Delta unveils new BusinessElite seat for Boeing 747

Delta unveiled new interiors for its Boeing 747 aircraft today, including a new business class seat that is arranged in the herringbone pattern you’ve likely seen on its Boeing 777s. Currently, only one newly configured 747 flies between Detroit and Tokyo-Narita, but Delta says that all its 747’s should have the new seats by October of this year. (Delta had previously stated that the 747 update would occur “between summer 2011 and 2012.”)

Delta’s release states: “The new 747 BusinessElite seats, manufactured by Zodiac Aerospace, are approximately 80 inches in length and 20.5 inches wide, and will be arranged in an angled herringbone layout, similar to the flat-bed product currently offered on Delta’s 777 fleet. Window seats will face outward, while center seats are angled toward each other. The new seats are 20 percent wider than those they replace and include a large dining table and side console. There are no middle or rear-facing seats.”

Delta's new herringbone style Business Elite seat for Boeing 747

Delta is promising 100% full true lie-flat bed business class seating on its widebody fleet by 2014. Right new it’s about a third of the way there. Currently you can count on getting a true lie-flat biz class seat Delta’s fleet of 18 Boeing 777-200 ER/LR aircraft and all 21 Boeing 767-400ER aircraft. However, you’ll still find the old-school cradles on many of its 767-300’s  and Airbus A330’s.

Delta’s new 747 configuration will also sport 42 Economy Comfort seats with an extra four inches of legroom and more recline. It says that standard coach seats will be made thinner, giving coach passengers an extra two inches of “knee clearance.”

Delta’s 747’s mainly fly to/from its Tokyo-Narita hub– they are a rare, but wonderful, site on ATL’s runways….

Thoughts? Which type of Delta business class seat do you prefer– the herringbone on its 777s (and 747) or the boxier model on its 767s? How does Delta’s business class product compare to others you’ve tried? Please leave your comments below.


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  • Eddie

    Amongst the North American airlines, I think Delta, Air Canada, pre-merger Continental are tops as far as having a hybrid first/business class with this herringbone flat seats. AA’s first and business are cruel jokes. However, once you start comparing total package (service, lounge, seats, ambience, etc) of the other top tier international carriers (the usual suspects: SQ, BA, CX) then you’ll start to appreciate how far behind the our airlines still are.

  • dedehans

    There are too many places to lose things on the 767 and 777 lie flat seats. Eyeglasses not put away end up in the mechanism under the seat and it is a big deal to try and retrieve them…

    I also wish Delta would provide pads to sleep on as the flat beds are very hard….

    Other than these two problems I love the lie flats.

  • Chuck Lowenstein

    Having flown DL 268/269 JFK/TLV 5 times in the past 12 months, I can’t wait for the new seats. We were spoiled by the 777 that was used on 152/153 ATL/TLV. From the video, it also appears that coach passengers will finally enter the 21st century with personal entertainment units instead of having to view whatever appears on the screen in the front of their cabin.

  • RG

    I like Delta’s Business Elite seating. Well, should I say the lie flat seats. They are much more comfortable than LH or KL and KE as these carriers seats don’t lay flat. The worst is absolutely Aeromexico whose business class is a complete joke. The seats are the same width as economy but have more recline. A 9.5 hour flight with only one meal, no movies or music and inferior service from the flight crew. Never again Aeromexico!!!!!!!!

  • Shindig

    My first trip with the lie flat seats was 1/29/12 from MIA to LHR on the 767-400. I thought it far superior to the cradle seats on their 767-300 or anybody else’s cradle seat if you hope to sleep. On that trip I flew back home on KLM’s 777 from AMS to ATL. I didn’t plan on sleeping so a lie flat seat didn’t matter. However, while cabin service on both flights was fine, the meals, snacks, drinks and wine were much better on KLM. The only complaint? Both flights had the cabin heat on way too high. From AMS the guy in front of me took off his collared shirt and spent 9+ hours in his t-shirt!

  • David S

    Delta’s international business class product is way behind compared to rivals. United, Continental, US Airways, Swiss, and British Airways all offer better international business seats. United and BA also offer a true first class product which is far better than Delta’s business class seat and can often times be had for fare close to what the Delta business class seat is being sold for. The 767 cradle seats have to go to be competative in the international market.