Airlines A Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-800. Photo: Atomic Taco

Published on April 6th, 2012 | by Mark Chesnut

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-800. Photo: Atomic Taco

FLIGHT REVIEW: Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-800 (Economy Class)

Flying to Mexico on Delta Air Lines and can’t afford the front of the plane? Well, neither can I. Here’s a sample of what you can expect on board Delta’s economy-class Mexico flights, based on my own recent experience. 

THE ROUTE: Puerto Vallarta to New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (flight time 4 hours 27 minutes) —  code share with Aeromexico

Check-in time: The ticketing area at Puerto Vallarta International Airport.

THE DEPARTURE: I found it efficient how Delta Air Lines divides the check-in lines based on flight and destination. It’s not Delta’s fault, but the Puerto Vallarta airport needs to be expanded and the gate area was rather crowded. Boarding was a rushed, crowded experience as well. I appreciate that Delta gives its American Express SkyMiles members “Zone 1” boarding, but gate agents weren’t turning away Zone 2 and 3 when they should have been. 

Screening process: The entertainment system aboard the Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-800.

THE PLANE: Economy-class seats have no individual entertainment system, other than a plug-in and volume control for the public video screens, but headphones were distributed for free. Seats have no “wings” in the headrests, which is something I normally find really helpful when trying to nap in coach. 

I did not quite understand why I could choose, in advance online and for no extra charge, an aisle seat toward the front of the coach cabin on this flight (my preferred seat), while on the outbound flight a week before, I had to pay $29 at the airport for the same privilege. (I’m a fairly recent convert over to Delta, thanks in large part to the big slot swap they did with US Airways, so I’m still trying to get a handle on things like this work with Delta.)

Personally, I’m a big fan of Delta’s safety video, which stars a charismatic blonde flight attendant who looks a bit like Karen Black and wags her finger wonderfully when warning against smoking on board (the sparkle added to the smile of the male flight attendant is also a fun touch). 

Free food: Delta Air Lines offers free snacks and drinks on its USA – Mexico flights. 

THE SERVICE: Cabin staff was cheery and pleasant throughout the flight, and distributed free peanuts, pretzels and cookies (I’m also a big fan of the addictive, cinnamon-inflected Biscoff cookies that Delta serves). Heftier snacks were available for purchase, although later in the flight when I asked, they’d sold out of everything but the $3 trail mix and chocolate-covered peanuts (If you have a gold Delta Skymiles American Express card, be sure to use that for purchases, as you’ll get a 20 percent discount). GoGo WiFi was available for a fee once we entered U.S. airspace, although I didn’t use it. 

The “New” United Airlines: What to Expect from the Merger (Orbitz Travel Blog)
Foreign Carriers Expand Latin America Routes to Europe, Middle East (Latin Business Chronicle)
Tianguis Triumphs: Mexico’s National Tourism Conference Reports Record-breaking Attendance (TravelAge West)
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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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