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Delta staking big claim in Bay Area

Delta offers jumbo wide-ride 767 flights between SFO and its Atlanta hub (InSapphoWeTrust / Flickr)

Delta offers jumbo wide-ride 767 flights between SFO and its Atlanta hub (InSapphoWeTrust / Flickr)

Over the last year, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has made some major moves into the Bay Area providing frequent travelers with new options. For example, today Delta announced that it would add seven new daily round trips between San Francisco International and Seattle starting in March 2014.

But it remains to be seen if Delta can tear Bay Area Travelers-BATS away from our allegiance to our United MileagePlus or Virgin Elevate accounts.  Would you switch over to Delta?

Onboard a recent Delta Embraer 175 flight SFO-LAX (Chris McGinnis)

Onboard a recent Delta Embraer 175 flight SFO-LAX (Chris McGinnis)

Delta’s new  SFO-SEA flights will be operated by Delta Connection partner Compass Air using the popular (and surprisingly roomy) Embraer 175 aircraft, with first, Economy Comfort (premium economy) and standard economy seats. These are the same aircraft Delta is using on its new hourly  California Shuttle flights between SFO and LAX (a whopping 15 times per day).

All Embraer flights offer Gogo wi-fi, snacks and full beverage service. And yes, your rollaboard bag can fit in the overhead bin.

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All flights arrive and depart out of Delta’s relatively quiet boarding area C at SFO’s Terminal 1, which now has its own PreCheck line. There’s also a Delta Sky Club (regrettably outside security, but that’s less of an issue now with the new PreCheck line).

Even though you don’t hear much about Delta in the Bay Area, its significance is growing when you consider the volume of its flights on Delta and its code share partners.

For example, Delta flies nonstop from SFO to Tokyo (UPDATE: Only through March 30 2014). Using its new codeshare partner Virgin Atlantic, you can now fly Delta to London. Using code share partner Korean Air, you can fly Delta to Seoul and beyond. Fly Delta to Mexico City on its partner Aeromexico. Code share partners KLM and Air France offer nonstops to Amsterdam and Paris and beyond. Fly Delta using China Eastern to Shanghai.

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On the domestic front, Delta flies nonstop from SFO to: Honolulu, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Detroit, New York JFK, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Seattle (starting in March) and its main hub, Atlanta. 

From Oakland, Delta flies nonstop to LAX and Salt Lake City, and to Hawaii on codeshare partner Alaska Airlines.

From San Jose, it offers nonstops to Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles (5x per day) and Atlanta. Via its codeshare partner Alaska, it offers flights to Hawaii and Portland.

With all this new service, Delta’s clearly trying to gain a foothold in the booming Bay Area, poaching business travelers from United and Virgin America. One big downside is Delta’s SkyMiles program, generally considered one of the stingiest out there, which makes the thought of giving up Mileage Plus or Elevate points that much tougher.

Do you fly Delta much? Would you be willing to fly it more? Please leave your comments about Delta below.

-Chris McGinnis

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