The Seat: Row 4 on this Delta E170 is arguably the best in economy and for this rare low-threshold Delta miles redemption, a very good value. Each seat in the row benefits from the added legroom of Economy Comfort and the absence of a bulkhead wall. Seat 4B in particular, I like to call the “10th seat in first class” because of the added legroom and proximity to the first class cabin. Just don’t try and grab from the snack basket or expect free drinks.
Width is economy-standard but good for a regional jet and well cushioned for the occasional hop over 1000 miles. Adjustable headrests are surprising considering this isn’t an aircraft you’ll typically be on for very long but they’re a welcome addition if you’d like to get back the few extra minutes of sleep that your kids wouldn’t let you have earlier.
Wi-Fi/Connectivity: Aboard the Delta E170 , you’ll have access to gogo in-flight wireless internet for a price. Packages come in different sizes…for a quite a bit less than the all-day pass, you can sign up for a 60 minute plan to take care of quick business.
Service: On occasion you can sense a difference in service between mainline and regional carriers. Crews aboard these smaller jets are employed by the operating carrier (in this case Shuttle America) and don’t typically have the experience (or pay) of a crew aboard a larger plane. In this case, we got a very solid team who were attentive and courteous. Maybe it was because we were close to the front of the plane and things got worse as they moved back but whatever the reason, they were pleasant.
Summary: The Delta E170 is one of the more comfortable regional planes overall thanks to better cushioned seats with adjustable headrest and good overhead space keeping your carry-ons out of your legroom. For the tall and claustrophobic, row 4 (4B in particular) is the best match because of it’s extra space and missing wall. The feeling of having more legroom than the poor schmucks up in first? Well, that’s something you just can’t put a price on.
Rating: 4 hops (of 5)
Strategy: Even if you’e not among the Delta miles elite, Economy Comfort seating is available for purchase at anytime. If you ARE among elite medallion members of the Delta Sky Miles program you can reserve these seats in advance without a fee but higher level elites (gold, platinum, diamond) get to pick these seats at booking and lower (silver) members at 24 hours before the flight.