Delta Introducing New Domestic First Class Seat

Delta is introducing a new domestic first class seat, as first reported by PaxEx.aero. It will be introduced with its Airbus A321neo. They have 100 on order and begin taking delivery later this year.

This new Recaro seat has better privacy because of the shields that protrude from the side of the seats. There’s also improved storage at the front of the seats in the center and a larger tray table. With these seats Delta continues their practice of conveniently placing power outlets in front of passengers instead of making customers contort themselves to find and plug in their devices.

These seats aren’t revolutionary. Indeed they look thin, and I worry they aren’t well padded enough, though I find Delta’s current first class seat too hard as well. We haven’t seen anything innovative in domestic first class since Virgin America put in recliners – and Alaska Airlines is taking those seats out.

However it looks like a thoughtful seat. Delta is trying something different. That’s a marked contrast from United, with its fairly generic seats, and especially from American which is actively removing seat back video screens from the whole cabin (including first class) as well as reducing the distance between seats.

There’s no indication at this point that Delta will be retrofitting existing aircraft with these seats as opposed to just placing the into new aircraft.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. There’s more pictures of the seat available in the Crystal Cabin Awards shortlist deck. Seat has touches similar to the new A330neo/767 Delta One seat.

  2. UA’s domestic F seat is actually a custom design, just not sufficiently “different”.

    I am not sure about the wings… will have to give them a try, but I can see them being controversial.

  3. I really like the way the power outlets are both easily accessible and create a partition between the seats. One of biggest complaints with current domestic F seats is the asymmetric partitioning of the underseat storage due to the seat struts, and the ease of which inconsiderate leg-spreaders can take over space. Having a clear partition makes it a little more private

  4. Not of fan of the wings either, very closed in and yes, DL continues to shrink leg room. Their A321neo will seat 197, one more than AA’s and their A321 classics seat 189 to 192, most 1 or 2 seats more American or BA for example.

  5. I just flew a newish DL A321 yesterday in 4D and had no idea that the little “wings” on the headrest are movable and the whole headrest moves vertically…until yesterday. Not the most comfy seat in the world, I prefer the seats in the older B738s. I’m not sure I like these wings, gonna have to look around it to talk to my bride.

  6. The video screen looks to be a decent size for domestic first, and the table between the seats looks bigger than on other delta domestic fclass seats. One of my biggest and most longstanding complaints about delta fclass is it is difficult to set two drinks there wirhout having the glasses touch.

    I also like the wings. Just flew JAL PE HND – JFK and the retractable wings on those sests, which are smaller than the ones on the delta seat, greatly improved the feeling of privacy.

  7. @john

    Unlike the Delta seats, JAL PE also has good padding and legroom. And adjustable reading light that doesn’t distract your neighbor. And leg rests.

  8. I don’t really understand the fascination with wings. How much privacy does it actually give you, and why do you need it? What if you want to talk to the person in the seat next to you (who, perhaps, is your travelling companion)?

  9. Apparently window seat passengers need privacy. Too many people looking inside the plane. With seat wings like that why do we even bother to have windows at all. There are so many upper class seats now days that reject the window.

  10. If this was a non-US carrier most of that seat would qualify as Premium Economy save for the screen size.

  11. @SAS, I was in the first row of PE by the exit. The leg rest for that seat would not elevate much. For me, the most comfortable position in that shell seat was fully upright.

    I wasn’t complaining though because JAL upgraded me from coach. As AA EXP, I get one-class upgrades to PE or business fairly often with Cathay and JAL.

  12. Looks quite nice.

    Much better from the zero-contour, minimal cushion UA seats which are already starting to look dated

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