to Tokyo lasts about 12 hours. In such a flight, you’ll really need more comfort and would consider a Comfort Plus. For the extra perks, you’ll pay $629 as opposed to $479 for a Main Cabin seat. Here, the difference is significant, at $150, however, you’ll appreciate the benefits more when on 12-hour flight.
Now that you know how much extra you’re likely to pay for Delta Comfort Plus, let’s break down the pros and cons before deciding whether it’s worth it.
- You get priority boarding so you’ll have a chance to settle in earlier than the Main Cabin passengers.
- Delta Comfort Plus offers its passengers a dedicated overhead storage bin so your luggage will be close to you at all times.
- When flying domestic, you’ll get free alcoholic beverages, something that Main Cabin passengers don’t enjoy.
- The legroom is about four inches more than in the Main Cabin and the seats in Comfort Plus recline slightly more as well. This means that there’s some added comfort.
- Although everyone on a Delta flight is fed, Comfort Plus passengers get slightly better meals than the Main Cabin passengers.
- In long-haul flights, Comfort Plus passengers get an amenity kit with some added bits and bobs like earplugs, a mini toothbrush and toothpaste.
- You’ll have to pay extra for the added comfort.
- For short flights, you may not really get to enjoy the added benefits as much, despite paying more.
How Does Delta Comfort Plus Compare to Other Airlines’ Upgrades?
One key advantage of Delta Comfort Plus is that it is available on most Delta flights, whereas other airline upgrades may be limited to certain routes or aircrafts. This makes it easy once you figure out “if it’s worth it to you”.
Delta Comfort Plus is often more affordable than other premium upgrades commonly found on other competitor airlines, such as business or first class.
|Airline||Upgrade||Extra Legroom||Priority Boarding||Complimentary Refreshments|
|American Airlines||Main Cabin Extra||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|United Airlines||Economy Plus||Yes||Yes||No|
|Southwest Airlines||EarlyBird Check-in||No||Yes||No|
|JetBlue||Even More Space||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Frequently Asked Questions
Those traveling in first-class get to enjoy lots of legroom, up to eight inches more than in the Main Cabin section. First-class passengers also get personalized service and much better meals, served on actual plates.
It’s 50% more than the Main Cabin seats. In reality, they pitch back about 35 inches.
The preferred seats are those that are found closer to the front and tend to have more legroom than standard seats. They cost slightly more than normal seats.
If your flight is about two hours or less then perhaps save the extra 20 or 30 bucks. The extra 3 inches isn’t worth it unless you have joint issues. However, for long flights, say, five hours and above, it might make sense to pay extra for more comfort.
Conclusion: Delta Comfort Plus
Long-haul flights offer the greatest cost to benefit ratio offering a more cozy experience than Main Cabin seats.So, consider Comfort Plus seats only if you’ll be stuck on a plane for hours.
Essentially, this is what Comfort Plus stands for; added comfort. Don’t pay extra if all you want is complimentary booze and snacks, everyone, on international flights, get these anyway.
Further Reading on Delta Seat Classes:
- Delta Comfort Plus vs Premium Select Compared
- Delta Comfort Plus vs First Class Compared
- Delta Basic vs Economy Compared
- Delta One vs First Class Compared