We’re getting close to the commercial launch of Delta’s first Airbus A350 wide-body, and the carrier has unveiled more of its route plans for the new aircraft – including its first Europe route. It has also introduced a brand new “real” premium economy seat.
As previously reported, the first Delta A350 route will be from Detroit to Tokyo Narita, starting October 30. The airline is focusing on its Detroit hub for the A350 rollout, with plans to begin flying the plane from DTW to Seoul Incheon on November 16, followed by DTW-Beijing flights as of January 17. (DTW is also the airport that will see the end of Delta’s Boeing 747 service later this year.)
Now Delta has announced two more routes for the A350. It will use the plane for one of its four daily Detroit-Amsterdam flights beginning March 31 of next year, followed by its introduction on Detroit-Shanghai service starting April 19. Atlanta-Seoul will get the A350 treatment starting March 24.
In addition to Delta’s new Delta One front cabin, which features innovative passenger “suites,” the aircraft will also debut the Delta Premium Select seating category – the airline’s new international premium economy product.
The new Premium Select (true premium economy) seats will be up to 19 inches wide, with pitch of up to 38 inches, up to seven inches of recline, and adjustable leg and head rests. Premium Select travelers will get noise-cancelling headphones, pre-departure drink service, upgraded meal service, free in-flight entertainment selections on a 13.3-inch screen, in-seat power ports, and Delta’s Sky Priority treatment (expedited check-in, baggage and security screening, and premium boarding).
Delta’s B777s are also slated to get the new Premium Select seats next year.
As Delta’s long-haul aircraft get the new Premium Select seating, they will no longer offer Comfort+ extra-legroom economy seating. Only “preferred” economy seats will be available. This means it could be tougher for elites to get “good” economy seats on long haul flights.
In its Premium Select FAQs Delta offers these options for upgrading to the new Premium Select seats:
There will be three ways to upgrade into Delta Premium Select:
1. Purchase an upgrade with cash through delta.com or Reservations
2. Purchase an upgrade with miles through Reservations
3. Use a Global Upgrade Certificate, and if not cleared prior to check-in, monitor the airport standby list to see if your certificate clears. Global Upgrade Certificates are only available to Diamonds as a Choice Benefit option.
With customer anticipation running high for the new A350s, especially among SkyMiles elites, Delta posted a message on Flyertalk to ”clear up any confusion” about upgrades to the aircraft’s Delta One (business class) suites. “Diamond Medallion Members can use one Global Upgrade Certificate to upgrade directly to a Delta One suite from any cabin of service offered on the flight – including Main Cabin (excluding Basic Economy),” a Delta rep said.
Delta celebrated the A350 with a “media day” this week– check out the busy social media stream the event produced— plenty of great photos.
What do you think about Delta’s new plane? And new seats? Please leave your comments below.