By Rocky Horan
Flying from Vegas to Los Angeles is always a wonderful experience because I can get to the airport, through security, land, grab my bag (if checked) and get to my hotel in Vegas quicker than I could drive the 4 hours+ between the two cities. Not to mention with ALMOST EVERY major airline flying the route, and even smaller competitors like Spirit and Jet Blue, fares between Las Vegas and the 5 area LA airports (LAX, Ontario, Long beach, Burbank, and Santa Anna) tend to be low! Often times as low as $39 each way!
This last week I spent the 4th of July in Vegas and flew Delta round trip from LAX. On the way out due to my elite status with Delta I was upgraded to First Class. Delta flies only Region CRJ-900s numerous times per day between the two cities, whereas the other airlines (United, Southwest, Jetblue, Spirit) fly larger airplanes like B737s, A319s/320s, and MD-80s. First class on the Delta’a CRJs is nice and the only way to be offered a snack or a drink on this short route, for no service is offered in economy. Also, first class is configured very comfortably in a 2 by 1 configuration with a 18.5” seat width and a 35” pitch (distance between you and the seat in front of you). Although, I will be the first to say, first class on this route isn’t necessary because airtime is usual around 40 minutes or less! However, an upgrade is an upgrade and is always welcomed and I’ll never complain!
Despite my status with the airline, on my way home from Vegas (Monday morning) I was not upgraded from coach and remained in my assigned economy seat 5A, the very first row of Economy on the CRJ-900 and also dubbed Delta’s Economy Comfort (free if you have Elite status with the airline). This seat and the entire row 5 are probably the best economy seats in the entire delta fleet! Despite being a “bulk head seat” this entire row has more leg room than first class! So much leg room, when stretching my leg straight forwards I could BARELY touch the 1st class seat in front of me, and I’m almost 6 feet tall! Furthermore, the seats in economy are only an inch skinner than first class, which still gave me a seat width of 17.5”! Although I was in economy, I had more leg room than anyone in first class!
So my advice: when traveling Delta economy on CRJ regional jets, select a seat in Row 5 and stretch out! Because it’s one of the few times you’ll find more room than 1st class leg room in the back of the bus without being in an exit row!