Delta Unveils New 757-200 Transcon Interior – Upgrade Coming to BusinessElite and Economy

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Delta announced  new details of the future 757-200 BusinessElite cabin which they plan to fly on their transcontinental routes. These aircraft will feature 16 BusinessElite 180 degrees fully lie flat seats, 44 Economy Comfort seats, and 108 Economy seats. Originally scheduled to be completed by early 2014, this project is now not scheduled to begin until spring 2014. Delta currently flies a handful of 767 aircraft on their JFK-LAX which do feature lie-flat seats up front already, so once this modification is made to the 757-200, then all their planes on JFK-LAX/SFO/SEA routes will offer flat bed seats.

Delta's new 757-200 aircraft will be rolled out starting in spring 2014.
Delta’s new 757-200 aircraft will be rolled out starting in spring 2014.

Details of the 757-200 modification include:

BusinessElite
• 16 seats in a 2 x 2 configuration
• Seats are staggered and slightly angled toward the windows to optimize privacy and personal space
• Seat width is 20.2” which can be increased to 22.2” with the armrest stowed
• 180º fully flat bed (average bed length of 76”)
• 110v AC in-seat power + USB power
• Adjustable personal LED reading light

And it’s not only the BusinessElite cabin that’s getting a makeover. Both Economy Comfort and Economy will also be getting some minor improvements.

Economy Comfort
• 44 seats at 35” pitch & and up to 50% more recline in a 3 x 3 layout
• “Slim-line” seat provides more personal space
• 4-way adjustable headrests
• 110v AC in-seat power + USB power

Economy
• 108 seats at a minimum of 31” pitch and 4” recline in 3 x 3 layout
• “Slim-line” seat provides more personal space
• 4-way adjustable headrests
• 110v AC in-seat power + USB power

Delta's new BusinessElite cabin on the 757-200.
BusinessElite seats will have 16-inch monitors.

Cabin Enhancements and AVOD
When it comes to inflight entertainment, the new planes will feature 16” Elite Integrated Smart Monitors in BusinessElite; 9” Eco 9i Integrated Smart Monitors in Economy Comfort & Economy. These larger screens will be a welcomed addition

There will be also be 18 channels of live satellite TV, which is a great addition, since currently these planes do not offer satellite TV. In addition, they are going to come equipped with 350 movies, 130 hours of stored TV, 5,000 songs and games so you should have your choice of in-flgiht entertainment on these planes.  The planes will also feature full-spectrum LED cabin mood lighting system, inflight Wi-Fi, and updated lavatories.

180º fully flat bed (average bed length of 76”)
These planes will feature 180 degrees fully flat bed seats in BusinessElite.

Upgrades
If you’re hoping to try out the new premium product yourself, Delta does upgrade Medallions on BusinessElite domestic routes, however for JFK-LAX/SFO, don’t expect to get cleared at your Medallion windows. Delta almost always holds upgrades to the gate and competition is fierce and I imagine that will increase once business travelers see the new product and experience Delta’s new and improved Terminal 4. I used to be a Diamond Medallion and upgrades were hit or miss depending on the day and time of flight. One way to give yourself an edge is to have the Delta Reserve card because Delta prioritizes Reserve cardholders higher than those without – so if you are up against someone with the same Medallion level and fare class, you’ll be higher on the upgrade list if you have a Reserve card and they don’t.

Platinum and Diamond Medallion members may choose Delta’s systemwide upgrades (4 for Platinum, 6 for Diamond) as a choice benefit, and use these as another way to upgrade on this route. Passengers must be on a published economy class fares booked in Y, B, M, S, H, Q, or K class. Systemwide upgrades may not be used on Delta’s discounted coach fares or award tickets. When requesting a systemwide upgrade, you should be at the very top of the upgrade list since these take priority over all Medallion upgrades including anyone booked in a full Y fare, so be sure to ask about your placement on the upgrade list when you check in.

Overall, I’m excited to see this improvements, but the downside is that frequent flyers looking to score upgrades may find it even hard to do so. That being said, economy and Economy Comfort are also being enhances, so sitting in the back of the plane will be more enjoyable.

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