Delta Is Considering New Bedding Options For A Post-Covid World

Delta and Starwood had a close partnership with points-earning and elite treatment for the best customers of each travel brand. When Starwood was acquired by Marriott, the larger hotel chain kept its less-expensive United partnership rather than continuing a Delta tie-in. However Delta continued to offer Westin Heavenly bedding in business class, a product introduced in 2013.

United Airlines has Saks Fifth Avenue bedding for Polaris, American has Casper bedding for its business product. Delta, though, is focus grouping what its bedding future should look like. And the images it’s using in surveys aren’t Westin. They’re also surveying changes for sustainability.

They’re asking questions like,

Description: Blanket packaged inside reusable cloth bag and pillow wrapped with paper band placed on seat. Which of the following best describes how much you like this packaging option for the Delta One bedding?

Would you prefer to be provided socks OR slippers if/when flying Delta One? Even if you have never flown Delta One, we want to hear from you.

Probably the best marketing bang for the buck in hotel history was Westin’s introduction of the Heavenly Bed. Travelers came to trust the brand to provide them with a good night’s sleep. They tried to extend the concept to the bathroom, but a curved shower rod – while clever – just isn’t the same thing.

Delta has continued to offer its Delta One bedding intermittently on domestic flights, though there’s little guarantee of whether a particular flight will have it.

With long haul travel so limited, bedding isn’t a key differentiator between airlines. If you can travel long haul you’ll go with what’s available, with still-limited options. However when international travel returns, sleep is the reason to fly lie-flat business class rather than premium economy so a decision on future bedding – Westin or no – matters.

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. The blanket is too heavy given the temperature of most business/first class cabins and the leather seat surfaces.
    and there is currently way too much plastic. the paper band still says “clean.”

  2. I hate the plastic wrap since it’s a pain to store once off the items, and the resource waste is awful, but I am not sure cotton bags (which take a lot of energy to grow, process, weave, and then wash) are the way to go. But the paper band, if made of bamboo sourced paper, is a good idea, except the seats are so dirty it has an ick factor since nothing is between the pillow or blanket and seat. But that would still be my preference ultimately. So, I hope Delta picks that. And in case they read this, slippers over socks please and offer two sizes cause my size five lady feet swim in the “unisex” slippers designed for size 10 men.

    The key for me is the mattress pad between you and the seat for sleeping.

    If United doesn’t put this all back into action (full on Polaris bedding, gel pillow and all) they will be WAY behind first choice for me since that is what got me excited to fly and sleep international with them. They’ve already pulled back on some of it pre-COVID and a lot of the service enhancements too so I am sure they will choose to not put this back into place in the name of safety and health.

  3. Pillow or blanket not wrapped in plastic is not sanitary or acceptable. Its not like the linens come straight from an onboard washing machine. They are being moved all over, thrown around, and touched by many hands.

  4. The sleeping materials have to be packaged. Every time I fly business, the bedding needs to be put someplace, off of the seat. Most times, the bedding is placed on the dirty airplane floor, because there is no other place for the bedding. Have a fabric bag that can be washed with the bedding and reused. Pretty simple.

  5. With all due respect, plastic is the way to go here. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a fabric bag thats been stored in a dirty truck all day.

  6. Big brain idea – prevent waste and preserve hygiene. Don’t have bedding pre-placed at seats. While that looks fancy, it’s often not very practical either as @JohnB states. Have flight attendants hand out bedding inflight, the way they hand out hot towels.

  7. Sadly Delta went with non-breathable plastic seats instead of much more comfortable breathable cloth, which do not need bedding underneath you. Lots of waste

    (Yes, there’s some leather in there underneath all the plastic, but it’s just for marketing — you’re sleeping on plastic, not cowhide)

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