Are American carriers actually catching up?
It might seem that way, given that Delta — who often leads the US legacy carriers in terms of new moves — has announced not only fully-enclosed Delta One business class suites, but now a true premium economy product, not just regular economy with 4 more inches of legroom… While I am slightly disappointed that it’s not a 2-3-2 configuration, and it’s unlikely that the product will see any air time in anything other than Delta’s upcoming-but-limited A350 fleet, this is a huge step forward. Here’s what to expect…
- 38″ pitch; 19″ width; 7″ recline (so a lot like domestic first class…)
- PDBs — no more waiting 30 minutes til your next glass of champagne!
- USB and 110/240 outlets so you can keep on tweeting about how they didn’t have your meal selection even though you’re a Diamond.
- 13.3″ IFE screen, which will seem really large on these seats.
- SkyPriority access — faster check-in, security, baggage, etc.
- Westin Heavenly blankets and TUMI amenity kits, just like in business class!
Each seat will feature leg/footrests and 4-way adjustable headrests, all covered in leather. It also looks like you’ll get noise-cancelling headphones for your IFE viewing pleasure as well. Here are some renderings for you to check out:
The footrests are a nice touch for catching some sleep, a staple of premium economy seats
Check out the size of those IFE screens in Delta’s new Premium Economy
Looking like a 2-4-2 config in Delta A350 Premium Economy, which isn’t amazing but isn’t horrible
One thing I would’ve like to see is this cabin in a 2-3-2 configuration, not a 2-4-2 — that extra middle seat just makes the percentage of “good” seats in this cabin drop, so early booking and seat selection will be important. I was also disappointed to see this happen with Singapore’s premium economy, but at least you know with Singapore you’re going to get exceptional service.
Another concern is just where these seats will be wedged into Delta’s fare buckets, and how they will affect upgrades between the various cabins. Comfort+ is already doing its part in making upgrades a little less easy to come by, and I don’t expect the new premium economy cabin to be any different. Still, this new product is looking good, and I can’t wait to try this and the new business class suites
For more details you can read the press release here.