Delta VS United , First and Economic class? Which One Is the Best?

Delta VS United !! When it comes to the top name in the airline industry, Delta and United are the two of the biggest and most popular airline service providers at the top of their game. These two big names in the industry have been neck-to-neck in competition ever since they were founded, Delta in 1925, Ogdensburg – USA, and United Airlines in 1926, Idaho- USA. Both of these US-based major airlines cover large-scale flights on a daily basis to the continents spread across the globe.

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Delta vs United
Delta vs United

Being on the top of the charts, the services provided by these dominant airlines are certainly of world-class level. Competing with each other for almost a century now, clients have always struggled to pick the travel loyalty between two of these major airlines. So, here we are going to compare the services and amenities of both Delta Airlines and United airlines to see which one comes victorious at the end.

First Class: Delta VS United

Service and Cabin

Let’s kick start the comparison with the first-class services and amenities provided by both airlines. Delta and United both are on almost an equal footing when it comes to premium first-class amenities, including advancing booking facilities, complimentary drinks before take-off, and so on. In Delta’s case, the first-class passengers can have up to two free checked bags weighing 32 kg max, whereas United lets passengers carry up to 3 checked baggage weighing 32 kg max. in business class. In addition to that, one extra baggage can be added if the traveling personnel represents the U.S Military Forces, so United for the win here.

Also, the amenity kits provided to the passengers of Delta airlines come with a pen, eye-masks, socks, and toiletries. But, United takes the game a little higher with some premium additions to the kit like mattress cushions, pajamas, and slippers, including other basic materials and toiletries.

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Delta First Class- Seating arrangements

Delta is equipped with fully lie-flat seats on the seating aspect that directly access the aisle on reverse herringbone arrangement. However, Delta passengers may face slight discomfort if they are traveling with the 2-2 seat configuration cabin as these seats don’t have direct access to the aisle.

United Airlines First Class Suits

In United’s case, the seat can be fully converted into a flatbed of 6’6” with a 1-2-1 seat arrangement that has all-aisle access. The suite-like pod designs in United airlines comes with storage areas, a surface for dining, and working with mood lighting. These custom-designed seats are the exclusive products of United airlines that are the best first-class cabins among the top airlines. 

Food and drinks

Delta airline offers top-tier food and drinks services featuring different seasonal popular dishes depending on the traveling destination. Generally, the cuisines and wines are set in the Delta airlines in partnership with famous chefs and master sommeliers; their menu offers about 17 special courses to the passengers. Delta’s first-class passengers also have the privilege of choosing the dish of their taste, requesting it with the airline three days prior to the flight.

Hot meal served at Delta Airlines : Photo from One Mile at a time (Included in the articles Delta Vs United)

On the other hand, United’s passengers receive five-course dining facilities designed in partnership with chiefs at The Trotter Project, a non-profit organization that mentors internships programs to youth interested in the culinary arts. The passengers also benefit from enjoying alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks alongside ‘a la carte’ snacks to satisfy the mid-flight hunger on the long route.

Also, both the airlines have a considerate number of menus depending on the special meals as per passenger’s requirements like vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes. 

Lounge Services

Delta and United both have high-level lounge facilities spread across the globe named ‘Delta Sky Club’ lounges and ‘United Polaris’ lounge. The Delta sky lounges are equipped with showers and all the necessary toiletries; passengers can even rest in private bedrooms and have refreshment drinks at the self-serving bars. Whereas the United Polaris lounges are equipped with spa-like showers with modern touches, passengers can have comforting rest on 32 open-faced cubicles and other cozy seats and tables on other parts of the lounge.

United Airlines Polaris Lounge

On the dining services at the lounge, passengers can enjoy the elite restaurant-style dining facilities at the United Polaris, where they can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner depending on the time of their arrival, including bar services. The United Polaris lounge provides a restaurant-level variation on their menus, including various appetizers, soups, salads, and dessert dishes. Although passengers at Delta Sky Club can enjoy world-class level exquisite dishes in a premium environment, there isn’t much diversity.

Delta lounge

United Polaris is considered one of the best lounges alongside the Delta Sky Club among the airline lounges. Still, only United Polaris is up-to-date with cutting-edge technology; Delta sky Club might be widely spread across the world than United Polaris. Still, United beats Delta in this round with the frequently updated services. 

In-flight Entertainment 

Delta airline delights its passengers with one of the best entertainment systems among other airlines. Delta airline offers personal IFE units to all of its passengers with an 18″ high-resolution screen that comes with movies, music, games, and other entertainment means. And, the best part is the entertainment means available in IFE units are absolutely free; the Wi-Fi speed and easy user interface make the entertainment units of Delta airlines a major hit.

United Airlines also does provide 16” high-definition private screening to its passengers and a wide range of movies and shows due to its partnership with HBO, Vevo, and other entertainment media. But, their services quite don’t beat the upright free and more premium entertainment units of Delta airlines.

Economy Class: Delta VS United

Service and Cabin

The amenities and kits received by economy-class in both airlines are pretty much similar except for the baggage fee. The passengers in Delta economy class have to pay $30 for check baggage weighing under 23 kg, and additional check baggage costs $40 for the same weight. In contrast, the United economy class passengers have to pay $35 for the same weight, $30 if prepaid and additional luggage cost $40. So, overall the passengers won’t find much distinction flying in the economy-class of any of these airlines.


Delta and United have tried their best to provide the utmost facilities to passengers considering the budget of the package. The seating areas have 31″ pitch and 17″ width in the economy class of these airlines, with Delta boasting 139 economy-class seats, whereas United is limited with 129 economy-class seats.

Delta Airlines – Economy Class Seats

The comfy seats in both of these airlines come with charging sockets; however, depending on the aircraft, the passengers might get personal sockets or would have to share. Similarly, in some large aircraft, the passengers might get a few inches more breathing space; Delta’s economic cabin can have a maximum of 35″ seating area and 18.5 inches width.

Food and drinks

Both United and Delta have complimentary food services for their passengers. But, Delta airlines has the policy of not serving anything to passengers on a flight distance less than 250 miles. So, it points to United Airlines, which is happy to serve snacks and drinks to their passengers regardless of the distance they are traveling.

On the long flights, Delta does offer complimentary meals with 14 different special meal plans from a kid-meal to vegan and veg dietary including Starbucks and popular brands of sodas plus beers. United, however, does it in its own style with a three-course complimentary meal including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks plus coffee. For extra food, both airlines have different sets of dishes at a max price of $10; here also United takes the lead with a great number of hot food options.

Furthermore, if the United flight takes more than 12 hours, the airlines also offers mid-flight snacks to the economy class passengers, so they don’t feel hungry throughout the trip.

In-flight Entertainment 

Like on its business class, Delta also offers IFE units for the economy cabin on most of its planes. Similarly, the movies and show steaming features are also absolutely free in the economy class. United also offers the entertainment units that have been attached to the back of the seat. Still, in recent years the airlines have been phasing out the back-of-seat entertainment units encouraging passengers to carry their own devices.

United Airlines IFE

United airlines provides various shows for free; the passengers also can purchase to watch additional movies starting at $4.99. Both of these airlines also offer purchasable Wi-Fi services to passengers that are slightly faster and more reliable. The passengers can also purchase or ask for complimentary headphones/earbuds if they forget to bring theirs.

So, Which One Is the Best? Delta VS United

Overall, the services and amenities of both of these major airlines are top-class that cannot be simply compensated by other airlines. However, Delta airlines has some major upper hand in quality services with better stats through which it has constantly proved that its one of the best airlines in the world. Although, United airlines is not that far behind and is gradually improving their services and perks so the passengers can have an exceptional flying experience with them.

 During the comparison of worst and best airlines by The Wall Street Journal in 2020, Delta airlines scored better than United airlines on all seven-degree coring factors, including arrivals, baggage handling, and customer support. Delta had ranked 2nd on the list of the best airlines, whereas United Airlines managed to secure the 7th position.

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