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

by on August 5, 2013 · 15 comments

in Delta

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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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  • WanderingEntrepreneur

    These updates look good…I fly DL almost exclusively within the US, and the transcon hard product is currently very good and very competitive with the other airlines flying between JFK/EWR-LAX/SFO/SEA. You mentioned SWU certificates in here…I’ve used 6 certs between last year and this year so far, and not one of them was coded properly when applied to my reservation. Because these upgrades also rarely clear ahead of time or within the medallion window, you are merely added to the upgrade list. As a PM or DM on a SWU, you should either be at the top or very near the top of the upgrade list. Make sure your agent has coded your upgrade properly (UP2A as a DM and UP2B as a PM). Thanks for posting this update Brian.

  • jafthelion

    How do you think fares will react when the new product is introduced?

  • Matt C.

    I got really excited reading the last article on lie-flat seating and immediately went to Delta to check it out. They have routes from SEA-ATL and SEA-JFK, but only one with lie-flat seating, and it’s during the daytime. Seriously? Why would I care about a lie-flat seat on a 10 am – 3 pm flight? I wrote customer service to ask when an evening lie-flat route from Seattle might be available, but of course they couldn’t confirm when/if it would be.

  • Ray

    This looks like the same seats that AA will have on their A321s, except AA will be offering 20 seats along with a separate first class!

  • Ben Price

    Anyone have any updates on KLMs TATL upgrades for biz? Flying to AMS in March 2014 and I hear their biz seats aren’t good at all.

  • Darth Chocolate

    Not exactIy on topic. I recently flew PEK-DTW in Business Elite. Transpacific had a slightly different seat configuration: 1-2-1. Seats are angled about 30 deg off airplane axis toward aisles. The middle 2 seats are separated by a “privacy wall” so if you are traveling with someone else, you may want one window and one interior on the same side of the plane.

    Seats are true flat and you get the Westin pillows and comforters. Plenty of stowage in the seat area and you get 2 big overhead bins for your carry-ons and bedding.

  • MarkWorth

    Given that fully lie flat seats are still coming into aircraft that fly international routes, it has been interesting to see how the premium transcon routes in the U.S. are really moving quickly in this direction. Clearly (with the JetBlue announcement today), it is a question of oneupmanship amongst airlines.

    Just read an interesting report on how the percentages of fully lie flat seats have increased dramatically over the past 24 months to the point where the article is reporting that all flights/routes (at least those covered in the article) were lie flat versus even six months ago.

    Lie-Flat Business-Class Seats Go Mainstream: A Guide and Review
    http://accura.cc/yh116d

  • Fore!

    35″ seat pitch in E+? JetBlue’s base coach product is 34″. Between offerings like this (given that a BusinessElite upgrade isn’t likely at any Medallion level), a constantly devalued mile, the worst alliance in the business and the new revenue requirements, I’m really not sure why DL is anyone’s first choice unless you’re hub captive.

  • Steve

    The upgrade is great. By the way – even if you are Diamond, Delta upgrades based on ticket value first. So a Diamond on a Y gets the upgrade first…but a Gold on a Y fare gets upgraded before a Diamond on a cheaper fare. So if you want to get upgraded, spring for the higher class of fare.

  • thepointsguy

    Not necessarily true. Y fares get cleared across all Medallion levels first, but after that it is by Medallion level and then fare class. So a Gold Medallion on a T fare (cheapest) still gets upgraded over a Silver on a B fare- even if that B fare was twice as expensive.

    http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/skymiles/about-skymiles/medallion-program/medallion-benefits/unlimited-complimentary-medallion-upgrades.html

  • thepointsguy

    I flew the 777LR LAX-Tokyo..awesome ride! Delta’s best business class seat in my opinion http://thepointsguy.com/2011/06/delta-to-tokyo-777lr-businesselite-review-los-angeles-to-haneda/

  • thepointsguy

    Should have started this June, to be completed April 2014

    http://thepointsguy.com/2013/03/klm-shows-off-its-new-business-class-lie-flat-seats/

    Review of their old seats.. not great at all (angled)

    http://thepointsguy.com/2011/09/flight-review-klm-international-business-class/

  • thepointsguy

    Agreed..and I’m dying to get a first look at the AA planes!

  • Pingback: Top 10: Airline Economy Seats to Avoid | The Points Guy()

  • Chris

    I think you’ve got to consider the Redeemable and MQM/EQM miles to be earned from co branded credit cards in the analysis

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