Will you have a chance to fly the Delta A350 domestically before the 30OCT17 inaugural flight?

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To say there is a lot of interest the brand new Delta A350 jet, that will replace the iconic 747, is beyond an understatement. This is coming from passengers and Delta employees alike!

Screen shot from Flightaware.com

If we look at FlightAware.com and track the 1st new A350 delivered to Delta (more are on the way soon) we can see Delta has been, over this past weekend, flying back and forth between Atlanta and Detroit with some touch and go landings in Cincinnati (since CVG is on the way, why not right).


Some are so excited that they waited for the 1st time the A350 landed in DTW to get a video of the maiden landing and takeoff. The #AVgeek community is clearly excited.

But that begs the question – will you have a chance to try out this amazing new jet on a domestic “shake down” type flight before the much publicized 1st ever inaugural 30OCT17 flight?

My guess (and just a guess) is NO!

Here is why I say NO and why if you want to be one of the first to fly this you need to be on the inaugural flight. All of the below would be lessened if there was any kind of domestic “1st” flight.

  • PR opportunity. Delta has successfully implanted into the main stream press that the “inaugural” flight will be on the 30th of October. They want mega press and they will get it. This is a big deal and even a big deal for Detroit, a major Delta hub.
  • First impression (seats). Delta is touting the new “suite” seats that is a Delta One seat (redone) with a door. While a domestic flight may sound great to tout this it would be limited compared to the buzz from main stream press going with Delta stock photos and then the press getting flyers reaction next. Same for the Premium Select that Delta is promoting just as much as D1S.
  • First impression (meals). A big part of the new jet is the meal service. Now I am not talking Delta One Suites here as that will be stock Delta One. I am talking Premium Select (PS) as this jet means an end to Comfort+ on international birds that have the same coach meals that all of coach has (fyi C+ seats are the same seat as the rest of coach with a bit more leg room and recline on international jets). The point is, Delta wants to showcase that PS is not just an “amazing” seat and cabin of service but impressive value comes from the 1st class type meals and dedicated cabin attendants in that section. A “snack basket” on a domestic flight sure would not do anything to promote this would it?
  • Negative press. Another reason I doubt a flight will simply be inserted into the normal say hub-2-hub rotation for a while (or even for just one or two flights) would be the chance for something negative to come out before the inaugural 1st day mega press blitz buzz. Think if something is not quite right (there is a laundry list of possibilities to pick from). What Delta does not want is something going viral in a negative way about the very expensive jet, that after all will replace the 747, before they can have most of the coverage positive and exuberant.

Bottom line I just don’t see you having a chance to get to fly this jet as a paying passenger until 30OCT17. I could be wrong but the only flight I could possibly see, and even that is just a maybe, would be some kind of “press” type flight where Delta pays to fly down the major folks in the mainstream press and take them up in the air for a while to fly them around and show off the jet and the service they expect to provide. This would ensure their published articles covering the 30OCT17 flight highlight everything Delta wants .

Personally I am really excited about this new jet and if it will live up to all Delta has built it up to be. Having only taken one flight on a 787 it will be great to compare the “feel” of the Airbus composite equivalent.

What do you think? Do you think I am wrong and Delta will have a domestic paying passenger “shake down” flight or flights or do you agree that 30OCT17 will be “our” first chance to try it out? – René



  1. I would love to make that trip but football is on the schedule and can’t get there.

    However, If the a350 is not an option to fly, which other plane would you recommend for an atl-lax or atl-sna flight? Especially for someone who is afraid of flying? My 77 year old mother wants to see the west coast and I’d like to take her but want to be as comfortable as possible. Thanks for your always great insights.

  2. P.S. yes, my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek as I know the a350 won’t be an option to the west coast. Sorry, I don’t understand emojis either enough to have made that clear!

  3. I don’t have any specific information to disagree except in my limited experience, airlines have used domestic flights to shakedown new birds. Not just flying wise but service and other stuff I don’t know about. I got to fly on American’s first 787-9 flights DFW-LAX rt. Both in business class. (I am a sucker for a free upgrade.) Also flew Thai A350-900 the first week BKK-HKT. For some reason those airlines seemed reluctant to make first flights long-haul international ones.

    I hope the international routes are the first flights because I will be flying it one day after you.

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