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Delta's 3 newest long-haul Hawaii flights just got a big upgrade

March 02, 2022
5 min read
Delta's 3 newest long-haul Hawaii flights just got a big upgrade
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Update (3/7/2022): Delta has downgauged all three new routes to wide-body jets without a Premium Select cabin.

It remains to be seen if and when the premium economy cabin returns to these markets. However, by the time these flights launch, the airline will have completed much of its cabin retrofit program, increasing the odds that the new routes will eventually feature Premium Select.


Looking to upgrade your next flight to Hawaii? Well, you might want to consider Delta.

The Atlanta-based carrier is launching three new daily long-haul routes to the Aloha State this winter holiday season, and the airline just made an upgrade-friendly tweak to its plans.

Delta is already upgauging all three routes — just one week after they were first announced — with larger wide-body jets. The airline originally planned to fly a 226-seat Boeing 767-300ER on each route, internally referred to as the "76Z," which features 26 business-class pods, 35 extra-legroom Comfort+ seats and 165 standard coach ones.

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Now, you'll find the following jets on the three routes, as first seen in Cirium schedules and later confirmed by the carrier.

On the surface, a larger plane might not mean much, but as you'll see, it's a big deal for flyers.

Perhaps the biggest implication is that both the Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 767-400ER that Delta will fly to Hawaii feature a Premium Select cabin, which is Delta's take on premium economy.

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Premium Select offers a much more spacious seat than those in economy — it's wider, has more recline, and even offers a leg rest and footrest. It largely resembles a domestic first-class recliner with some additional bells and whistles. Plus, Premium Select gets its own cabin between business and coach, making for a quieter ride as you head to paradise.

Delta Premium Select (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

On long-haul international flights, Delta sells Premium Select as its own product for a price between business and coach. Along with the seat, premium economy travelers can expect an elevated dining experience and an amenity kit.

But on the new Hawaii routes, Delta is taking a different — and interesting — strategy to how it markets the cabin. Instead of selling the recliners as a Premium Select product, the airline is instead marketing the upgraded seats as Comfort+, which is the airline's take on extra-legroom economy.

(Screenshot courtesy of Delta)

And because of the Comfort+ designation, you'll be able to snag a premium economy recliner for just about $200 more each way than standard coach — a good deal relative to Delta's "Big 3" competitors, American and United, which charge roughly $500 more each way for their premium economy cabin on long-haul Hawaii routes.

The news gets even better for Medallion elite members, who are entitled to complimentary upgrades to Comfort+ on these routes. Diamond and Platinum Medallions will get upgraded to Comfort+ directly after ticketing, whereas Gold and Silver Medallions will need to wait until 72 hours and 24 hours before departure, respectively, to get a space-available bump to Comfort+.

Delta Premium Select (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Plus, under the new Global and Regional Upgrade Certificate policy that went into effect on Feb. 1, these coupons can only be used to upgrade one cabin at the time of booking. And since the Premium Select cabin is being marketed as Comfort+, Medallions will be able to confirm a bump into Delta One as early as the time of booking, subject to availability.

When asked about whether this was a mistake on Delta's part, a carrier spokesperson confirmed that the airline's plan is to market the premium economy cabin as Comfort+. For how long that'll last is anyone's guess, especially considering that Delta could likely fill the Premium Select cabin at higher fares.

Therefore, I'd recommend locking in your tickets before a potential change in policy.

The upgraded jets aren't just welcome news for those looking to score a deal on a premium economy seat. It's also exciting for those sitting in the pointy end of the plane.

Delta One on the Boeing 767-300 (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

That's because the Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 767-400ER both feature upgraded business-class products compared to the aging seats on the 767-300.

The former sports reverse herringbone pods that are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, with direct aisle access and plenty of privacy for each passenger.

Delta One pods on the Airbus A330-300 (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Meanwhile, the 767-400ER is outfitted with a modified version of the Delta One Suite. They're arranged in a forward-facing 1-2-1 configuration, but they feature larger privacy dividers, modernized inflight entertainment screens and even more upgrades compared to the outdated product on the 767-300.

Delta One Suites on the Boeing 767-400ER (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Altogether, if you're considering a trip to Hawaii for later this year, it could definitely make sense to travel with Delta. You can now lock in an upgraded onboard experience on its three new long-haul routes for a much better deal than traveling with American or United.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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    670-850
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Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees