What is it like to fly Delta Connection?

May 6, 2016 | By More
Delta Connection (Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

Delta Connection (Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

If you book a flight in North America on Delta Airlines, don’t be surprised if you find yourself flying on Delta Connection.

Delta Connection is Delta Airline’s brand name for its partnership with a series of regional airlines that include Express Jet, Compass, GoJet Airlines, Shuttle America and SkyWest.

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Endeavor Air, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta, also falls under the Delta Connection umbrella. This network of regional carriers operates smaller planes on short and medium-haul flights, allowing for more frequent flights on these routes.

We recently flew on two segments operated by Delta Connection between Charleston International Airport (in South Carolina) and LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

Living Room (as its called in the trade)

Both segments were on a CRJ 700 plane, which had much less headroom than we’re used to. (We even joked that the airline probably had to hire diminutive flight attendants.) I stopped laughing after I bumped my head while getting up from my seat. The plane’s dimensions take some getting used to.

The upside of no headroom: Easy to reach air vents

The upside of no headroom: Easy to reach overhead air vents

In addition, the overhead baggage compartments are so small that as you board the plane, zealous flight attendants try to “pink-ticket” your carryon bags–even if they conforms to allowed size and weight requirements. Bags that are pink-ticketed are stowed under the belly of the plane to conserve space. At the conclusion of the flight, passengers were lined up in the jetway to retrieve their baggage (which can be a problem if you have a connecting flight).

The CRJ 700 is a twin-engine Bombardier aircraft (manufactured for Canadair Regional Jet) with 17 rows that accommodates 65 passengers. The planes can travel distances of about 1650 miles. Passengers can reserve seats in advance; there are nine First Class seats although there is no separate First Class cabin.

The plane looked old, with very worn and faded blue leather seats, but the configuration of only two seats on each side of the aisle was pleasant (especially if you know the person next to you). Our seats (15A & B) felt narrow but had decent seat padding and legroom.

2x2 Seat configuration

2×2 Seat configuration

Food and Service

On our relatively short flight, we were offered complimentary beverages (soda, juice, water, tea or Starbucks coffee) and a small snack. We opted for the 45-calorie pack of mini-pretzels.

The two flight attendants were courteous and efficient; one of them provided the safety instructions from the front of the plane. We are so used to safety videos that this presentation had a sweet human touch.

One of our lovely flight attendants

One of our lovely flight attendants

Entertainment and Technology

There was no seatback entertainment and no power ports although Wi-Fi was available at an additional charge. I always love to read inflight magazines so I was pleased to find a copy of Delta Sky in the seatback pocket (but it was May—and it was the April issue I had already read).

Seatback entertainment system

Seatback entertainment system

Bottom line

Most people aren’t likely to check out the type of aircraft they’ll be flying when they purchase a Delta ticket so flying the Delta Connection can be a bit of a surprise. Except for a very delayed departure, ours was a perfectly fine flight but nothing memorable. Perhaps, that’s as good as it gets these days.


Tips:

If you fly this aircraft:

  • Avoid Row 17, which is directly in front of the lavatories.
  • Don’t do what I did! Watch your head when standing up.
  • If you don’t want your carryon “pink-ticketed,” tell the flight attendant that you have valuables and/or medication that you need to keep with you.
  • There is only one small lavatory.
  • You can earn SkyMiles for flying on Delta Connection.

*Additional information about Delta Connection.


This is one of a series of posts about my experiences on new-to-me airlines. Surely, each flight is different but it’s always helpful to get general impressions of what to expect before you fly. If you fly Delta Connection and have a very different experience, please feel free to comment below. 


Also on More Time To Travel:

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