Delta Shuttle First Class New York LGA Washington DCA – Review

By Paul Riegler on 13 February 2012
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The Marine Air Terminal at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport is the only air terminal in operation that dates back to the days of the flying boat, seaplanes that were the mainstay of aviation in the late Thirties and early Forties.

The terminal itself eventually fell into disrepair and was renovated twice, first in the Sixties to be used for private aviation and then in anticipation of the 1985 launch of the Pan Am Shuttle from New York to Boston and Washington, D.C. in competition with the Eastern Shuttle.

While most shuttle passengers enter through a newer entrance to the right of the original terminal, those going through the terminal’s main doors can view the WPA-era mural “Flight” completed by James Brooks in 1940.  The mural measures 12 feet (3.7 m) in height and 237 feet (72 m) in length and depicts the history of flight and air travel.  (The mural was inexplicably painted over in the 1950s and restored in 1980.)

Delta Air Lines took over the shuttle from Pan Am in 1991 and has been operating it ever since.  I checked in online and printed a boarding pass (as well as having one texted to me) so I proceeded past the racks of magazines (to the best of my knowledge one of the widest assortments of pre-departure reading material available) and past check-in to security, where there were two passengers in line ahead of me.

There was no SkyPriority line but the wait was under three minutes.  There is also no SkyClub lounge but the terminal area itself is comfortable and has a small counter where snacks and drinks may be purchased.


Boarding for the 4:30 p.m. departure started around 4:05.  While first-class passengers were supposed to board first, I did not hear an announcement and there was no SkyPriority line.  Nonetheless, I was one of the first on board and took seat 1A (both the first-class cabin and the main cabin have open seating with no assigned seats on the shuttle).

Once on board the Embraer 175 regional jet, I found a blanket and small pillow as well as a bottle of water at my seat.   A flight attendant offered to hang up my coat.  Other than the water, no pre-departure beverages were offered.

Click here to continue to Page 2Seat Comfort, In-Flight Service, and Arrival

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