A Delta One review by someone who can’t afford Delta One

First class on a longhaul flight is expensiveeeee. Like, my-entire-grocery-budget-for-five-years expensive. Or, I-could-buy-a-car-for-that-price expensive. But I’ve been lucky enough to do it three times on Delta Air Lines, at no cost. Let’s be real, I can’t afford it.

How did I do it? I’m lucky. My dad is an expert at collecting SkyMiles and has Diamond status with Delta. They give those elite members several free international upgrades per year, and he’s been kind enough to upgrade me when we’ve traveled to visit relatives in Belgium. It really is a treat and I appreciate the experience every time.

When you fly Delta One, you get upgraded on every leg of your flight. In our case we were flying from Chicago to Brussels with a connection in Atlanta. You get access to the SkyLounge on every leg of your flight, too.

This ended up being a great perk because our flight from Chicago to Atlanta was delayed by several hours due to bad storms. It was much more comfortable to wait in the lounge.

I’ve been in several of Delta’s lounges, and the one in Chicago (ORD) is one of my favorites. I had eggs, a parfait and a muffin for breakfast, along with a macchiato.

Because our flight was delayed, we also had lunch in the lounge. I had soup, a salad, macaroni and cheese, and some brownie bites. The macaroni and cheese was AMAZING. So were the brownie bites. Honestly, everything was good.

There was an open bar, including a mimosa bar for breakfast, but I opted not to booze it up so early in the day.

Usually you board Delta One first, but we were the last on the plane because of our delays out of Chicago. I didn’t mind, though. It can be awkward to take your fancy seat and then watch all of the economy passengers walk by.

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Once you board, there’s a pre-flight drink of either champagne or orange juice to sip on while you get settled.

The seat has plenty of storage space, a reading light, a power outlet and two USB ports. There’s a bedding set with a duvet comforter and a standard pillow for later when you want to go to sleep. The seats fully recline into a bed and have a massage feature for when you’re sitting upright.

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The Delta Once experience also comes with a Tumi amenity kit that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, tissues, ear plugs, hand cleanser, lip balm and an eye mask (which was the most helpful).

There are noise canceling headphones for use, but I had my favorite Boise headphones so I didn’t need them.

After takeoff, the dinner service started with a drink. I opted for the Signature Cocktail, which was served with warm mixed nuts–I swear, the seasoning must have crack in it.

Then the appetizers are brought out. They are so plentiful, I would have honestly thought this was the entree if I didn’t know any better. It’s so much food.

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Signature cocktail and warm mixed nuts tossed in crack (errr, some sort of delicious seasoning).

The appetizer included a caesar salad, butternut squash soup and a charcuterie plate. Everything tasted too good to be airline food, but especially the goat cheese with some sort of fig jam incorporated into it.

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By this time I was full, but then the crab cakes came out for the main course. They were, of course, delicious as well. Drinks were being refilled diligently throughout.

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Finally, the dessert cart came around. We got a choice of tiramisu, an ice cream sundae bar, or a cheese and fruit plate. I’d had the ice cream sundae before, so I got tiramisu.

The entertainment selection is great, although I believe it’s the same throughout the whole plane. They have movies that are still in theaters available for viewing, which I appreciated.

I watched a movie during the meal service, but turned off the TV so I could get some rest after dinner was finished. Once my bed was made, I slept for a few hours before I could smell the coffee being brewed for our breakfast service.

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I hardly touched my breakfast because I was still full from the large dinner service, but it was and egg and mushroom frittata with bacon and some fruit.

The return flight home was during the day, so we were served lunch. It was equally delicious and just as filling. They came around with warm chocolate chip cookies during the middle of the flight a few times.

We were given a cuban pork sandwich and salad as our “snack” before landing. I say “snack” because it was a full meal, and I was too full to eat more than a few bites.

I don’t know what it’s like to have enough money to justify the cost, though, so I can’t wrap my head around this being worth the price. I would say that about any airline, to anywhere.

This roundtrip flight to Belgium in Delta One, if I had paid for it, would have cost me anywhere from $7,000 up to $14,000, depending on the time of booking.

All in all, it’s a great experience and the lie-flat seats are what make it the most valuable to me. Being on a flight for 10 hours, even in the middle of the day, is much more comfortable when you have room to spread out and relax.

I took a trip to the back of the plane on the way home just to walk around and see it, because I do love airplanes and hadn’t been past the third row on my entire journey. I know, what a problem to have. You can roll your eyes at me. It’s fine.

I will certainly jump at the opportunity to fly Delta One again, as long as it’s a free upgrade. I can’t afford it otherwise.

Follow me on Instagram: @megstraightup.