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Delta loyalists making the jump to London-Heathrow (LHR) from Boston (BOS) and New York (JFK) will soon see an all-new business class interior, officially entering service in November 2019. While those are the first scheduled routes to feature a retrofitted Boeing 767-400, I confirmed with Delta that it expects the first aircraft to finish its refurbishment early — meaning a refreshed 767-400 could be available as an operational spare throughout the summer.
Said another way, you should keep a close eye on your seat map for any upcoming Delta flights aboard a 767-400. As we saw last year with a last-minute United swap that brought its Boeing 787-10 online a few weeks early, Delta may slide a refurbished 764 in without prior notice, giving people with business class tickets (or upgrades) a surprise.
Late last year, Delta assured passengers that its 777 and 764 fleets would undergo refurbishments to bring both up to “flagship” standards. Delta’s long-awaited refurbishment of its Boeing 764 fleet is already underway, bringing with it an entirely new Delta One seat. Mind you, this isn’t a Delta One Suite, since it doesn’t have a door, but it appears to be the most luxurious Delta One seat.
The Boeing 777-200ER/LR has a cabin width of over 19 feet, while the Airbus A350 has over 17 feet to work with. The 767-400ER has a cabin width of just 15.49 feet, which presented a challenge for Delta’s interior designers. A revamped 764 seat map showed that the retrofitted 764 was already losing six business class seats compared to the existing layout, a 15% drop. For Delta to maintain its 1-2-1 seating configuration and prevent an even steeper loss of seats, it couldn’t install a full Delta One Suite, complete with privacy sliders.
A Delta spokesperson said that the airline did not want to label the new seat as a Delta One Suite given the lack of a door. In Delta’s mind, that “fully enclosed experience” is essential to earning the Delta One Suites moniker.You’ll notice the adjustable privacy slider between seats, which is great for couples traveling together as well as strangers who’d prefer added privacy (Rendering courtesy of Delta Air Lines)
That’s because the new Delta One seat looks to be a substantial upgrade from the current seat, adding more privacy (there will be privacy dividers between middle seats), premium finishes, a more modern design and customizable ambient lighting. Passengers will also find a revamped 18″ high-resolution inflight entertainment screen, developed by Delta Flight Products.
The new lie-flat seat offers 20″ of width, a 1″ loss from the seat being replaced (which we reviewed between Atlanta and Lima, shown above), though the stated bed length of 77 to 81″ remains the same. With only 34 of these on the retrofitted 764 (compared to 40 on the outgoing model), passengers will face a tougher road for upgrades when using a Global Upgrade Certificate (a Choice Benefit option reserved for top-tier Diamond Medallion members).
Premium Select, Comfort+ and Main Cabin seat width and pitch will not be substantially different than those found on other aircraft such as the A350 and 777. However, the addition of memory foam cushions throughout the aircraft should positively affect comfort.
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Featured rendering courtesy of Delta Air Lines.
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