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Delta Air Lines Quietly Modified Its Airbus A321s — Changes for Both Passengers and Crew!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Delta Air Lines recently completed some adjustments to its Airbus A321 planes — improving seating options while creating more workspace for the cabin crew!

But the changes were so low profile even SeatGuru or Delta.com don’t seem to fully know about them yet!

Row 26: Before and After

This was row 26 (starboard side) when I rode an A321 last May:
A exit row -- row 26 -- is seen on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A321 prior to retrofit.

Row 26 -- an exit row -- on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A321 aircraft. Seats 26D, and 26E, 26F are seen.

But René noticed this during a trip last week:

Exit row 26 is seen on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A321 prior to retrofit.

Exit rows 26 are seen on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A321 prior to retrofit.

Don’t get too bent out of shape and worry about Delta adding another row of seats. It seems they removed the back row of the starboard side. There’s still plenty of legroom in row 26.

Conflicting Seat Maps?

As of late yesterday, the A321 page of Delta.com’s fleet map section, though, wasn’t updated. (FWIW, SeatGuru isn’t yet displaying the new seat maps, either.)

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A321 that hasn't yet been updated

But for an upcoming flight, we noticed the updated, correct seat map was popping up.

A Delta Air Lines seat map for flight 1536 from Atlanta (ATL) to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) reflects a change to the Airbus A321's exit rows 26.

René contacted Delta corporate communications to ask about the changes — and find out what’s up with the A321 seat map discrepancy on Delta.com (see the WayBackMachine for old page).

Delta spokesperson Kathryn Steele told us:

Thanks for reaching out, René, and pointing this out – we’re making the update on delta.com to make sure it’s consistent.

The A321s were delivered with 192 seats and we took a two-phased modification approach. Each of those aircraft now has 191 seats and we’ve expanded the back galley space so our flight attendants can better serve our customers.

Better than Some Comfort+ Exit Row Seats?

Row 26 presents a great option for people traveling in pairs. Both the left and right sides of row 26 consist of only two seats each — with plenty of legroom.

A view of legroom from seats 26B and 26C in the exit row is seen on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A321.
Legroom in exit row seats 26B and 26C on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A321.

If you like being near a lavatory, there’s one right in front of you!

Seats 26D and 26E are nice because not only do they provide exit row legroom — but also now have storage under the row directly in front!

Another feature I like: the new row 26 essentially eliminates a traditional middle seat. Even if you’re seated in 26B or 26E, there’s only one person next to you: the aisle seat occupant.

A321 Comfort Plus ABC side exit row

Speaking of middle seats: these present a much better option than exit row 13 in Comfort+. (Plus, “exit row 13” just sounds foreboding, doesn’t it?)  It might look nice on seat maps — and even gets a “green” rating on Seat Guru! — but René hated his experience sitting in 13E.

Why? There’s a big jump seat in 13D for flight attendants — leaving little shoulder room for the poor soul in 13E.

Window Seats in Row 27

Seats 27A and 27F have a lot of legroom:

Seat 27A is seen on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A321.
Seat 27A
A view of legroom from seat 27A is seen on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A321.
View from seat 27A
A view of legroom from seat 27F is seen on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A321.
A view of 27E

Great for Hard Working Delta Flight Attendants, Too!

It looks like a row of seats in back was eliminated to enlarge the rear galley. This is a nice change for the Delta flight attendants — it gives them more space to do their jobs (and hopefully relax during downtime!).

Related: Should Exit Row Passengers Be Held to Higher Standards?

#KeepClimbing-Worthy

Both René and I like these changes. Delta expanded a galley, eliminated only a single seat, and did a great job of utilizing a surplus exit row space — while retaining great legroom. Keep these seats in mind next time you’re booking a trip aboard a Delta A321!

–Chris

Featured image credit: Delta Air Lines via Flickr (Photo by John Paul Van Wert for Rank Studios)

 

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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6 Comments

  1. Are the tray tables in the armrest or seatback in row 26/27 as modified ?

    • @ZeepFlyet – They are standard behind the exit row seats. They have the fold-up IFE on the A&F seats. Clearly the exit row seats also have fold-up IFE as well.

  2. We flew 26D&E RT from DTW-LAS and I completely agree, they are great. I made sure I didn’t have Delta Comfort selected for my medallion upgrade because these seats are much better in my opinion.

  3. AA has had this configuration on their A321s for forever. Best seats on the plane.

  4. Are the seats hard as rocks in the exit rows? I have seen complaints regarding the lack of cushion on the seat? My flight from LAS to ATL currently has that row open but hesitant to select it.

    • @TK – That is true. If you fly them for a LONG away I STRONGLY suggest you invest in one of these: https://amzn.to/2T5HetX

      It will make a mega difference in the experience. Even if you only buy it for that flight it can be worth it!

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