Delta Introducing a New Business Class and More

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Delta plans a new upgraded business class seat for Boeing 777 and A350 aircraft.

    Incoming Delta President Glen Hauenstein further explained how Delta is going from a liked to a loved brand. He discussed Delta’s focus on continuous innovation and customization, referencing a new upgraded seat for international long-haul 777 and 350 aircraft.

  • In lieu of public transit projects, one Central Florida city is subsidizing Uber

  • $10 Uber credit for existing users going to or from Buffalo Wild Wings

  • Memphis airport inadvertently gets security right

  • Air India wants their creditors to take a haircut

  • I recently reviewed British Airways business class London – Austin.

    My take is that the seat is fully lie flat, which is better than angled, but it’s probably the worst lie flat product out there other than perhaps pre-merger United Boeing 777s. The airline often sells business class at a deep discount through sales, and so the product can be a good value (albeit not as much on award tickets where you’re paying fuel surcharges). If BA is cheaper, or has the better schedule, it’s perfectly fine. Though all things equal it’s clearly better to choose a carrier that offers a more spacious seat, direct aisle access, and ideally inflight internet.

    There’s a new review of the same London – Austin flight in business class over at The Points Guy with a contrasting view. So presented in fairness:

    [T]his was another great experience. The cabin and flight crew were incredibly friendly and attentive. The food was delicious and well-presented and the seats — while not spacious or particularly new — were flat, long and wide enough to be comfortable. The 10-hour flight flew by much faster than we expected, and we were rather sad to have it end when we started to descend into Austin.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It’s a new business class SEAT, not a new business class. Jeez. Clickbait much?

  2. @Dan Diversky what’s the difference? That’s how it’s usually referred to when there’s a new seat. In fact, over at British Airways when they swapped to the current seat THEY described it as ‘New First’. When they introduced a fully flat seat in business they called it New Club World (versus Club World), and then when they replaced that seat they called the product ‘Next Generation Club World’.

  3. @Gary Leff – The difference is that you are choosing to validate the myth that a new seat is a new business class. It’s not. The article you quoted doesn’t even go as far as to call it a new business class. It’s the same kind of erosion that has me asking every hotel, “When you say suite, can you explain what that really means?” Hell, now we even have 4 door coupe cars. I have had a lot of respect for your work and admire when you call vendors out on things like this. I think it’s below the standard of your own brand.

  4. @Dan Diversky – well the industry talks about a new business class seat as new business class. And I’m certainly on record that I believe business class is primarily about the seat.

    It’s far to argue that they shouldn’t call it that without revamping other things (although i think their inflight business product is reasonable).

    But I don’t think it’s fair to criticize me by calling it click bait when I follow the standard convention.

  5. I, too, thought this was a “new” business class, akin to an economy/premium economy distinction.

  6. Betting this ‘upgraded’ business class will be more dense than the 1st gen reverse herringbone on the 777s.

  7. Yeah, gotta say that’s what I thought too. I thought “hmm, will it be biz+ or biz-“. I assumed from the title they were introducing some different kind of class of ticket/service.

  8. @Gary, this is all PR BS. Everything is the “best;” they are going from “liked” to “loved.” One statement that is totally untrue is “We have a beautiful map,” Hauenstein said. “And our map takes us about anywhere our customers want to go.” Point in fact, just this past year, Delta (nor any of its partners) could not take me on these three trips – places where I wanted to go: BKK to DSP, MAD to LFT, and BKK to DEL. I had to resort to Star Alliance to go on these trips. So, all hyperbole.

  9. @Gary Leff – Thanks for linking to my review on TPG!

    In fairness, I would like to point out that the paragraph that you pasted here was my “pros” conclusion. Directly below this paragraph, I addressed the issues I had with the flight – such as long service times, sub-par entertainment options, and the crowded feeling of the cabin.

    Generally, I think we are on the same page: BA Club World is a decent product for those who value a fully-flat seat, good food and drink (although those mini-sandwiches for “afternoon tea” were disappointing) and pleasant service. But, there are certainly better business class products out there. And, BA Club World is a no-go for those that need to stay connected.

    That said, I enjoyed the flight and would gladly book this flight again – especially at the post-AARP price of $1,100 r/t for AUS-MAD!

  10. @JT I wasn’t trying to criticize you, just suggesting that there *WAS* a “pros” side and I was trying to offer balance with the contrast.

  11. I think it’s also relevant to mention that JT is described in the article as someone who flies primarily in economy, whereas Gary has … a bit more experience in the front of the plane. Knowing this information can help readers know which reviewer is likely to match their own experience. Someone like me who flies almost exclusively in economy will probably align more with JT, while someone who flies mainly in business or first will probably notice the same things that Gary did.

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