Delta will discontinue using a potpourri of jets on the LAX-JFK line this fall (maybe answering Rene’s question from 2017 if this really is a competitive premium offering for the market anymore). Instead, 767-300s will be the route’s sole aircraft.
Australian Business Traveller’s Chris Chamberlain writes the change goes into effect Monday, November 4. Delta will — as of this post — then become the only airline exclusively offering widebodies between LAX and JFK that includes direct aisle access in business class. (Although, we know United and American can’t be far behind.)
How is This Different from Now?
Flying only 767-300s means some differences in Delta One and coach. (Keep in mind this not the 767-400, which is in the process of being upgraded.)
Delta One already is offered on all flights between JFK and LAX.
But the move ensures all Delta One seats on the route have direct aisle access: 36 seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration. The 757-200 version of Delta One offers lie-flat seats — but only 16 in a 2-2 configuration.
The 767 Delta One can be a tight squeeze (definitely a first world problem!) but that’s better than no aisle access, which is the case in the 757s (agree?).
It’s a bummer that the A330’s Delta One — the best domestic Delta One product — won’t be available anymore on this route.
All widebodies means lots of Delta One seats — and, obviously, upgrades aplenty to Delta One. Right?
Yes, all Medallions are eligible for domestic Delta One upgrades. Per Delta: “With all Tiers of Medallion Status, you are eligible for Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades to First Class and Delta Comfort+® as well as day-of-departure Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades to the Delta One® experience on flights within the U.S. 50 – including flights to Hawaii.” (Bold mine)
Let’s no get too excited.
Delta no doubt implemented this change so they could sell more Delta One seats — not charitably bless Medallions with free upgrades.
Domestic Delta One is a great opportunity to use Regional Upgrade certificates. In fact, that will probably be the only way many Medallions will see complimentary upgrades.
I’ve flown between LAX and JFK about ten times as a Gold, Platinum, and Diamond — and never once been upgraded to Delta One. Even as 1) a Diamond 2) using a Regional Upgrade cert 3) on a Saturday, I was shut out on a 767-300.
The 767-300’s only exit rows seats are in rows 20 & 21 — part of Comfort+.
Take note, Silver and Gold Medallions and those who try to purchase exit row seats: there are no preferred seat exit rows on these aircraft. Only C+. Only Platinum and Diamond Medallions may be upgraded to C+ shortly after ticketing. (Or, of course, people who actually buy C+ seats. Remember there are now two C+ fare classes.)
If you aren’t Platinum or Diamond and plan on flying between LAX and JFK, now is a great time to make the leap. You can earn some fast MQMs through a Delta American Express Platinum or Delta American Express Reserve card sign up bonus. Also, consider taking an Elite Mileage Run or two.
While not an exit row, I will dearly miss row 35 on the transcon 757-200s.
Take advantage of them while you can on the LAX-JFK route — or whatever lines the planes move to next!
Plenty of people don’t like 767s but, personally, I always enjoy flying them. LAX to JFK (and vice versa) is probably the United States’ most prestigious route; it should be served by wide-body aircraft.
What do you think about the LAX-JFK going exclusively to the 767-300s? Please share your thoughts in the Comment section below! – Chris
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