Hardware-wise the main difference I can think of is that DL
has 3-3-3 seating and AA
is 2-5-2. AA
's arrangement is better if you can get one of those rows of 2; DL
's is better otherwise. The seats themselves are about the same, though the DL
ones are leather and have adjustable lumbar support. (I hate the leather on long-haul aircraft!) They both have adjustable headrests.
Soft product ... well it's Y, and on US carriers at that, so don't expect anything spectacular. But DL
has menus, amenity kits and free beer and wine if you care about any of that. On transatlantic flights the food is usually better on DL
, but I haven't flown JFK
so I can't attest to the food service on this particular route. (It's longer than my usual JFK
Both have full AVOD, so IFE is a dead heat.
So overall, soft product goes to DL
, hard product could swing either way depending on what seats are open.
Then there is the matter of on-the-ground experience. I don't know anything about NRT
but as far as JFK
is concerned, AA
is infinitely better. AA
is one of the best facilities in the US and DL
is one of the worst. Clearing immigration at T3
For me it would depend on what seats I could reserve on AA
, if I had to be in that row of 5 seats that would make me choose DL
, if not I would go with AA
for the opposite reason - being in a row of 2 is better than 3. If you ignore the seating I'd probably choose AA
to avoid T3
, but you might prefer DL
's slightly more refined soft product. AA
is very bare-bones on the soft product, DL
tries a little harder to match foreign competitors' standards.
I assume miles are not a concern for you otherwise you wouldn't be asking this.