Delta’s A350 Business Suites and Premium Economy Now Bookable With Miles

Delta’s first Airbus A350 rolled out of the paint shop this week. This is notable because it’s the first Delta aircraft that will offer 48 premium economy seats and also 32 business class suites with doors.

Credit: Delta

On Thursday Wandering Aramean wrote that this aircraft is expected to debut on the Detroit – Tokyo Narita route on October 30 (though it may operate domestically for a short while before that).

@RenesPoints notes that the A350 is indeed reflected at this way, even though my quick check of computer reservation systems still shows the flight operated by a Boeing 777.

What’s more, he further notes that premium economy saver awards are available — including for the anticipated inaugural.

Credit: Delta

Premium economy is priced almost as expensively as business class (a saver award ‘should be’ 80,000 miles in business).

And business class pricing on this route is silly at 160,000 miles one way. Business class is going to be a Thompson Vantage XL seat seat with doors. I’m looking forward to seeing this in practice, since it’s a fairly standard seat, good enough, but not world leading I’m curious to see what the modifications are like and the extent to which the doors gain privacy but trade off with space.

Credit: Delta

Oddly 160,000 miles isn’t some sort of new pricing because of the new product, it’s just what Delta often charges. Indeed, before the A350 starts on the route and also after pricing goes as high as 240,000 miles one way from Detroit to Tokyo.

They have a monopoly in their company town and simply charge whatever they wish. While they frame themselves as offering more value to high spending customers, their award pricing puts the lie to that claim.

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. Do a cash booking with domestic segment in front of it (ORD-DTW-NRT) in premium select and pay attention to where it books you on ORD-DTW. Then get out the popcorn and watch the industry react

  2. It cost me 85,000 sky pesos + $87.00 for an economy round trip ticket from CVG – TLV, 2 1/2 yrs ago, and 85,000 sky pesos for my fiancee’s one way ticket from TLV – CVG + $200.00 fee, yes I booked just a few weeks out, I am sure this had something to do with it. But I still feel it too much especially for my fiancée’s one way ticket. But I was happy to get them and not pay full price in cash 2 weeks out.

    I could see 50,000 sky pesos each way for premium economy but not 65,000 sky pesos. But they will charge you whatever they feel you are willing to pay. They are no longer loyal to their repeat customers, so why should we be loyal to them.

  3. I hate to use the term “good ole days” but…. Pricing policies on most carriers for a paid Business Class ticket which included a domestic segment to your international flight connecting city would have seated you in First Class on a two cabin feeder flight since your ticket/fare was actually a Business class fare from your departure from airport A to your connecting airport B to you final destination airport C. Now, that Premium Economy or some equivalent product is offered domestically it should be interesting to see if you are seated in First Class instead of coach on your domestic segment that does not offer a Business Class cabin. On an aircraft that has first class/premium economy/main cabin, premium economy if it exists is hardly compensation for the Business Class ticket you have purchased from point A to point C via connecting point B.

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