These amazing suites are now flying domestically

Mar 12, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

If you have a business or first-class flight in the coming days, you may find yourself in your airline’s most exclusive premium products as airlines struggle to figure out what to do with wide-body jets amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The Big Three airlines have all questioned what to do with the dozens of planes idled by fears of the coronavirus outbreak in China, as we reported last month. These jets are typically used on long-haul flights to Asia, with American saying that it may use 10 unused Boeing 777s and 787s on key hub-to-hub route between Dallas and Los Angeles.

As TPG’s Ben Mutzabaugh reported earlier this week, American will move some of its wide-body aircraft to domestic routes as they’re pulled off international service. American and other airlines have already begun doing this after flights to China were halted during the initial novel coronavirus outbreak.

It could also use the larger 777-300ERs — the only wide-body aircraft featuring its Flagship First Class product — to replace Dreamliners on flights to Australia, as TPG’s Edward Russell reported last month.

Put simply: your next domestic business or first-class flight could be in Delta One or the aircraft that operates American Flagship First, both lie-flat products.

For the latest travel updates, bookmark TPG’s coronavirus hub page

Delta has already started operating its 777 — which features the Delta One Suites — between New York and its hub in Atlanta. The Points Guy himself, Brian Kelly, flew the product a few weeks back and was impressed with getting amenities like a blanket and pillow on the short flight. That aircraft is typically used on long-haul flights between Atlanta and Johannesburg.

Related: A review of Delta One business class on the first retrofitted 777

There are 28 suites in the Delta One cabin arranged in a forward-facing 1-2-1 configuration, with each featuring a sliding door that you can close for more privacy.

Delta is currently selling business-class tickets on the 777-200LR between New York and Atlanta for 23,500 Delta SkyMiles plus $5.60 one-way or $459 one-way. If you’re low on Delta miles, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points or consider opening a cobranded Delta Amex card.

Related: Choosing the best credit card for Delta flyers

Another way is to take advantage of Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club program, where first-class intra-U.S. flights will only set you back 22,500 miles each way. Virgin Atlantic miles are pretty easy to collect, as the program is a 1:1 transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points and a 3:1 transfer partner for Marriott Bonvoy.

Related: TPG Points Lab: Save miles booking Delta awards using Virgin Atlantic miles

And if you have $143 on hand, that’s enough to get you a one-way first-class seat on American’s A321 Transcon between Boston and New York, an hour-long flight. The cabin is comprised of 10 first-class seats arranged in a 1-1 configuration and is typically served on cross-country routes. If you want to use miles, you can book this seat for 32,500 AAdvantage miles plus $5.60. We’re also seeing several short- and medium-haul routes operating lie-flat seats, including Dallas (DFW) to Los Angeles (LAX) on the Boeing 787-9.

Bottom line

Obviously, you won’t get the same amenities on these short flights as you would on a longer flight. So don’t expect Delta’s popular Tumi amenity kit on your flight to Atlanta or Casper amenities like pajamas or slippers on American. Additionally, if you’re flying American’s A321T in first, you won’t have access to the Flagship lounge as you would on a qualifying transcontinental flight or Flagship First dining. Keep in mind that all of these routes are subject to additional equipment swaps, as the coronavirus outbreak evolves.

That said, if you’re an AvGeek who needs to travel in the next few weeks anyway, you might be in for a pleasant surprise on your next short flight.

Be sure to watch TPG’s dedicated page for coronavirus updates for the latest news.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.