At this point most of us have flown on the Delta 737-900 jet that took it’s inaugural revenue flight on November 1st of 2013. I reviewed that flight and it was a great experience to fly it and get to see the inside of the cockpit as well. Now we have the news that Delta is adding 40 more of these jets to the fleet.
Since that flight I have taken many trips on this jet. I like the business class seat but there are rows to avoid as row 1 seat A has just about ZERO leg room. 1B has a little cutout. 1C&D are not much better. Also row 5C&D you are right up against the coat closet. I have marked up the screen shot from Delta.com to show what seats I am talking about.
Next, in coach, row 11D,E&F are to be avoided as you REALLY have no leg room. Then back farther in coach the exit rows have their own issues. Most do not recline and the leg room is nothing like you would normally expect in an exit row configuration. Lastly the seat back screens are amazing but they do not tilt and this is something that should have been fixed but never was.
Some folks are not happy with the 737-9s and actually avoid this jet but soon Delta will be flying 140 of these making that almost impossible depending on the route you will fly. I lamented that this is not a perfect fit replacement for the 757 due to range as well as how many fewer business class seats the 737-9 has vs. most of the 757s in service (i.e. 20 vs. 22/24 or 26). Less business class in never good for those of us who want upgrades and with FCM in full sales mode we all know there are even less empty business class seats for those coveted upgrades to begin with!
Then there is the crew issue. Most FAs really hate the 737-9 due to the VERY tiny galleys. The lavatories, if you can call them that, are smaller than most CRJ200s. Also pilots are paid less to fly these, on average, vs. the 757 as they are a much smaller plane. But when you think about the fact that as talked about in Delta’s “GearUp” magazine that the 737-9 will pay for itself in gas savings alone you can see why 40 more are on the way.
Then we have the really interesting news about the 20 E-190’s that most are speculating are coming from Air Canada lease (via Boeing). They will NOT be Delta connection flights but like the 717s, they will be MAINLINE Delta jets. That is a big deal as you are “really” on a Delta jet with Delta pilots not on a jet painted to look like Delta run by another company or partner. For example both Shuttle American and Compass fly the smaller E-175s for Delta.
But the really big question, from a passenger comfort stand point, is what will the seat map look like on these new Delta E-190 jets and how many business seats will there be?
The even smaller E-170 only has 3 rows of business class resulting in 9 total seats. However the larger E-175 has 4 rows for a total of 12 seats. The even larger 717s that hold 110 people only have 3 rows of business class but resulting in 12 total seats (2×2 vs 1×2 on E170/E175). Let’s just say I will be VERY disappointed if we only see 3 rows of business on the E-190s.
I have a request in to Delta about just what we will see and will update this post when I get more information as to just what they will look like, what seats will be used and maybe even if they see more of these on the way down the road. My guess is yes as also per the press release these are targeted as an additional replacement for the horrid CRJ200s and other 50 seat aircraft.
What do you think of the latest news about the 40 new 737-9s and the 20 (new to Delta) E-190s coming online over the next few years? – René
PS – Don’t forget about the 60,000 point limited time Delta AMEX offer!