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First look: Delta’s Comfort+ and economy cabins on the 'new' Airbus A350

June 24, 2022
7 min read
Delta Airbus
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Delta Air Lines just quietly inaugurated service with its 'newest' jet: the Airbus A350.

While the Atlanta-based carrier already operates 17 A350s, the airline is in the midst of adding nine used A350s to its fleet.

These jets will comprise the “35L” sub-fleet for Delta, as the carrier is keeping the legacy cabins while it works to meet the surging demand for international travel.

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(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

These planes were picked up from LATAM, after the bankrupt South American mega-carrier — which is partially owned by Delta — said it would retire its A350 fleet.

Unlike Delta’s flagship four-cabin A350s, these ex-LATAM jets are arranged in a unique three-cabin configuration, featuring Delta One, extra-legroom Comfort+ and standard main cabins.

After picking up these jets, Delta did a nose-to-tail refurbishment, adding its signature branding, entertainment systems and speedy Wi-Fi to the plane.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

While Delta will ultimately retrofit these planes with its flagship onboard experience, the airline is temporally flying these “inferior” A350s on routes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to Dublin Airport (DUB), Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Arturo Merino Benítez Airport (SCL) in Santiago, Chile.

Within a week of entering revenue service for Delta, TPG was onboard the first ex-LATAM A350, registered N575DZ, for the nine-hour flight from ATL to SCL.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Though I already published my full review of the Delta One experience on the “35L,” I also caught a glimpse of the coach cabin when I boarded, so here’s a first look.

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Delta’s largest-ever Comfort+ cabin

When you enter this A350 and turn right, you’ll find yourself staring at the largest Comfort+ cabin that Delta offers.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

With a whopping 63 seats spread across seven rows, it should be much easier for Medallion members to clear upgrades on this aircraft.

As for the seats themselves, they look comfortable with Delta’s signature leather padding.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

All coach seats measure 18 inches wide, and the extra-legroom Comfort+ seats offer about 35.5 inches of pitch.

Another interesting addition (or perhaps a legacy feature from the old LATAM cabin) is that each Comfort+ seat, excluding the bulkhead, has a retractable footrest underneath the seat in front.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

This should make it a bit easier to get comfortable while sleeping, though it could interfere with your under-seat storage.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Each Comfort+ seat has access to a universal AC outlet underneath each seat, along with a USB-A port below the entertainment screen.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

A sea of Main Cabin seats

The remainder of the coach cabin features 246 standard main cabin seats, arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Like Comfort+, the seats measure 18 inches wide, though they offer 31 inches of pitch. (Delta's existing A350s are 17.4 inches wide.)

I’d recommend selecting a spot in exit row 37, which has preferred seats, if you’re looking for additional space to spread out without splurging on Comfort+.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Each seat features a bi-fold tray table that measures 16.5 inches wide and 9.5 inches long. There’s even a cup holder available when the tray table is stowed.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

As mentioned, every coach seat has a 9-inch touchscreen TV, which is loaded with Delta’s proprietary inflight entertainment software.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

I didn’t measure the recline, but it looked to be generous, especially in the extra-legroom Comfort+ section.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Each seat features a winged headrest, which can help cradle your neck when you’re sleeping.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

You’ll find more than 300 movies and 100 TV shows, along with a moving map and other information on the entertainment system.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Unfortunately, the plane doesn’t have a tail camera, which is a popular feature that you’ll find on A350s operating for other carriers.

Delta installed Gogo’s 2Ku Wi-Fi connectivity, which offered fantastic streaming speeds during my flight. The one downside is the cost — a one-time pass cost $40.

There are six standard-size lavatories in the coach cabin, four between the two coach cabins and two at the rear of the aircraft.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

No Premium Select recliners

For Delta, the goal with its used A350s was to get them in service as soon as possible.

With surging travel demand (and early retirement of the airline’s Boeing 777s), Delta needed more widebodies to support a robust international schedule.

That’s why the planes aren’t (yet) undergoing a complete retrofit — the airline needed them to be in the sky yesterday.

As a result, these planes don’t feature Delta’s signature Premium Select recliners, which have grown in popularity in recent years.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Premium economy usually comes at a modest upcharge compared to business class, and it packs some flyer-friendly amenities, such as larger seats, additional recline and upgraded service in a more intimate cabin.

However, LATAM didn’t offer premium economy on its A350s, so Delta won’t have this cabin available until these planes get retrofitted.

That’s too bad for the airline, as it’s been able to convince more and more travelers to purchase upgrades to these snazzy recliners.

Bottom line

Delta has an interesting new configuration on its latest wide-body jets. The used A350s that the carrier is picking up from LATAM feature just a business-class and coach cabin, which is split between extra-legroom and standard economy.

Of course, the airline likely would've preferred to retrofit these planes with its popular premium economy recliners, but time was of the essence. With demand for international travel rebounding, Delta needed to get these jets flying.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

That said, the coach cabin is up to the latest Delta standards. Each flyer will enjoy a leather seat, with personal televisions, power outlets and access to fast Wi-Fi. The seats are even a half-inch wider than the ones on Delta's existing A350s.

All told, for those sitting in the back, Delta's used A350s may actually represent an upgrade, especially if you score one of the 63 Comfort+ seats for free as an elite member.

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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