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.