US Domestic Flight with Delta Air Lines
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US Domestic Flight with Delta Air Lines

The American company Delta Air Lines is the largest airline in the world. Its air fleet is comprised of over 700 planes, which serve over 160 million passengers every year.

This was why it was particularly interesting to take a Delta flight on its home turf and see what it has to offer. I got the opportunity to try out their services in spring of 2011, on a flight from Memphis, TN to Ft Lauderdale, FL.

The flight (number DL-854) took place aboard a Boeing 737-800 such as this one:

Boeing 737-800 of Delta Air Lines
Photo courtesy of Ana Lady from

Memphis Airport

Memphis International Airport is one of Delta’s regional hubs in the US. During our departure from Memphis in the morning, I observed many planes with Delta’s colors, and not a single one belonging to any other airline. There were particularly many Bombardier CRJ900 jets, which were apparently part of Delta Connection, a feeder airline, which conducts passenger flights to cities in the southern and southeastern USA.

In Memphis Airport, all Delta flights dock at one terminal, which was memorable for the very long walk between the check-in and waiting areas.

Memphis Airport
Photo courtesy of John E. Jauchler from

The Plane

The flight described took place aboard a Boeing 737-800. The plane was in very good condition – it looked brand new, with a clean interior, leather upholstery and personal TV screens.

Passenger cabin of Delta's Boeing 737-800

The view from row 8:

Passenger cabin of Delta's Boeing 737-800

The seats had blue leather upholstery and a reclining back. There was moderate leg room, not too cramped, but not very spacious either.

Economy seats of Delta's Boeing 737-800

The cabin is covered with light-gray plastic paneling.

Passenger cabin of Delta's Boeing 737-800

The restrooms were standard and in good shape. The only thing I found unusual was the abundance of safety labels and instructions everywhere.

Restrooms on Boeing 737-800

The Entertainment System

The entertainment system installed onboard the flight left a particularly good impression. A display screen is built into the back of each seat, making passengers feel right at home.

Viewing options include TV, movies, music videos, video games and flight information (speed, elevation, distance remaining, a GPS map of the flight, etc.).

The system was controlled entirely via touchscreen.

Entertainment System of Delta Air Lines

Personally I was amazed at the selection of TV channels. Over 20 channels were available, and all of them were broadcast in real-time.

Entertainment System of Delta Air Lines

It was also fun to switch to the flight information map and track our progress:

Entertainment System of Delta Air Lines

Other types of onboard entertainment included two flight magazines covering all the usual topics (voyages, other countries, shopping, etc.) and most importantly – Internet access!

Inflight magazines of Delta Air Lines

Onboard Wi-Fi

Delta’s Boeing was the first ever plane I had ever encountered which had onboard Wi-Fi during the flight. By simply turning on their laptops or other portable devices, every passenger could connect to the Internet.

Onboard Wi-Fi at Boeing 737-800 of Delta Air Lines

Internet access had to be paid for separately. For one flight, it cost $10. Frequent customers of Delta could save by buying a month-long subscription for $40.

Onboard Wi-Fi at Boeing 737-800 of Delta Air Lines


Travel time from Memphis to Fort Lauderdale is about 2.5 hours. For a flight this short, Delta doesn’t offer full meals, and economy-class passengers only get a pack of nuts and a cup of juice. Like many traditional airlines in recent years, Delta has jumped on board with the trend of lowering costs by reducing complementary services.

Nuts and juice during a Delta flight

Another sign of these increasing cuts are the rules concerning luggage – we were only allowed to bring one bag or suitcase per person at no additional charge. A second one costs about $25.

Our plane arrived at Fort Lauderdale:

Delta flight arrived at Fort Lauderdale Airport


Delta Airlines surpassed my expectations for a domestic flight. On a flight between two relatively small US cities I had expected poor service and minimal accommodations. A new, comfortable plane equipped with all the latest innovations was quite a surprise. The high level of technical innovation displayed by the airline only confirms its status as one of the world’s leaders in civil aviation.

Vote for review:

Delta Air Lines

Boeing 737-800

Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport

Memphis International Airport

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