That is, the old Northwest “Business Elite” seat that I flew for many years to Europe. It was not full flat but since I sleep just fine on my back I did not mind that much. It did not have individual aisle access as the current Delta One business class seats, but since I tend to fly with my wife that did not bother me either.
Delta has announced that over the next few years they will, at long last, have a “real” Premium Economy (PE) seat unlike the current Comfort Plus or C+ seat that is the exact same seat as the rest of coach so nothing to be excited about. The above is the seat their partner Virgin Atlantic uses on some of it’s jets. Notice some similarities to the old business class seat at the top of the post?
And compare them both to the current domestic Delta business class product and I think we are going to have a decent idea of what to expect from Delta with the new seat. I think they have a chance to come up with something that is really a great mix of the old and new.
I also expect that we will see 2-3-2 configuration on most of the wide body jets these will go into, so there will be the dreaded middle seat so getting the sides of the jet will matter unless you happen to be a family of 3 traveling together, that is.
Now here is where it starts to get interesting to me when it comes to SkyMiles redemption. Delta has been on a tear the past few years and jumped the price from what was the standard for a long time of 100,000 SkyMiles round trip by 40% to the current 140,000. My guess is by the time we see the new “Delta One Suites” it will be close to 200,000 for one round trip ticket. Not good and to me not worth it. But at that point what will the Premium Economy seats cost to Europe and back? Maybe 100,000?
So everything old is new again. The seats I was happy to spend 100k on are again 100k? Or, since I really don’t care about full flat seats when I am awake do I split my ticket and pay for Delta One full flats on the way over when I want to sleep and PE on the way back costing me maybe 150,000 round trip? That could be a tolerable, if not ideal, way of extracting some value out of my points at that point.
One thing is for sure, as long as Delta does not destroy them, the Global Upgrade certs as a Diamond Medallion have become more and more valuable as the price for a SkyMiles Delta One award price keeps going up and up! – René
VACATION NOTICE: I will be on vacation through the 10th and will have limited access to the blog and email.