Delta Airlines is known for having one of the best business class products in the US. Their DeltaOne Cabin is currently offered on international routes, and some transcontinental routes. Delta also has the most transatlantic routes in the US, out of their gateways at Boston, Atlanta and New York-JFK. They also have a few routes from smaller airports, such as Raleigh -Durham, Orlando, and Indianapolis. As the airline receives more of its new flagship aircraft, the A350, they will be adding premium economy in their fleet. While Delta pairs demand to aircraft, it seems the airline is getting rid of Delta One from some of its routes. It is instead adding Premium Economy.
Although there isn’t a complete list, or an official announcement from Delta, many of these routes are low demand. The ones that I have seen tend to be flown with a 757, which will probably be substituted by another 757 without Delta One. Of the routes I have seen, all for the summer season, here are the ones I have found:
These flights are either uncontested or flown by discount carriers. For example, on the KEF flight, Delta competes with Icelandair and WOW Air. These two airlines do not offer lie flat seats, and with this development the airline will have an on-par product with the other airlines. Their flight to Ponta Delgada competes indirectly with SATA Azores’ flight from Boston. The airline uses leased aircraft on this route, but it is often flown with an A310 or A320, which neither have lie flat seats.
What Will Premium Economy Be Like?
Well, honestly these planes will not have as nice a seat as on the A350, but it will be a standard domestic recliner seat. Some of these seats can be found on very long domestic routes (such as Seattle-Orlando or Miami-Seattle). The short TATL routes and domestic routes are almost equally far. I would expect a similar service to what you find on domestic first: a plated meal, with free alcoholic beverages. Do not expect lounge access or a proper three course menu. I hope that the seats have built in IFE, or at least WiFi.
As airlines pair up with low cost and discount carriers, they may move their more premium aircraft away from those routes. The routes Delta selected are usually very low on premium demand, so it makes perfect sense for the airline to add premium economy instead of business class. I think this is a loss for people who used to travel to those places on Delta One, but I honestly am not very surprised.
What do you think? Which other routes will Delta end business class and add Premium Economy? Will you change carriers to these destinations based on this development? Let us know!
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