Delta Air Lines will be upgrading two of its long-haul workhorses. The Boeing 767-300ERs and Airbus A330s are set to undergo retrofits to receive a proper premium economy product. However, while the planes will get the new cabin, Delta appears to be keeping the Delta One cabin intact, leaving passengers with a fresh new premium economy cabin with somewhat dated, older cabins in business class.
Delta’s Boeing 767-300ER retrofits
Delta has revealed a new Boeing 767-300ER seat map on its website. The new jet will have the following configuration:
- 26 Delta One lie-flat business class seats
- 18 recliner-style Premium Select (premium economy) seats
- 21 Delta Comfort+ (extra-legroom economy) seats
- 151 standard economy seats
All seats will be outfitted with power outlets, and passengers will retain access to seatback entertainment and WiFi.
Compared to the older version, Comfort+ loses 14 seats, and economy loses 14 seats. The cuts to extra-legroom economy will make it harder for elites looking to get a complimentary upgrade.
The new Premium Select cabin is in a 2-2-2 configuration, which is identical to the cabin on the Boeing 767-400ER. The cabin on the Boeing 767s is narrower than other widebody jets. These seats are similar to the first class seats on the Airbus A220.
Interestingly, while Delta will be adding the new premium economy cabin and adding power outlets in economy, the airline will seemingly not be touching any of the seats in Delta One.
The 767-300ERs feature a lie-flat, forward-facing, staggered business class product. On these planes, privacy is almost nonexistent, and the seats are starting to feel pretty dated compared to other products.
The Airbus A330s are also receiving a retrofit
Delta will be retrofitting its Airbus A330s with a premium economy product. While a seat map has not been revealed for the retrofitted A330s, these planes will likely see premium economy in a 2-3-2 configuration, which is how the airline sets the cabin up on the Airbus A330-900neos.
Strangely, Delta will not be touching the business class cabin on these jets. The A330s feature a reverse herringbone configuration which, while relatively comfortable, is starting to feel dated and could use an upgrade.
Product inconsistency will continue
Currently, only two Delta jets feature the airline’s top-notch business class product, the Delta One Suite. Those are the Airbus A330-900neos and the Airbus A350-900s. The jets were previously also on the Boeing 777s, though Delta has retired the jets.
Delta had hinted that it would be adding premium select to the Airbus A330s in its announcement of the new Portland to Seoul route. Boeing 767 retrofits will begin this month, while Airbus A330 retrofits will begin in July.
The Boeing 767-300ERs will be retired in around four years, so it makes sense that Delta is not wanting to retrofit the jets with a new business class cabin and further reduce capacity onboard the jets. The modified Delta One seat on the Boeing 767-400ERs takes up some more real estate than the current 767 product.
As for the Airbus A330s, Delta has not announced retirement plans, and those widebodies have years left on them. Not touching the business class cabin on those aircraft is a strange decision that likely comes down to the carrier wanting to keep costs on the retrofit low.
Nevertheless, product inconsistency will continue in business class. The A330ceos will have reverse herringbone Delta One seat. The 767-300ERs will have forward-facing lie-flat seats, the 767-400ERs will have an impressive business class cabin, while the A330neos and A350-900s will have the Delta One Suites.
What do you think about Delta’s 767 and A330 cabin retrofits? Let us know in the comments!