There hadn’t been a new British monarch crowned in my lifetime, and my palace intrigue meter was running high. So I hopped the pond from my home in Los Angeles to be on the ground for the spectacle of King Charles III’s coronation in London. The chance to fly home in Delta’s coveted Delta One suite on the A330-900neo took the sting out of the 11-hour return trip.
I arrived at London Heathrow (LHR) and went via a dedicated Virgin Atlantic Upper Class elevator (complete with velvet ropes and stanchions) to the sprawling lounge Virgin Clubhouse, managed by Delta’s partner Virgin Atlantic.
I used a QR code menu on the tabletop to order an impressive vegetarian spread—including a delicious and texture-rich vegan bao. Without hyperbole, this incredible meal was the best I’d had in four days in London.
I knew it would be unwise to fill up before meal service on the flight, but I was pretty hungry after logging 15,000 steps sightseeing on my last half day in town, so I couldn’t help myself. (This is foreshadowing.) So when the boarding announcement came, I headed to my gate.
Boarding and Cabin
I arrived at the gate at the prescribed boarding time—60 minutes before departure—to find I’d been randomly selected for a secondary screening.
Although it was inconvenient, the gate staff rifling through my belongings were exceptionally friendly and helpful. And this additional screening ended up being fortuitous—it positioned me to be the first in the cabin to board the plane so I could get settled in 1J and take some pictures.
The cabin was impressive, with a one-two-one configuration and a sliding door on each seat for suite-like privacy. On the A330-900neo, there are 29 suites in all.
The purser introduced herself to me, referring to me by my name, delivered a menu, and confirmed my pre-selected vegetarian menu choice. A flight attendant then served me a pre-flight glass of Duval-Leroy Brut Reserve champagne, and I contentedly got situated for my trip home.
We took to the skies 15 minutes ahead of schedule (a timely departure that mattered to me, as I hoped to get home in time to see my kids in the last moments before their bedtime). And I giddily settled in for my 11-hour flight home amid endless daylight and a lavish Delta One suite environment.
We would end up landing in Los Angeles nearly a full hour early, so I couldn’t have asked for a smoother experience.
Meal service began with drinks and warm nuts. Next came the first course: butternut squash and sage soup with thyme roasted croutons (which was highly flavorful and creamy) and curried carrot and zucchini salad with feta and kalamata olives (which I didn’t care for as much), alongside a roll and butter.
I’m a vegetarian, which I had noted well ahead of the flight in my traveler profile attached to the trip. For this reason, a vegetarian tikka masala had been reserved for me. However, the flight attendant explained that this had mistakenly been offered to another traveler, as it looked similar to the chicken dish on the regular menu.
She warmly offered me various possible solutions, including the vegetarian dish from the regular menu: mushroom, red wine, and tarragon pie, with vegetable gravy, mashed potatoes, and garden vegetables.
I chose this for my entree, and it was hearty and tasty. I was pleased with the swap; it didn’t bother me at all. Nevertheless, the purser sincerely apologized heartily and credited my account with 5,000 SkyMiles for the mixup.
Next, it was time for dessert. Again, the crew offered from a full-service cart recently restored in the cabin after a pandemic hiatus. Options on the cart included fruit and cheese plates, chocolate and salted caramel Swiss rolls with vanilla cream, and a customizable sundae bar.
I opted for a sundae, two scoops of vanilla ice cream, which the flight attendant topped with all four available toppings at my request: berries, cookie crumbles, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.
I was full by now, but the food service was far from over. About midway through the flight, the cabin crew offered a warm chocolate chip cookie—gooey and delicious—which I made quick work of alongside a glass of white wine.
And then, about an hour before landing in Los Angeles, it was time for the last meal service of the flight. Because I’d selected a vegetarian option, I got a roasted veggie, pesto sandwich, and fruit. But I was more intrigued by the regular service offered to the rest of the cabin. It was a version of high tea in honor of the destination city—and a fun touch. This service included warm fruit scones, tea sandwiches, clotted cream, and strawberry preserves served with mini pastries.
My seat felt exceptionally roomy, with plenty of space to tuck away carry-ons and essentials, a dedicated compartment for water bottle and noise-canceling headphone stowage, and a spacious side table large enough for my laptop, drinks and snacks even with the tray table stowed.
A sliding door closes in-flight to provide a private flying experience. (Delta was the first carrier in the world to introduce a business class cabin in which all seats were suites.)
I’m 5 foot 6, and in the roomy accommodations, the high-definition 18-inch touchscreen monitor felt far away; a corded remote control made its controls convenient to access from whatever seating position.
Lie-flat seats recline 180 degrees, and a duvet and down-alternative pillow are made for cozy sleeping. With a spacious area around my feet, I had plenty of room to move around and slept for a portion in the middle of my flight despite the endless daylight while flying west.
I also watched a couple of movies and spent plenty of time working on my laptop, too, with fast, consistent Wi-Fi and a bargain at $10 for the duration of the flight. (I also got the Wi-Fi free on my phone as a T-Mobile customer.)
The Delta One suite is spacious, comfortable, and the food is abundant and memorably tasty. Plus, the service is warm and personal—attentive but not intrusive.
The experience made the 11-hour London-to-Los-Angeles leg feel downright civilized—even luxurious. In fact, I could have flown for several more hours comfortably in this expansive and private cabin.