Delta’s CEO seemingly told employees that their 767-400s would get new suites in business class with doors. Unfortunately this is not what’s happening. There’s going to be a new seat, better than the current 767 seat, but uncompetitive compared to what other airlines will be flying on some similar routes.
Here’s what Delta’s Ed Bastian told employees in the fall,
What we’re doing is we’re re-outfitting the entire 76-400 to be consistent with the product you see on the Airbus A350 with the new Delta One suites which we’re also putting on the 777s and we’ll eventually roll it out through all of our international widebodies.
You’ll have the new Delta premium select product which is a business cabin for international, you’ll have the suites the enclosed suites in the DeltaOne first class cabin and enhancements in the main cabin as well.
In fact it turns out they’re going to be new seats, but without the door. (HT: Rene’s Points)
Currently Delta outfits their 767s with ‘Thompson Vantage’ seats. That’s the same thing American Airlines and several European carriers have in their 767s. It’s a lie flat seat that gives you aisle access, but it’s narrow and I find it uncomfortable for sleeping — like a coffin — and at least for me impossible to sleep on my back because lack of shoulder width.
The looks to be a better product, and we’ll see in practice whether it surpasses United’s Polaris seats which they’re outfitting in Boeing 767s.
Delta, however, says they’re going to use 767-400s for all of their New York and Boston – London flights starting this fall. That means they’re going to use this equipment to compete against British Airways new business class suites into the future, excellent Super Diamond seats with doors.
And it means they’ll be using 767s without suites to compete against American Airlines whose worst seat into London Heathrow will be their ‘concept D’ lie flat — suggesting that all of American’s seats will beat Delta’s.
American Airlines Concept D Business Class
That may not ultimately matter because Delta’s schedule and reliability in New York is strong enough and American has backed off of competing in New York. Delta has also bulked up in Boston to where they lag JetBlue — but JetBlue doesn’t (yet) fly to London. For connecting passengers with a choice, though, I’d choose American in business to London (and eventually, perhaps, British Airways once they finally roll out their new seat).