Review: Delta Airlines First Class E175, Vancouver – Los Angeles


Delta Airlines offers some limited flights too and from Vancouver International Airport, with non stop service to and from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis / St Paul, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. Today’s experience with the usual competitor was on a Delta Airlines First Class flight Vancouver – Los Angeles. While we enjoyed a lower price, we didn’t get lower features. We invite you to read on to see why…

This post is one chapter on our trip to Bali and Singapore. This trip was redeemed through Lifemiles, AAdvantage and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Delta Airlines First Class E175, Vancouver International Airport – Los Angeles International Terminal 5

“As a competitor to United and Air Canada on this route, the Delta Airlines First Class transborder experience featured a deeply discounted airfare price only a little bit less of a First Class product.”

This flight on Delta Airlines Vancouver – Los Angeles was one of the few times we had flown on Delta. To see how it compares, please feel free to check out a comparable review of Air Canada Business Class, Los Angeles – Vancouver.

Delta Airlines
Business Class
YVR-LAX (Vancouver International Airport – Los Angeles Airport)
DL 5683 – Business Class (G)
July 17, 2015
Booked: Embrauer 175
Flown: Embrauer 175

For eight years, I used to be a self funded chaser of Aeroplan Top Tier status; topping off business travel with the occasional work trip. Consequently, I spent a great deal of time, effort and energy accumulating points to achieve Star Alliance Gold through Air Canada. Thanks to devaluations, I’d given all that up now and just go for availability and discounted fares; taking advantage of all the benefits of status without paying for it. Today’s opportunity was on Delta Airlines at a deeply discounted first class fare at $250 USD that was only $40 above the cost of a similar economy fare on Air Canada. The Air Canada Business fare was more than double the price at $520 when compared to Delta for their less interesting low cost carrier “Air Canada Rouge” product. Ouch. Sorry Air Canada, that decision was made easy and the cheaper Delta Airlines it was. It’s a bit more freeing now that there wasn’t a need to chase status.  

Checking into Delta Airlines First Class:

We took an Aerocar from the house to the Airport today. We had lots of luggage for a family trip and we ended up with a Ford Expedition. It was pretty quiet on arrival to Vancouver International Airport thanks to our early morning flight time. 

Vancouver International Airport: USA Departures
Delta Sky Priority Check in

We checked in at Vancouver International at the well marked Delta Airlines Sky Priority check in line. We were assisted through the kiosk check in and had our bags tagged over at the counter. Vancouver US Pre-Clearance requires that all bags get dropped on a conveyor belt, where they are photographed and linked up to a boarding card. We quickly made it through Nexus pre-screening and US Pre-Clearance Global Entry and with only 4-6 people in front of us.

Delta Airlines Sky Priority Check In Zone
Delta Airlines Kiosks

Unfortunately, no lounge was available with the purchase of a Delta First Class fare, other than the Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Transborder, (previously the Alaska Airlines Board Room) so we just opted for the terminal where my son filled up on Tim Horton’s coffee shop bagels.

Delta Airlines Embraer USA Departures Line up
Today’s Delta Airlines Embraer 175

We headed over to Gate E87 in the USA Transborder Departures Area. Boarding was a bit delayed by 15 minutes thanks to a small maintenance issue.

Our Departure Gate E87

On Board Delta Airlines First Class:

Once on board, we settled into comfortable commuter jet seating in a 1-2 configuration with 4 rows of First Class. The load was full today, less two seats. 

Delta Airlines First Class
Delta Airlines First Class Seating on the Right Hand Side of the Embraer

It’s fair to say that the Cabin was pretty intimate and not all too exciting.

Delta Airlines First Class Cabin

Pre – Departure Services:

A pre departure beverage of Dasani water was available, as left on the seat.

Pre-Departure Water

There was a nice Delta branded red blanket made available to passengers. There was no mistaking that bright red color!

Delta Airlines Red In Flight Blanket

Getting underway with the flight, as always it was a beautiful climb out of Vancouver airport todays with views over the University of British Columbia and the mountains in the backdrop today.

Views of University of British Columbia on the climb to altitude

The Meal: A Cold Breakfast

We were offered juices prior to the breakfast offering. It was cranberry juice with ice cubes today, served in proper glassware.

Cranberry Juice in Proper Glassware

The Delta Airlines Breakfast wasn’t the usual hot omelette and sausage or pancake offering on Air Canada but instead Cheerios cereal. Delta could up their game a bit here compared to Air Canada by offering hot selections, although I can’t speak for their current competitor’s offering on Air Canada Rouge in Business Class.

Delta Airlines Cheerios for Breakfast

Delta, like many others, has removed in flight television monitors from its seat backs. Instead, entertainment is provided through a tablet app promising hours of free entertainment. My son settled into the Penguins of Madagascar movie which came across okay on my iPhone. 

Before we knew it, we were in for the landing at LAX. It was a reasonable flight without much fanfare to it.

Conclusion: Our Flight with Delta Airlines

It was a quick run down which was more than comfortable for an easy flight. Overall, it was well priced for the price paid and I can’t really complain. The Embraer 175 was a little compact and was a no frills experience. I would definitely fly Delta Airlines again if I had the opportunity. I’d just pack a hot breakfast sandwich on board before I did.

If you regularly travel by air on the Canada / United States Transborder routes, do you have a favourite carrier?

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