Economy comfort gets an upgrade (for some)

Delta's premium economy seat, Economy Comfort (Photo: Delta)

Delta’s premium economy seat, Economy Comfort, is now standard across its fleet (Photo: Delta)

Today Delta rolled out a souped-up version of its Economy Comfort product on transcontinental B757 and B767 flights between New York-JFK and the west coast (Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles).

In addition to standard Economy Comfort bennies like four extra inches of legroom in a seat at the front of the coach section and priority boarding, Delta is offering:

>Free beer, wine and spirits—which is helpful on these 5-6 hour marathon transcons, especially during cocktail hour! :)

Free food on Delta's transcons for Economy Comfort customers (Photo: Delta)

Free food on Delta’s transcons for Economy Comfort customers (Photo: Delta)

>A complimentary Luvo sandwich wrap and a frozen yogurt bar, which helps the hunger pangs on these transcon flights that seem to last forever. (However, the snacks are not available on redeyes departing the west coast after 9 p.m.)

>A sleep kit with an eye mask earplugs, pillow, large bottle of water and blanket (only necessary if you are crazy or desperate enough to take a red-eye.)

High ranking members of Delta’s SkyMiles program (Diamond, Platinum and Gold) as well as those buying more expensive Y, B or M fares get can book the posher Economy Comfort seat for free at time of booking. Long suffering Silver Medallions can pay $49.50 to reserve it at time of booking, or get it for free in the rare instance there are available seats when they check in for their flights.

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These extra bennies should help quell some of the anger Delta created among its elite level flyers when it stopped allowing them to use their complimentary upgrades to ride up front in Delta’s new pimped out flat-bed business elite cabin. These extras make riding at the back of the plane much more tolerable. It also helps Delta compete against sexy Virgin America with it’s Main Cabin Select product that offers extra legroom, a wide selection of free food & booze and dedicated overhead bin space.

Plus, it’s a good way for Delta to try and woo business travelers who may not hold SkyMiles status—regular coach fliers can buy their way into Economy Comfort for $99 each way. (A fee your company should pay if they expect you to work during the flight.)

If you fly out of SFO, SEA, LAX or JFK, does this upgrade make you more likely to try out (or stick with) Delta as the transcon wars intensify? If you’re not in one of those chosen cities, do you feel left out or less important to Delta? Please leave your comments below.

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  • Kirk

    Ok, let me try to illustrate with an example. Let’s say I’m a Diamond Medallion and I’m travelling redeye to some very important meetings. Therefore, the flat bed is super important to me and I’m WILLING to pay for a business class ticket. But, I’m not an idiot. As a DM, I know that I can buy a Coach ticket and have a very good chance at a cheap buy up (or even a free upgrade), so I’ll do that instead. This is what Delta wants to avoid: people who are willing and able to buy business, but chose to buy coach. The only way to do it is to tell me that if I buy a coach ticket, I have ZERO chance of sitting up front. In that case, I’ll buy the business ticket as I originally intended.

    Delta offers arguably the best product and the best reliability in the US right now, which is why I chose to fly with them. I don’t think they need to do more to soothe high flyers.

  • Billeds

    DL has allowed employees to fly up there. And my recent flight had 4 empty seats. Why not offer them for a miles-paid or $ paid upgrade at check in or at airport. They do those standby or paid upgrades on other flights. Seems stupid to let seats fly empty. Get some Medallions up there using money or miles. They can still have them for sale up to the last minute as they were doing before. It would go a long way to soothe some high flyers. Also, with JetBlue mint coming online DL needs to earn a bit more good will back.

  • SFTed

    The Luvo sandwich wrap is a total turnoff… I would have to decline it, just like the other Luvo offerings in Business Class. Frankly, the food is not good. I always ask for one of the snack boxes, or fruit and cheese tray instead. Flight attendants are happy to oblige. Hopefully, Delta will deep-6 Luvo very soon.

  • Kirk

    Delta thinks that some people like flying up front enough to actually buy a ticket in Business class. But if those people expect to be upgraded for free, then they won’t buy Business. Delta (which in not a non-profit btw) would rather if they bought a ticket in Business. It’s got nothing to do with mean-spirited, they are simply running a business

  • ecaarch

    As always, the fine print matters. Economy Comfort seating has “up to four more inches” of legroom. The actual additional space varies not only by aircraft type but also from seat to seat. On my recent transcon flight in an Economy Comfort seat, my knees were touching the seat in front of me BEFORE it was even reclined.

  • Ivan Stoler

    I’m a million miler, silver and it doesn’t mean too much these days. However, I really cant complain as I have taken many trips overseas using miles.Seats are available if you’re like me, a guy who plans his holidays as far in advance as he possibly can. I do wish Million milers could board sooner.


    I’m all for perks in “Economy Plus” or whatever they call it. Coach seats are too close together to be healthy, especially for those with long legs. But free drinks? Do they not know it is unhealthy to drink alcohol while flying? And what about those who drink too much? How about a free bottle of water and something diabetic-friendly to eat? And what about international flights?

  • Chris McGinnis

    Hey there… economy comfort is available on international flights, but you don’t get all the perks you get on the transcons. — chris

  • Allegro761

    Once again PDX gets ignored. The JFK/PDX flights are always packed!

  • PSL

    Thanks for the info. Are these Economy Comfort perks also available on international flights?

  • Dan Nainan

    Please – “it’s” is a contraction which is short for “it is”. “Its” denotes possession.

    Otherwise, fantastic post. Because Delta took these upgrades away, I just won’t fly them coast-to-coast anymore, because American will upgrade me. For Delta to do that was so mean-spirited. I was on one Delta coast-to-coast flight shortly after they changed the policy, and 90 percent of the Business Elite section lay empty. Why?

  • Larry

    Would be nice if they put some of those perks in from Atlanta.