*Delta has refitted this aircraft with “Economy Plus” seating and this review no longer applies. Both legroom and recline should be greatly improved but these seats now come with elite status or an additional fee. (3/6/13 ||JR)
Airline: Delta Aircraft: Airbus 330-300 (A330-300)
The Seat: The allure of this seat aboard the Delta A330-300 is that it’s in an exit row with tons of legroom and away from odor and foot-traffic prone lavatories. Exit row, check. Legroom, almost. The emergency exit slide encasement extends into your leg space so that you’ll have to angle both legs to the right if you want to extend them. Not comfortable for the long haul. Being away from the lavatory is nice but you’ll be right next to the main galley which seems to be even noisier at times with flight attendants working throughout the flight. Sleep can be difficult here. Personal TVs with a reasonable number of movies and TV options is attached to the seat. With the tray table and personal TV in the armrests, seat width is slightly sacrificed.
Service: Being the very first row in economy, you’ll get your meal straight from the warmer. Also, being so close to the galley, you can walk your tray right back when you’re done without having to wait for flight attendants. Standard service for a US carrier. We had no complaints but there was nothing extraordinary about service from attendants. And like most US carriers, there were no “extras” like eye shades or ear plugs in economy.
Notes: 10B (neighboring seat on the aisle) has tons of legroom but is even closer to the high-traffic galley. Seats 10G (aisle) and 10H (window) are the mirroring seats on the other side of the galley.
Summary: It’s great to be served first but galley noise and protruding exit slide make this a less than perfect seat for long haul comfort. Rating: 2 hops (of 5).
Strategy: Delta Medallion (elite) members have first access to these seats but they can be requested at the gate. This particular seat, because of the legroom restriction isn’t as popular as others so you may find it available more often than others. Our official advice is to arrive early to the gate and ask for seats 29A,B,G and/or H which also offer a greater amount of legroom and a less obtrusive exit slide at seats A and H. These seats get slightly higher marks for legroom but are also closer to the lavatory so you’ll potentially have odor and passenger traffic issues here. How I got it: Delta Medallion Status.