No one other than Delta people so far have had a chance to try out the new Delta One Suite seats (D1S) in the air. Delta apparently feels they are going to be so amazing that they are willing to toss their Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer under the bus and make him into a liar. Delta apologists will say they have the right to charge whatever they want even though they said they would not up-charge for this Delta One seat.
Delta believes they can get people to over pay for their seat vs. the competition. This is a bold statement of confidence in the D1S seat. I am not so sure. Personally I very much like the similar seat on the 767 jets that is forward facing without the half door making it a suite. But I know scores of other flyers that have nothing but ultra negative things to say about this design and like the reverse herringbone design so much more (maybe you feel the same way and I respect that).
So why do I like the above forward facing seat? First off one of the most important things for me is shoulder width. With the forward seats I have this and on all of the seats in the cabin. They all feel “open” if you will and spacious. Having said that I do tend to, when flying alone, go for the odd numbered seats on either side of the jet. Why? I love the buffer between me and the aisle and there is no risk of my feet being hit by anything (open on the even side). When with my wife in the middle section I give her the seat with buffer on both sides. But what about D1S?
All we have so far are Delta PR shots of the seats. They are, I would assume, the best possible art work the airline can push forward to sell the seats. But notice a bit of a problem above? Look at the next shot.
Ruh Roh. If you are a person like me that appreciates shoulder space this is not looking good at first glance. In either of these shots I would feel cramped and claustrophobic. Sure the one side is open but on the other you are up against the wall if you will. And as always the models in these shots are not the average sized American who may be a bit larger and taller.
The result could be the need to avoid a bulk of the available D1S seats that don’t have the door father away from you. Yikes that is a lot of seats to watch out for and surely never ever pay an up-charge for on top of the hefty business class price! I also worry the “good-ish” middle seats may feel much more cramped than the window side of the jet.
We will not have to wait too much longer as we are only about two months away from the inaugural A350 flight that will be the first to fly the D1S seats and will result in tons of feedback as to if this new seat is as amazing as Delta marketing and revenue management thinks it is or if it falls flat and is to be avoided over other Delta One products (side note: Delta has said the 777 will one day also include D1S). A lot is riding on the D1S as well as the new Premium Select or Premium Economy seats.
Yes all of this is just speculation at this point but I am concerned for Delta. What about you? Do you like the old style forward facing Delta One seats or do you avoid those? Do you think the D1S will feel spacious or “coffin like” as some have suggested? Do you think these seats are worth an up-charge over other Delta One routes or the competition? Let me know in the comments below! – Rene