I flew Delta on a recent flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo. I was booked in the recently rebranded Delta Comfort+, formally known as Economy Comfort, as I usually am, but this time I was seated in the middle of a three person row. My seat mate and I both expressed our hopes that the third person would not show up so that we would not be too tightly packed on the nine and a half hour flight across the Pacific.
About ten minutes into the boarding process, our third seat mate showed up. He was a seemingly nice guy who, like me, had tried to get a free upgrade to business class but to no avail. We chatted about travel a bit and he mentioned that he travels to Thailand very often. He had a Thai girlfriend.
When we were close to takeoff, the flight attendant mentioned that there were some open seats so if anyone wanted to move to be a little more comfortable it was possible, but she stressed that it was in regular economy. The seemingly kind man that I had been chatting with, who was occupying 11A, suggested that I, “do us all a favor” and move to the open aisle seat a few rows back.” This annoyed me as I wanted to retort, “why don’t you move,” but instead I just went back as I did want more room.
I did not think sitting in the aisle seat in regular economy was a big deal. I still would be able to get free wine and spirits and my blanket and pillow was sitting on the seat waiting for me. My knees noticed that there was less leg room and the seats were a little more narrow, but I fell asleep rather quickly, before it could bother me. For some reasons planes always put me to sleep. Or maybe because I am always sleep deprived my body takes any moment when it is still to catch up on sleep.
I woke up after four hours of tossing and turning and constantly shifting in my seat to a very very sore butt. The big difference between Delta Comfort+ and regular economy, which I learned the hard way, was the padding in the seat cushion and on a nine and half hour flight, that really made a difference.
If you are debating between paying the extra money for Delta Comfort+ and going with regular economy I would urge you to pay the extra money for flights over three or so hours. Under three hours it might not be worth it depending on the cost difference, as far as comfort goes. If you like drinking on planes then on domestic flights it might be worth it for the slight upgrade as you receive free spirits, beer and wine, on flights over 250 miles. Other perks of Delta Comfort+ include premium snacks, Sky Priority boarding and complimentary premium entertainment via Delta Studio.
After trying to stand up and walk around with the aim of making my sore butt feel a little better, to the dismay of my original seat mate I returned to my assigned seat and sat in the middle seat for the remaining four + hours. When I arrived back to row eleven he looked up, shocked. After he moved his bag and things from my space and I sat down, he said “oh, you’re back” and I simply replied “if you want feel free to go and sit back there.” Then I put on my noise canceling headphones and started watching Melissa McCarthy in Spy (such a funny movie). I did not say another word to that man for the remaining time we sat in close quarters.
When flying do you usually upgrade to the more comfortable economy seats? Do you think it is worth it?