Review: Delta Connection Embraer E175 First Class (MFE-AUS)

I flew into McAllen the night prior to my flight on another Delta Connection flight from Austin. I didn’t review that leg because the crew had to remain seated the entire flight due to weather. After a quick overnight at the Courtyard McAllen Airport, I headed off to catch my return flight to Austin.


I booked my roundtrip flight to McAllen via the Fly Delta app as soon as tickets for the route went on sale (I was pumping gas at Buc-ee’s when I got the message). Since I booked so far in advance, pricing was relatively inexpensive and I paid $98 round trip in Economy.

Delta’s new route between McAllen and Austin marks the return of the airline to the city. This means there were very few status passengers as, most likely, there are very few Delta elites in the area. As a lowly Delta Silver, my upgrades to First Class cleared at the window on both flights.


My flight to Austin was scheduled to depart at 12:40p and I arrived at the airport at 11:25a. The departures curb was relatively empty and my Uber dropped me off right at the front doors.

McAllen International Airport Departures Curb
McAllen International Airport Departures Curb

The check-in area was fairly deserted on a Saturday morning with just a few people milling about.

McAllen International Airport Ticketing Area
McAllen International Airport Ticketing Area

I didn’t have any bags to check but, in case you need to, the Delta counters are located at the end of the row closest to security.

Delta Check-In Counter at McAllen International Airport
Delta Check-In Counter at McAllen International Airport

Prior to the security checkpoint is the main atrium of the airport. There are quite a few seats here that seemed to be occupied by families waiting on relatives to arrive. It is one of the larger pre-security seating areas I’ve seen in a while.

McAllen International Airport Pre-Security Seating
McAllen International Airport Pre-Security Seating

There was no line at security and I was airside within a minute.

McAllen International Airport Security Checkpoint
McAllen International Airport Security Checkpoint
McAllen International Airport Concourse Interior
McAllen International Airport Concourse

The concourse is small, with only six gates and a couple of shops. It isn’t a place you’d want to spend a ton of time but, with how easy the airport is to get in and out of, most people likely aren’t showing up very early.

Halfway down the concourse was an atrium which had a bar, gift shop, and a restaurant area that was under construction.

a large hall with people walking and people walking
McAllen International Airport Concourse Atrium

As I was walking towards the gate area, I received a notification from Delta that our flight to Austin would be slightly delayed. This was also reflected on the monitors at the gate.

Delta Gate at McAllen International Airport
Delta Gate at McAllen International Airport

Instead of sitting at the gate, I grabbed a seat at the nearby bar and enjoyed a local brew while waiting on my flight. From the bar I was able to spot my inbound aircraft arriving from Austin.

an airplane on the runway
Delta Connection Embraer E175 Arriving in McAllen


Our flight to Austin was departing from Gate 3 and I arrived just as our Embraer E175 was pulling into the gate.

a plane on the tarmac
N258SY is our ride up to Austin

Delta recently unveiled a new, numbered boarding process and that signage was present at the gate.

a sign in a lobby
Delta’s new boarding signage was present at the gate.

When it came time to board, the gate agent called passengers needing extra time, active duty military and Zone 1 to board at the same time.

SkyWest DBA Delta Connection
DL 4147
MFE-AUS (McAllen International – Austin-Bergstrom International)
Seat: 1D (First)
EMB-175 (N258SY)
Scheduled: 12:40p-2:00p
Actual: 12:53p-2:05p

We had a slight backup in the jet bridge as there were more wheelchairs than wheelchair attendants. I ended u carrying a lady’s bag while she pushed her husband down to the aircraft.


Delta’s Embraer E175s are equipped in the standard 1-2 layout in First Class. Seats are spread across 4 rows for a total of 12 seats. Since I was upgraded, I didn’t get to pick my seat and instead was assigned one. The best seats are the “A” seats on the left side of the aircraft as these are the single seats with a window and direct aisle access. I ended up in 1D, the bulkhead window seat on the right side of the plane.

Delta Embraer E175 First Class Seat
Delta Embraer E175 First Class Seat

Legroom in the bulkhead was decent for my 6’2″ frame and literature pockets were mounted to the bulkhead wall.

a person's leg in a seat with a pocket on the wall
Delta Embraer E175 First Class Bulkhead

The tray table is located in the armrest and can be opened by pulling on a small hook/tab attached to the tray.

a blue arm rest with a white object in it
Delta Embraer E175 First Class Tray Table Storage

The tray table can be folded over in half or opened fully to provide a large dining/working surface. I appreciate the fact that the tray table, when fully extended, rests on the opposite armrest which makes it firm and sturdy.

Delta Embraer E175 First Class Tray Table
Delta Embraer E175 First Class Tray Table
Delta Embraer E175 First Class Tray Table
Delta Embraer E175 First Class Tray Table

Individual air nozzles and reading lights were located above each seat.

Delta Embraer E175 First Class Overhead Panel
Delta Embraer E175 First Class Overhead Panel


Due to the slight delay, no pre-departure beverages were offered but the flight attendant working our cabin did come through taking orders for once we were in the air. Even with the delay, boarding was complete 20 minutes after it began and we pushed off of the gate at 12:53p local time.

Exterior of McAllen International Airport
Next stop, Austin!

We had a 10-minute taxi out to Runway 14 followed by a short takeoff roll and we were airborne.

an airplane wing on a runway
View departing McAllen

We took off to the southeast before making a hard turn to the north to head towards Austin.

a plane flying over a landscape
View departing McAllen


As we climbed out of McAllen, I chatted with my seatmate who was flying with her lap infant back home to North Carolina. She was taking advantage of the new flight to visit family on South Padre Island with a on-stop connection to Raleigh/Durham. We talked throughout the flight and ultimately determined that she grew up in the same neighborhood as Mrs. ATX and they went to the same high school a few years apart. Small world.

We had a few bumps during the climb out but it was smooth sailing once we got above the clouds.

an airplane wing above the clouds
View En-Route to Austin

The seatbelt sign was turned off about 10 minutes after takeoff and I went to check out the forward lavatory. It was small, but average for a regional jet and no additional amenities were provided for First Class passengers. Due to the curvature of the fuselage, I couldn’t stand upright in the lavatory without bending my neck.

Delta Embraer E175 First Class Lavatory
Delta Embraer E175 First Class Lavatory

Back at my seat, the flight attendant working the First Class cabin brought the first round of beverages which we preordered before departure. This was accompanied by a pass of the snack basket and I took some chips and pistachios.

a bag of chips and a glass of water
Delta Embraer E175 First Class In-Flight Service

As we flew north towards Austin the flight attendant working the First Class cabin was busy offering refills and snacks. My seatmate was traveling with her sister and her sister’s kids as well and our FA got them involved and even let the oldest try their hand at being a flight attendant, taking the snack basket to each row.

As we made our way towards Austin I looked around the cabin and began to notice that the interior of the plane was pretty beat up. Lots of panel gaps and dirty spots along the walls. N258SY is only a 7 year old aircraft that has spent its entire life with SkyWest.

a white wall with a light on the side
Lots of panel gaps and dirt on N258SY

As the captain announced our initial descent into Austin, our flight attendant did one final round of beverages before preparing the cabin for arrival.

a glass of water on a table
One last beverage service before landing.


We approached a hazy Austin from the southwest and flew north past downtown before looping around to land from the north.

aerial view of Austin
View Approaching Austin
a highway with cars and trees
View Approaching Austin

We touched down on Runway 18R before taxiing over to the east side for our arrival gate.

airplanes parked on a runway
Taxiing Austin Airport

We pulled in to Gate 12 a few minutes behind schedule next to another Delta Connection E175 headed to Nashville.

a plane parked at an airport
Taxiing Austin Airport

Since I was sitting in the first row, I was off the plane quickly and headed to the Delta Sky Club to relax during my layover.

an airplane at an airport
N258SY at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport


First Class on Delta Connection’s Embraer E175 provides a comfortable ride, especially if you can get one of the single seats on the left side of the aircraft. An outstanding crew made this quick hop up from McAllen to Austin quite enjoyable. With a ton of upgrade space available you couldn’t ask for much more on a $98 roundtrip fare.

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