What is up with all the different Delta business class seats?

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Back in February I had a post talking about the different business class seats between DL/KLM/AF. Delta has a bunch of different products due to the integration with NWA. I still like the old NWA clam shell product and have yet, as much as it pains me to admit, not had a chance to try a single one of the now many different styles of lie flat seats. But is it not strange how many different kinds of lie flats that Delta is going with? Is it really that hard to find the best type and cost of seat and then put them in all the birds? Then I came across this video interview about business seats. Take the time to look and see what you think:

Click photo to watch

This does explain a bunch. But why has Delta gone with so many choices? I mean look at all these types:

You have the 747 style in the video clip above

You have this one in the 767

You have this one in the 777

You have yet another one on the way in 330’s

???? – wait and see!

Why is this? I reached out to Delta and was told that one of the main differences between Delta and all the other airlines is that Delta wants all customers to have direct aisle access from all BE seats so we do not have to climb over another passenger to get out of our seat.  Also that it is not a question of cost of one vendor over another, but due to airplane shape and cabin size from the different aircraft manufactures. Lastly they are reacting to customer feedback going forward with seat choices.

Progress is happening. Delta hoped the refit would be done this year but I have been advised it will be between 2013 and as late as 2014 until all the planes in the fleet are done. The 330’s will not start until Q3 or Q4 this year.

So have any of you been on all the different types of Delta lie flats? Do you like one over the other? Do you think Delta’s focus on aisle access is a winner over the other airlines product choices? I would love to know! – René

 

[EDIT: Please take the time to read comments from readers in this post.
They are very helpful!]

 

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10 comments

  1. I love the 772 lie-flats though admittedly I haven’t had a chance to try the 764 ones yet. I think the focus on the direct aisle access is excellent.

    This past weekend I flew in BE on both the 763 and the A330. The A330, with its NWA clam shell style, is OK, but a far cry IMHO from the 772 seats. The 763 cradle seat is an embarrassment to DL.

  2. Hi Rene. I’ve been on both the 777 flat bed and 764 product. I like the 764 product much better. Plenty of space to put your stuff closer to you, and a big surface area where the FA’s can set your drinks down without the tray table. The 764 also feels roomier width-wise than the 777. I’ll be on the 747 one this November to Asia and can’t wait to try it.

  3. I agree with Winston. I have flown both and give the edge to the 764. I am not a big guy but even I felt hemmed in in the 777 product, narrows quite a bit a the shoulders. I will say that on 777 product, if you take the far back right side in the first cabin it is very nice for a single traveler. It feels almost like a little suite. It seems to be the prefered seat of the flight attendents as well (they were the ones who suggested to me on a flight that was practically empty) Still, the 764 product seems roomier.
    Sam

  4. I am a big fan of the herringbone layout of 777s. Never flown that on Delta, but I did on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong. Only other biz class I was in was on Royal Jordanian, which didn’t have the herringbone and it wasn’t as nice an experience, though still perfectly fine.

  5. @All – everyone thanks so much for the GREAT and detailed feedback. I will edit the post to ask readers to see your input. Very helpful. My thanks – René

  6. Hi Rene, I believe in the photo captions you’ve mixed up the 777 and 330? I know for sure they have the herringbone BusinessElite seats on the 777-200LRs.

  7. I have flown the 747, 777, 330 and 767 (both styles) in BE and here is how they rank:

    1. 747 – very similar to BA F class
    2. 767ER – space and forward facing
    3. 777 – all seats point into aisle so while comfortable not as private
    4. 330 – angle flat… OK
    5. 767 cradle – not that great and narrow

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