When Delta, at long last, started to refresh the worst Delta One seats they fly on the 777 they rolled them out with only Delta One Suites (business class), Premium Select (premium economy) and Main Cabin (coach i.e. Y) seats. Since none of the A350s have Comfort Plus (C+) and the redone 777s did not either it looked like for international flights C+ would become a thing of the past. I said this is a good thing in this post. Maybe I was wrong. Or was I?
You see now Delta has done a flip-flop on this ship mod choice. The rest of the mods or modifications of the 777 will have D1S, PS, C+ and Y seats. Short term this is a really bad idea and could be a real mess going forward. Keep reading and you will see why I say this.
Let me first off state that on international flights C+ over Y is a real upgrade. It makes a difference as on longer flights the extra space is great and much more than on domestic C+ configurations that I really could care less about. Domestically I most times just pick an exit row and no way would I ever pay more for C+ in cash or Delta points. YES, having C+ on international flights, instantly free for Diamonds and Platinums at booking and open for a free upgrade for Silvers and Golds days before flight, is a sweet perk that will be nice to have back again. But there are major issues with this change.
First of all, Delta has to pull out of service the four 777s already paid for and redone without C+ and mega promoted this past summer (i.e. promoted without C+) to be reworked again! Heck, at the time, Delta on twitter even bragged up that PS is better than C+ so this change was a good thing (so why change again?). Beyond that, the question will now be what happens with the A350s? None of them have the C+ seats (or experience) and that is the main flagship of the Delta fleet. Will all those be pulled in for C+ addition or will the old 777s have something better than the flagship jet? Even the new A330-900neo will have C+. But then there is the scary issue – searches.
Notice both the Google flight search as well as Expedia. Do you see two mega problems? The first is that you can not opt-out of E BASIC seats. But the larger problem is there is no “branded” C+ choice to opt-in or opt-out of (cuz only Delta does most of this seat gamesmanship / experience thing). Think how many times folks will believe they are buying a REAL “premium economy” seat i.e. expecting Delta Premium Select and end up in a seat the same size as the rest of coach, that is, a C+ seat. I am sure Delta will blame the search sites and say folks should always just book on Delta.com.
This change does not impact me one way or the other so I really don’t personally care that much but I do care about readers and those who likely will get fooled by the mothership. For me on flights that are that long I will either book D1S / D1 or PS seats. Personally, for a daytime flight of 6-8 hours the Delta Premium Select seat and experience is very good and well worth the price in dollars or SkyMiles paid. If my daytime flight choice does not have PS seats then I will just book D1.
What do you think about this change to again have C+ on some of the Delta international fights? Are you happy with it or will you be frustrated booking seats? What if there is an equipment swap and you end up with a bird with just coach – will that matter to you? Let me know. – René