Early Debut For Delta Air Lines’ Refurbished Boeing 767


At between 16 and19 years old, Delta’s fleet of Boeing 767-400s were due for a refurbishment. The plan was for the new cabins to roll out this coming November. However, they’ve made an appearance a surprising four months early as one of them was filling in for a New York JFK to Los Angeles flight on Thursday.

After refurbishment, Delta’s fleet 767-400s are set to roll-out with their new cabins in November. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The retrofitted plane features Delta’s flagship interior. This includes the flagship Delta One suites in business class plus the new “Premium Select” experience for premium economy.

For operational reasons

The newly refurbished 767 was supposed to make its inaugural flight from Atlanta to London Heathrow on November 12th. However, a change of aircraft at the last minute meant that the plane took off four months ahead of schedule.

We reached out to Delta for a comment and they kindly got back to us with the following remarks:

“We will often adjust our aircraft routing to ensure that there is a minimum of a delay for our customers…The idea there is doing right by our customers and making sure they’re well taken care of. If that means putting an aircraft into service prior to its planned entry into service, then in the spirit of taking care of our customers, we’re going to do that.” -Delta spokesperson

Delta one Suites
Delta One Suites pictured here, on a refreshed Boeing 777. Photo: Delta

According to The Points Guy, aircraft changes like this are fairly common for airlines. This can happen for any number of reasons – including a mechanical issue, delivery delay, or the rare event of an entire aircraft type being grounded by civil aviation authorities. Apparently, Delta has also had unexpected reveals of its Airbus A330-900neo and its retrofitted Boeing 777s in the past.

Usually, situations like this are a disappointment rather than a pleasant surprise. Despite checking in advance of making your reservation, you can never fully guarantee the type of aircraft you’ll be flying on. Just ask angry customers of Norwegian who were hoping to fly on the 787. Rather than flying on the carrier’s 787 Dreamliners, they traveled on older Airbus A330s leased from Wamos, Evelop and more. As this Telegraph article states, no – you cannot claim compensation in these situations.


Delta One and Premium Select

As we previously mentioned, the business cabin will be the signature Delta One experience. For the Delta 767-400 this means 34 seats in a 1-2-1 layout.

Delta One Suite
A Delta One Suite. Photo: Delta

For Delta’s Premium Economy offering, “Premium Select”, there will be 20 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seats in this class feature an adjustable elevated footrest and leg rest as well as wider seats and increased pitch.

An additional 28 seats are available in Comfort+, leaving the remaining 156 seats for the Main Cabin.

Premium Select
The more spacious Premium Select cabin, pictured here on the Boeing 777. Photo: Delta

Have you ever experienced a last-minute or unexpected change of aircraft for your trip? We’d love to hear about it – good or bad – in the comments section.