Delta Is Eliminating Business Class On Some Transatlantic Flights

Filed Under: Delta

Yesterday I wrote about how Delta is adding Delta One service to more domestic routes. In yesterday’s case we learned that flights between New York and Las Vegas, San Diego, and Seattle, will soon be operated by Boeing 757-200s with flat beds (and enhanced service) in business class. With these additions, there are now seven domestic routes featuring Delta One service.

This sure made me wonder where Delta will be getting the internationally configured 757s from to operate the routes. In general Delta has been flying more widebodies between New York and Los Angeles (while previously there were more 757s), though that doesn’t make available quite enough planes to operate all of these Delta One routes.

Not surprisingly, Delta had something up their sleeve. While Delta is flying internationally configured 757s on more domestic flights, they’ll also begin flying domestically configured 757s on transatlantic flights.

Specifically, the following routes will be flown by domestically configured 757-200s with recliner first class seats (rather than fully flat seats) at the front of the plane:

  • New York JFK to Ponta Delgada, Portugal as of May 24, 2018
  • New York JFK to Reykjavik, Iceland as of May 3, 2018
  • New York JFK to Shannon, Ireland as of May 3, 2018

Delta can’t reasonably sell domestic first class as international business class, so instead they’re selling it as premium economy, which as of now is otherwise only available on their A350s.

The bad news is that while they’re eliminating business class, their pricing for premium economy sure looks similar to what they previously charged for business class. I’d expect premium economy to be a few hundred dollars more than economy, and not $1,000 more in each direction.

This is an interesting decision on Delta’s part, though I guess it makes sense. There are some transatlantic markets with mostly leisure demand, and in those cases they’d be better off deploying flat beds on domestic routes with more premium demand, especially given that the flights are roughly the same length.

What do you make of Delta’s decision to eliminate business class on some transatlantic routes?

(Tip of the hat to Points, Miles & Martinis)

  1. Seriously update your incorrect Delta surcharges article! It was a glitch and it’s back to normal now.

    Are you really ok with having completely false information just sitting on your blog? As long as it gets clicks I suppose…

  2. Perhaps the soft product will more closely mirror the business class product? The hard product is what it is, but there’s no reason they can’t futz with catering, etc. One can hope.

  3. I wonder if that includes SkyClub access? Or other benefits we traditionally see with TATL business class?

    Without lounge access and other services, it would even be harder to swallow the almost $2000 price difference between Premium Select and Delta Comfort. (not that lounge access is worth that price difference).

    Oh well, good for them if they can get those prices I guess.

  4. Nope, according to the Delta comparison chart, no sky club access with premium select. But your screen is 13.3 inches compared to 9 inches with Delta Comfort. Plus a Tumi amenity kit and plated dinner with premium flatware. And 4 more inches of legroom.

    All for a $2000 premium!

  5. For goodness sake… all you people are acting like one data point is Delta’s entire pricing strategy for this product. It’s currently filed at a P fare, the highest PS fare class. This is typical after any schedule change and real fares, especially G fares, will be far cheaper. If it’s not worth it to you, don’t buy it…

  6. At $2700 for whatever this hybrid is, don’t worry C, I won’t buy it. But I did think it would be useful to note the lack of typical TATL benefits with this seat class and its differential to other Delta TATL offerings.

  7. FYI, DL’s been randomly flying 757-200 Recliner seats fm JFK to Reykjavik before next May 2018. I paid for Delta-One lie-flats (per online config options) only to board an old 757-200 barely reclining First seat. To make it worse, meals didn’t make the flight. (ran from the late SFO-JFK flight so didn’t didn’t have time for SFK Sky-lounge stop. (Would have helped if DL had sent an Email like UAL sometimes does, that there’s been a aircraft change). Was DL rip-off.

  8. Although with the domestic vs. international upgrade policy being so different it makes this diamond happy about the chance of flying DeltaOne.

  9. Flight longer than 3 hours and no flat bed is a shame.. oops, I think i’m too spoiled flying ME3. 2K+$ for a normal recliner seat is just crazy in my opinion, for the same price I can fly 3x return from Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur Business Class/flat bed with Saudi Arabian airlines.

  10. Wow, this is almost like an LLC offering. No Business Class available and no lounge access, but unlike an LLC You get a very unreasonable high fare.

  11. Seeing the change to KEF in early April. Also noticed that in March they’ve marketed the lay flat seats as first class rather than Delta One.

  12. So does this upgrade on the New York-Las Vegas, JFK-San Diego, and JFK-Seattle, from First Class to DeltaOne mean complimentary SkyClub Access whilst flying DeltaOne on these routes?

  13. Delta eliminated lay flat seats already this past summer from JFK to KEF (Reykjavik) but I think they were bringing them back for Sept through May, so this is not new.

  14. Delta sucks spent 4 hrs on PH for an 8 hr Flt .I think i knew more then the FOOL on the phone ..don’t book flts ur not going to service ..I had a ghost flt on the ticket too i called Don’t worry but @ Gate they brought that up . .

  15. Makes total sense. The competition on those routes are not flying flat-beds. Great business decision Delta.

  16. @C you’re a bozo.. if you don’t like it, don’t read it – plenty of others enjoy this blog without your commentary.

    Keep up the great work Lucky!


  17. Does this mean you get a complimentary upgrade into premium-select from economy-class as a Delta elite? Iceland has long had absurd “business-class” pricing, when it is basically the same as a New York to northern South America flight or California-Hawaii flight, both of which are complimentary upgrade eligible.

    You could always buy a row of economy-class (on Delta or a low-cost carrier) and have a poor man’s business-class experience.

  18. Nothing new on the JFK-KEF flights. I flew that route (also via MSP) and it was domestic 757. Upgraded food service vs. true ‘domestic’ service. No D1 but not surprising on that route with all the competition.

  19. Just means I’ll need using my Delta mileage points with their partners. No way I flying international under those circumstances.

  20. No issue at all. For non-domestic travel I would never consider a US airline anyway.

    The creativity of US airlines in finding new ways to position themselves as unattractive as possible against the much superior international competition is absolutely impressive.

    america first guys

  21. Kudos for Delta to thinking outside the box. Airline management is deservedly maligned for being too unwilling to challenge the status quo. There’s no good reason that flights of roughly equal length should be segmented primarily based on whether or not you fly over an ocean. Segmenting based on yield is a much smarter approach.

  22. I agree with Justin about segmenting based on yield, but it is nonetheless harder to stomach the price given that Delta One to Dublin and Paris, as but two examples, run only $2350 and $2550. Of course, the competition is much greater in those markets, but I would be far less likely to pay more for premium select on a shorter TATL run than Delta One on a longer one. If Delta offered a slightly better than Icelandair product, but priced it less than DL1 to DUB/CDG, etc, it seems like it might be more attractive to most consumers.

    @Lucky – is that 757 truly configured with Premium Select or just domestic First Class “rebranded” as that?

  23. Well there competition to KEF is IcelandAir with business class like DL domestic F seats, so similar to competition.

  24. OMG! Can you imagine flying on domestic ‘first class’ to Europe?
    What a shameful experience! What’s next, prosecco instead of champagne?
    This is the end of civilization. And don’t tell me I have to board the plane using the same jetbridge and door as…well, you know, the p…the poo…oh, God, I can’t even say it… THE POOR!!!!

  25. This smells like a test of an “enhancement” that will be rolled out to more and more routes over time. Sucks big time.

  26. This blog article is so inaccurate and overblown, it’s hard to believe. Delta sees First Class and Premium Select as similar products, and is probably testing product harmonization. There is no change, other than names. Those routes aren’t long enough to warrant a wide body with Delta One.

  27. The day before this, I used a bunch of Virgin Atlantic miles to get four biz seats JFK-PDL in June. If those are now premium economy seats, I feel that VS Flying Club should give me some of my miles back, but I just called and the agent couldn’t really figure out what was going on with those seats, and she told me to call Delta. I may do that.

  28. As usual, Delta makes a first smart business decision and then other airlines will probably follow. Delta needs to be clear to passengers what kind of products they are buying into and should take care of passengers who bought DeltaOne for these routes but ended up with downgraded products.

  29. I agree with @C. Before you bash C or me or somebody else, please take a look of the validity of his argument. I did.

  30. To those saying that the competition is flying recliner seats, UA is flying with lie-flats EWR-KEF and EWR-SNN.

  31. How embarrassing for Delta to charge 2,700 dollars for this product. There’s no way in hell I’ll be traveling on this premium economy travesty when we have European carriers with business class products that are better than any US-3 international *first* class product.

    Who flies 757s anyway, hahaha. The 70s called, they want their innovation back.

  32. I think I’d be OK with domestic first class seating on short routes like NYC-Iceland, Ireland, etc. on daytime flights but red eye’s not so much. I’d also expect to pay much less than a true business class cabin. It’s the same reason Icelandair doesn’t excite me as an Alaska award in a prem-econ seat and $150’ish surcharge for awards on each segment.

  33. My god, the butthurt in these comments. You whiners realize that JFK-KEF is basically the same length as MSP-ANC in the same 757 aircraft, right?

    The prices will adjust downward over time, or there will be ‘Flash Sales’ for discount fares, because few people will pay D1 prices for a 5 to 5.5 hr flight in standard business class seats.

    Reviewing this thread, it’s no wonder people who take BA blogs like OMaaT, TPG, and Rene so seriously are the biggest DYKWIAs on the planet.

  34. BOS-LAX is getting D1 on 2x daily flights for S18.
    DL recently acquired ETOPS configured 757s with the same door configuration as their D1 configured 752’s but they chose to create YET ANOTHER sub fleet of Domestic birds (75P). Seems like it’s something that DL regrets.

  35. Delta needs new planes. They have an old fleet. What will happen to trancontinental service when the 767 retires? The only wide bodies running coast to coast. Much more comfy than the 757 with Delta One.

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