Delta DC9-50 First Class Happy Hour & Upgrade Lottery

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A few weeks ago I shared what was likely to be my last DC9 flight and gave readers the chance to select the seat but I ended up in coach after a flight change. It turns out that wasn’t my last DC9 flight. I had another chance to fly the DC9-50 and this time was upgraded and flew in First Class thanks to my Delta Platinum status which I earned the easy way.

Upgrade Lottery

The upgrade lottery refers to when your upgrade is cleared at the gate prior to boarding. My upgrade lottery looked very promising for this flight.

With three seats remaining, I was showing as #1 on the upgrade list. It looks like there were no other Diamond members on the plane since I had a low fare. But there could have been other Platinum members on the list that I took priority over due to my having the Delta Reserve card.

Delta upgrade lottery

DC9-50 Happy Hour From Seat 1A

Since my First Class upgrade cleared at the gate, I really didn’t have a choice of seating. But when my new boarding ticket printed at the gate, I was very happy with seat 1A in First Class.

Delta 1A DC9 Seat

Boarding the DC9 you’ll notice that the galley extends well into the hallway. It almost seems as though the closet and part of the galley could be removed to add more seats. Definitely more space dedicated to this area on the DC9 than on more modern aircraft. This is likely because meals are no longer served on short flights but probably were during this plane’s heyday.

Delta 1A DC9 Galley View

The legroom in seat 1A isn’t great, but you’ll notice a carveout for your feet at the bottom of the bulkhead wall.

Delta 1A DC9 Legroom

The best part about the window seat is, well, the views out the window.

Delta 1A DC9 Window View (1)

This plane doesn’t have very high clearance and you’ll notice this by taking one look out the window.

Delta 1A DC9 Window View (2)

And of course the flight wouldn’t have been complete without the best drink in the sky, the Woodford Reserve on the rocks courtesy of Delta First Class.

Delta Woodford Reserve Happy Hour

Bottom Line

Delta’s DC9-50s are a relic. But they are still flying safely through the end of this year when Delta will retire the planes from their fleet. Seat 1A offers a great view but the bulkhead in front of the seat is restrictive for legroom.

Probably won’t see too many DC9’s around Atlanta in the near future. I’m looking forward to Delta’s continued fleet improvements. This flight was likely my last DC9-50 flight ever.

What about you, have you flown the DC9-50 with Delta or another airline? Where’s your happy hour going to be tonight?

Delta Atlanta Home

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The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. People like to gripe about the age of DL’s DC9’s….. and fail to realize the ratio of F:Y is among the best in the fleet.

    Go ahead and enjoy those 717s that replace them and a much lower probability that you’ll be sitting in F as a result.

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