Delta adding some widebodies to their NYC-LAX route in 2013

Competition is certainly heating up on the JFK to LAX route. Starting next year American will be taking delivery of their Airbus 321 aircraft, which will operate their Flagship Service routes between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco. These planes will feature fully flat beds in business and first class, and it looks like an all around phenomenal product.

American’s Flagship Service first class on the Airbus 321

Meanwhile United will be reconfiguring their Premium Service planes starting next year, which operate the New York to Los Angeles/San Francisco route as well. Currently they’re in a three class configuration, though they’re being reconfigured to have just coach and business class. The good news is that business class will be fully flat, meaning business class will be a better “hard” product than first class currently is.

That leaves Delta, which has 757s with 16 BusinessElite recliner seats. While they’re decent enough seats, they just won’t be able to compete with what American and United is offering on the route as of next year.

I suspect that’s why starting next March they’ll have 767s with fully flat beds in business class operating some of their New York to Los Angeles frequencies. Starting March 30, 2013, the following flight will be operated by a 767:

Delta 16 Los Angeles to New York departing at 8:30AM and arriving at 5:05PM
Delta 17 New York to Los Angeles departing at 6:15PM and arriving at 9:35PM

Then starting June 2, 2013, there will be four 767s operating the route, in addition to three daily 757s. The 767s will operate the following schedules:

Delta 206 Los Angeles to New York departing at 6:30AM and arriving at 3:05PM
Delta 16 Los Angeles to New York departing at 8:30AM and arriving at 5:10PM
Delta 862 Los Angeles to New York departing at 11:15AM and arriving at 7:55PM
Delta 1162 Los Angeles to New York departing at 9:30PM and arriving at 6:00AM (+1 day)
Delta 763 New York to Los Angeles departing at 7:00AM and arriving at 10:10AM
Delta 127 New York to Los Angeles departing at 3:30Pm and arriving at 6:55PM
Delta 17 New York to Los Angeles departing at 6:15PM and arriving at 9:35PM
Delta 2363 New York to Los Angeles departing at 9:00PM and arriving at 12:25AM (+1 day)

The 757s had 16 BusinessElite seats and 11 Economy Comfort seats while the 767 will have 26 BusinessElite seats and 29 Economy Comfort seats, so that’s a nice capacity boost of premium seats.

I’m curious whether long term Delta plans on continuing to operate the 757s on the New York to Los Angeles route, and if so, if they plan on upgrading the BusinessElite product to match the competition.

Anyway, this represents a nice improvement for Delta’s transcon service, in addition to their Seattle expansion next year.

American Flagship Service (current) first class

United Premium Service (current) first class

(Tip of the hat to Point Me to the Plane)

Filed Under: Delta
  1. I think that the first new p.s. plane will be reconfigured this month, the plane suspected to be the first in the new config has been out of service for two weeks.

  2. For DL flyers, upgrades on the premium transcon JFK-LAX/SFO are tough – first they don’t clear upgrades in advance and second, there are only 16 J seats. Even as a diamond, upgrades are hard to come by. With the 767-300ERs, upgrades will hopefully come a bit easier, and it also has a larger economy comfort section, which is much appreciated. However, Delta will have many economy seats to sell and I wonder how the numbers will work. Anyway, I appreciate the “upgrade” from 75E to 767-300ERs.

  3. I’ve only been upgraded LAX-JFK as GM on a Saturday night redeye. I should be DL Platinum when they upgauge most flights, so I’m looking forward to seeing how upgrades will be affected, particularly 206 and 1162 from LAX and 2363 from JFK.

    Even in Y, having a 2-3-2 EC seat will be better than 3-3. Terrific change by DL.

  4. Still can’t believe UA is willing to give up F on this route despite AA. Also will be interesting how the flat beds in C will affect VX premium traffic. VX F and AA and UA C in their old configs seat wise were pretty even. I think VX won some fans for their top notch service and soft product, but now with the new seats I wonder how long that goodwill with the big $$$ customers will last.

  5. Hey Ben, what is the current UA p.s. C/J/F seat count as compared to the future all-J/C configuration? Will there be more premium seats overall? I know that they are installing both E and E+ together on the new planes, where they only had E+ on p.s. before, right?

  6. @ theblakefish — The old configuration had 38 business/first class seats and the new configuration will have 26 business class seats, so it’s a pretty drastic reduction in premium capacity.

  7. Just an FYI on the DL 75E’s. Every single DL aircraft flying the JFK-LAX/SFO/SEA routes will feature flat bed seating, some widebody flying, and feature lay-flat J seats. As confirmed with a few DL folks, DL will be outfitting the 75Es with 16J (Layflat) 44 EC seats and 108 Y seats.

    Also available from Y! business news (sorry for the lengthy link, don’t remember html):

  8. Also, with the changes to the JFK-LAX schedule for Delta, it’s only a net gain of 10 economy class seats per day (they’re dropping a frequency from 8 to 7 flights/day). Big gain is the Business Class seats increase (about 19%).

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