Delta just upgraded 23 domestic routes, including 4 Hawaii flights, with wide-body jets

Apr 25, 2021

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A handful of Delta flyers are in for a nice surprise this summer.

Over the weekend, the Atlanta-based carrier upgauged a slew of domestic routes with wide-body jets, marking the ultimate upgrade for premium-cabin passengers. These planes usually fly Delta’s longest international jaunts, so they’re outfitted with lie-flat seats in biz, and some even sport a premium economy cabin, too.

With most countries closed for the foreseeable future, the carrier would seemingly prefer flying its widebodies on select domestic flights, instead of parking them in the desert.

Of course, Delta’s schedule could still change, especially as more international destinations begin reopening to Americans, but in the meantime, here’s the latest update on where you’ll find Delta wide-body jets on domestic flights, per Cirium schedules.

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The flagship will hop the coasts

Delta’s flagship jet, the Airbus A350, provides perhaps the best inflight experience of all the U.S. carriers.

For June and July, you’ll find it flying daily between Atlanta (ATL) and Los Angeles (LAX). Note that this is your only opportunity to fly Delta’s posh jet domestically — Cirium schedules show that it’s slated to be deployed almost exclusively on international jaunts this summer.

Delta’s 306-seat A350 is outfitted with 32 Delta One Suites, 48 Premium Select recliners and 226 coach seats. Some also sport a Comfort+ cabin. The biz suites feature sliding doors for added privacy, making it one of the top hard products offered by the Big 3.

Coupled with Delta’s new inflight service, I’m adding this route to my summer bucket list.

Hawaii gets larger jets, and a surprise

Hawaii has reopened to tourists once again. The island state requires a pre-travel COVID-19 test, though there are reports that a vaccination certificate will soon replace the testing requirement.

Demand for travel to Hawaii is seemingly at pandemic-era highs. Flights are going out full, airlines are adding new routes and some carriers, like Delta, are even boosting their existing frequencies.

The most notable upgrade will be found on Delta’s Seattle (SEA) to Honolulu (HNL) route. Between June 5 and July 6, the carrier will fly its latest jet, the Airbus A330-900neo, on one daily frequency, marking the first time the plane has even flown to Hawaii, per Cirium schedules.

If you’re looking for the most luxurious commercial option to the Aloha state, this is likely it — be sure to book Flight 444 or 1628 on the outbound and Flight 705 or 2239 on the return.

Note, however, that schedules are still subject to change. Last week, Delta filed the A330neo on the New York-JFK to Seattle (SEA) route between June 5 through Sept. 6. This week, the carrier trimmed that window to start on July 8, and placed the jet on the SEA to Honolulu flight instead. Fingers crossed the updated schedule sticks.

Delta’s also upgauging three other Hawaii routes, with larger wide-body jets on the following routes:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) — Honolulu (HNL)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC) — Honolulu (HNL)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC) — Maui (OGG)

Specifically, the carrier is deploying the Airbus A330-200 and A330-300 instead of the Boeing 767 on many frequencies in June and July on the aforementioned routes. The Airbus planes aren’t just larger — they also sport a much improved reverse herringbone biz product, compared to the forward-facing, Thompson Vantage biz on the 767s.

Delta One seat on the Airbus A330. (Photo by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy)

If faced with the choice, I’d recommend choosing an A330 over Delta’s 767-300.

Related: Every Delta Air Lines premium seat ranked from best to worst

Leisure rules the recovery

Whether it’s national parks or theme parks, Denver, Las Vegas, and Orlando are three cities with plenty of activities nearby. As leisure travel recovers fastest, airlines have been quick to add flights and boost existing routes to these destinations.

The latest move comes from Delta.

The carrier is upgrading two routes to Denver (DEN), one from Atlanta (ATL) and another from New York-JFK. The former will see a mix of the Boeing 767-300 and 767-400 on two daily frequencies in June and July. Between June 5 and July 6, the carrier will upgrade the latter with one daily Boeing 767-400 flight.

Las Vegas (LAS) has been a popular airport for wide-body jets operating domestic flights. Just this week, American Airlines added a second daily Boeing 777 frequency between Miami (MIA) and LAS.

For its part, Delta will fly at least three daily Boeing 767 flights between Atlanta (ATL) and LAS in June, and at least two daily flights in July.

For those planning a trip to visit Mickey Mouse, Delta’s Orlando (MCO) service is getting a boost, as follows:

  • Atlanta (ATL) — Orlando (MCO): at least one daily flight will be operated by a Boeing 767 in June and July.
  • Salt Lake City (SLC) — Orlando (MCO): one daily Airbus A330-200 flight from June 5 to July 6, switching to a Boeing 767-300 on July 7.

Delta’s Boeing 767 fleet is split between the -300 and -400 variant. The former sports Delta’s most lackluster and outdated biz.

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

You’ll want to snag a seat on the -400 if you can. The overwhelming majority of the 767-400s have been recently retrofitted with a modified version of Delta One Suites, with added privacy and personal space, minus the sliding door.

The remainder is mostly hub-to-hub

Before the pandemic, Delta primarily deployed wide-body jets on domestic hub-to-hub flights during downtime, either as repositioning segments or for maintenance.

It’s no surprise then that most of the remaining routes getting upgraded include service between hubs. You’ll find the full list of changes from the latest schedule update below, per Cirium timetables.

Once again, be sure to note that everything is subject to change due to the pandemic — always check the aircraft type when you’re making or modifying a reservation.

Origin Destination Change(s)
ATL DEN June: one additional Boeing 767-400 frequency. July: Two daily Boeing 767-400 flights.
ATL DTW June: one Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 767-400 flight. July: One daily Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 767-300.
ATL JFK June/July: one daily Airbus A330-300 (some days operated by Boeing 767-400).
ATL LAS June/July: at least three daily Boeing 767 flights.
ATL LAX June/July: one daily Airbus A350-900 flight.
ATL MCO June: at least one daily Boeing 767-300. July: at least two daily Boeing 767 flights.
ATL MSP June: two daily Airbus A330-200 and Boeing 767-300 flights. July: Two daily Boeing 767-300 flights.
ATL PDX June/July: two daily Boeing 767 flights.
ATL SAN June: three daily Boeing 767 flights. July: at least four daily Boeing 767 flights.
ATL SEA June: at least one daily Boeing 767-400 flights. July: at least three daily Boeing 767 flights.
ATL SFO June: one daily Boeing 767-300 flight. July: three daily Boeing 767 flights.
ATL SLC June/July: at least three daily flights on a mix of the Boeing 767-300, 767-400, Airbus A330-200 and A330-300.
DTW SAN June: one daily Airbus A330 flight.
JFK DEN June: one daily Boeing 767-400 flight beginning on June 5.
JFK SAN June: one daily Boeing 767 flight. July: at least one daily Boeing 767-400 flight.
JFK SEA July: Airbus A330-900neo now starting daily service on July 8 (previously June 5).
JFK SLC June/July: one daily Boeing 767 flight.
MSP HNL Select flights upgraded from Boeing 767s to Airbus A330s.
MSP SAN June: one daily Airbus A330-300 flight starting June 5.
SEA HNL Airbus A330-900neo will fly daily between June 5 and July 6.
SLC HNL Select flights upgraded from Boeing 767s to Airbus A330s.
SLC MCO June: one daily Airbus A330-200 flight starting June 5. July: one daily Airbus A330-200 or Boeing 767-300 flight.
SLC OGG Select flights upgraded from Boeing 767s to Airbus A330s.


Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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