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Here’s your chance to fly a brand new aircraft on its inaugural flight for a surprisingly low amount of miles. And, you’ll be on board with a fellow TPGer, as yours truly will be flying DL589 between Seattle (SEA) and Shanghai (PVG) on July 1, 2019, to bring you a comprehensive review.
Tickets for the very first Delta A330-900neo flight — a 12-hour, 23-minute ride on July 1, 2019, between Seattle and Shanghai — went on sale today. Incredibly, Delta is pricing round-trip tickets, including the first flight, at just 60,000 SkyMiles (plus $35.83 in taxes/fees) in Premium Select, which is Delta’s spin on premium economy. (For an idea of what to expect, check out our Delta Premium Select review aboard a retrofitted Boeing 777.)
Inaugural flights don’t happen often, and you typically have to pay quite a premium to be on them. But as you can see above, that’s actually fewer miles than is required to fly the same route in economy. Considering you’ll be savoring that new plane smell for more than 5,700 miles, having a seat that’s 19 inches wide with 38 inches of pitch will come in handy.
To take advantage, use the booking portal at Delta.com and toggle over to “Miles.” We plugged in an outbound date of July 1 to be on the inaugural, with a return on July 4, but later returns seem to have availability as well.
Tickets for the A330-900neo’s second and third destinations are also on sale starting today, but priced much more egregiously in miles. Seattle (SEA) to Seoul (ICN) service begins on Aug. 1, 2019, with a round-trip ticket including that first flight pricing at 148,000 SkyMiles in Premium Select and 168,000 SkyMiles in Delta One Suites.
You can also book yourself a seat on the first A330-900neo flight between Seattle (SEA) and Tokyo (NRT), set to debut on Aug. 31, 2019. At 310,000 SkyMiles for a round-trip seat in Delta One Suites, you’re probably better off paying cash. Or, for Delta Diamond Medallion members, buying a coach seat and applying a Global Upgrade Certificate.
If you’re looking to score an award ticket on Delta’s new A330-900neo, consider a Delta-cobranded Amex card:
- The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is offering 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Additionally, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. This card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year (see rates & fees) and no foreign transaction fees (see rates & fees), and it offers card holders free checking on the first bag on Delta flights, plus priority boarding and 20% off inflight purchases on Delta. The Gold Delta Amex earns 2x miles on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on everything else.
- The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is now offering Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. The Platinum Delta Amex has a higher annual fee of $195 that isn’t waived the first year (see rates & fees) and no foreign transaction fees (see rates & fees), but it also offers more benefits than the Gold Delta Amex, including an annual companion certificate that can be used for travel in the main cabin. With this certificate, your companion travels with you for free minus taxes and fees that max out at $75. You can also earn MQMs toward Delta elite status with this card. In addition to the 5,000 MQMs you’ll earn from the welcome bonus, you can earn 10,000 MQMs (toward status) and 10,000 redeemable miles after you spend $25,000 on the card in a calendar year, plus another 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 redeemable miles after spending $50,000 in a calendar year.
- The Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express is offering Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Also note that the Delta Reserve isn’t offering a $100 statement credit as part of its welcome bonus. This card has a $450 annual fee (see rates & fees) and no foreign transaction fees (see rates & fees), but it also has the most benefits of these three cards. It offers complimentary Delta Sky Club access when you’re flying Delta, and you can bring in up to two guests at a discounted rate of $29 per person. You also get an annual companion certificate, but unlike the version available to Platinum Delta Amex card holders, this one can be used for first-class travel.
Delta will be the first North American operator of the A330-900neo, a swanky new wide-body jet that’ll replace aging 767s. The first few delivered will be based in Seattle (SEA), serving Shanghai (PVG), Seoul (ICN) and Tokyo (NRT) this summer. The A330-900neo features all four of Delta’s branded cabins — Delta One Suites, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin (economy).
The plane will be the first in Delta’s fleet to feature memory foam cushions throughout the aircraft, and will be the first Delta wide-body aircraft featuring its new wireless inflight entertainment system in every seat. Gogo’s 2Ku satellite-based Wi-Fi will also be installed to keep passengers connected for their jaunt over the ocean.
The A330-900neo launch will be Delta’s second inaugural of 2019, following its A220 debut in early February. To get an idea of just how special an inaugural is, be sure to read my report from that A220 first flight between New York’s LaGuardia (LGA) and Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW), as well as my review of its First Class experience.
Drop us a note in comments if you snag a ticket aboard the A330-900neo inaugural, and we’ll see you in the sky!
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