I fly constantly. Once or twice a month, I’m off to another destination. Be it for work, pleasure, or whatever (well mostly work), I’m constantly learning the ropes and discovering better and more cost effective ways to make my travel simple and comfortable. Throughout my domestic travels, I’ve always found that the luxuries of first class aren’t really worth the extra cash, but I’ve always been envious of the comfort and the leg room. Luckily, there are several options available that will make your flight more enjoyable without breaking the bank.
And all of this talk brings me to Delta’s Comfort+. I’m kind of a Delta fanboy, but that’s besides the point. Several other airlines have similar options, but I haven’t had enough experience with them to offer such a recommendation. So we’ll be focusing on the airline I use the most and why you should choose Comfort+ over standard Economy or even First Class while traveling domestically.
Let’s make some points first. First Class is pretty much overrated these days unless you’ve really got money to burn. Sure, you get to board first, free drinks, a coat closet (sometimes), big comfy seats with no one in the middle, but isn’t First Class more of a prestige thing, right?
So to break this down, let’s see what Delta lists as being a benefit of flying First Class:
- Premium seats with ample legroom
- New quilted seat covers and updated headrests
- Dedicated overhead bin space
- Wi-Fi, where available, and personalized service
- Access to power ports on most flights
- Premium menu offerings (on select flights), healthier snacks, Starbucks® coffee, plus complimentary beer, wine and spirits**
- Access to complimentary premium entertainment with Delta Studio™ where available
- Delta Sky Priority® experience, which features speedy check-in, accelerated security and baggage handling and Premium Boarding.
Okay, so some of that is nice, but is it worth the extra money? Now before you start the argument for flying First Class, let’s talk about Delta’s Comfort Plus offering, which for many people, will be just enough to make it through most any domestic flight. Good news is, you’re not missing out on a lot, unless you truly value sitting at the front end of the airplane.
So in comparison, here’s what Delta lists as benefits of Comfort Plus:
- Take advantage of your time in the air with access to Sky Priority® boarding,
- Dedicated overhead bin space
- Extra legroom
- Superior snacks on longer flights and free drinks
- Complimentary premium entertainment
Of course, some of these things change slightly depending on the length of the flight, but the same goes for First Class. So it really depends on where you’re going and what you may be willing to compromise, but keep in mind there’s a huge difference between the two in price. Comfort Plus is typically an upgraded seat option that you can select during the checkout process of purchasing a ticket online. It can also be done at the airport, but I’d recommend going through the process online.
As mentioned, you get most of the same benefits here, minus a few inches in leg room and a bigger chair. You’ll still get priority boarding (the next group after First Class), still get free drinks and snacks, good old free entertainment, and a lot of Comfort Plus seats are equip with USB ports and full-size outlets as well (depending on the plane). All that’s missing is the hot towel. It’s not for everyone, but I think the small extra bump for the Comfort Plus upgrade (usually between $30 and $99 on average) will be more than enough for most everyone.
There’s really not much of a difference aside from the prestige you get in first class while everyone walks past you to the back of the plane. How much is that ego-upgrade worth to you? Look, I’m not saying that First Class isn’t worth it, because sometimes it actually is, but most any day of the week, I’d much rather sit cozy in a Comfort Plus isle seat and save $200 to $600. If you’re going to travel a lot, might as well save some cash for the destination.