Last spring, a few months after American Airlines announced that it would put a new premium economy class of seating into its international fleet, Delta promised that it would do the same – but it offered no specifics except to say the product would debut on its new Airbus A350s. Well, today Delta unveiled the details of that new seating class.
Delta said the new cabin, called simply Delta Premium, will be introduced on select international A350 flights starting in fall of 2017; in 2018, Delta Premium will spread to the airline’s 777 aircraft, and “additional fleets may be added,” Delta said.
The new seating will provide “up to” 38 inches of pitch, 19 inches of seat width, and seven inches of recline, Delta said, along with adjustable leg and head rests and power ports. Seatbacks will have 13.3-inch high-res video screens, and Delta Premium passengers will get noise-canceling headphones, Westin Heavenly in-flight blankets and Tumi amenity kits.
At the airport, Delta Premium customers will be offered a pre-departure beverage service and the benefits of the airline’s Sky Priority service – faster check-in and security screening, priority boarding and expedited baggage handling. There’s no word yet on the pricing premium that Delta will charge for the new seating category.
The new Delta Premium cabin will be distinct from and superior to the airline’s extra-legroom Comfort+ economy seats, which it started selling earlier this year as a separate fare category. Speaking of Comfort+, will that option still be there in between regular economy and Delta Premium seating? “Comfort+ will not be available on the A350,” a Delta spokeswoman told TravelSkills.
Delta said the A350s will have 32 Delta One suites, 48 Delta Premium seats in a 2-4-2 layout and 226 main cabin seats. These are the same planes on which Delta will introduce its new Delta One suites, which it calls “the world’s first business class cabin to feature a sliding door at each suite.”
Singapore Airlines also has premium economy seating on its new A350s, which started flying to San Francisco last month. See Chris’s first-person trip report plus images of SIA’s premium economy cabin.
This is a busy time for new international cabin classes on U.S. carriers. American’s new premium economy product will make its first appearance starting this week on the airline’s new 787-9s flying from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Madrid and Sao Paulo.
And in just a few weeks – starting December 1 – United’s new Polaris international business class is due to start appearing on its 777-300ERs, and United officials will cut the ribbon on a new Polaris business class lounge at Chicago O’Hare — the first of nine new lounges coming to the airline’s primary international airports.
Delta’s announcement leaves United as the only one of the U.S. Big Three international carriers that has not yet issued any plans to add premium economy seating to its long-haul fleet.