Delta Premium Select Tickets Lose First Class Connections

Jul 5, 2018

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Delta continues to slowly roll out its new Premium Select cabin, the airline’s first true premium economy product. The not-quite-economy but also not-quite-business seat was first introduced on the carrier’s new A350 last October and debuted on its 777-200 earlier this week. But unfortunately, the product is already getting a downgrade.

When it launched, Premium Select passengers were booked into domestic first class on any flights connecting them to the Premium Select-outfitted aircraft that operated the long-haul segments. However, as reported by Renés Points, since July 3 passengers are no longer being booked in domestic first class on their connecting flights. Instead, they’re receiving Comfort+ seat assignments, which is just Delta’s “plussed up” economy product with more legroom and a few other minimal perks.

For example, if you had booked a Premium Select ticket from New York (JFK) to Tokyo (NRT) via Detroit (DTW) before July 3, on the connecting flight from JFK to DTW, you would have gotten first class seats, which are significantly better than economy-style seating (though nowhere near comparable to international premium seats).

Delta's new first class seats.
Delta’s domestic first class seats.

However, now you’ll instead be placed in Comfort+, which is closer to an economy-type seat than a first class one, even domestically.

Delta Comfort seats onboard one of Delta's internationally configured 757-200 that operates transcon flights like SFO - JFK
Delta Comfort+ seats onboard one of Delta’s 757-200s.

And that wasn’t the only downgrade Premium Select experienced this week. On July 2, beverages in Delta’s premium economy started to be served in paper or plastic cups instead of glassware. Additionally, pre-departure beverage service will now include just two choices, down from the four offered before.

The airline is billing the changes as “part of the continued evolution of Delta’s onboard product… in addition to creating a more seamless experience with our joint venture partners, Air France, KLM, Alitalia and Virgin Atlantic.” However, it’s really just making Delta’s offering more consistent with its partners, since passengers in premium economy on one of the joint venture partners were not seated in Delta first class on connecting flights.

Delta Premium Select on the airline’s 777-200 aircraft. (Photo by Benji Stawski / The Points Guy)

American seats its own premium economy passengers in the regular Main Cabin — not even Main Cabin Extra — on connecting flights to its premium economy-outfitted aircraft, so even with this change, Delta still remains ahead of the pack. It’s unclear what United passengers will receive when traveling on its soon to be rolled out Premium Plus product.

On the bright side, as a result of this change, there may be slightly more first class seats open on domestic flights, which means Delta Medallions will have a better chance when trying to snag an upgrade to the forward cabin.

Watch a tour of Delta’s retrofitted Boeing 777-200:

H/T: Renés Points

Featured image by Benji Stawski / The Points Guy.

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