Delta Premium Select Coming To 767-300s & A330s

Filed Under: Delta

Delta Air Lines will be reconfiguring some of its existing long haul aircraft, though I’m rather disappointed by the details of this.

Premium Select coming to 767-300s & A330s

Delta has revealed plans to reconfigure more wide body aircraft this spring. Specifically, Delta will be installing Premium Select seats on Boeing 767-300s, Airbus A330-200s, and Airbus A330-300s. The first reconfigured 767-300 will enter service in May, while the first reconfigured A330 will enter service in mid-July.

For those of you not familiar Premium Select, this is the name of Delta’s premium economy product, which is intended for long haul international flights, and is roughly comparable to domestic first class, especially on the Airbus A220 (which has rather narrow first class seats).

Premium Select is coming to 767-300s, A330-200s, and A330-300s

All of Delta’s Airbus A350-900s and Airbus A330-900neos already feature Premium Select, and Delta is in the process of installing this product on Boeing 767-400s.

In addition to receiving the Premium Select cabin, these planes will receive other updates, like refreshed lavatories, new LED cabin lighting, expanded personal power outlets, and memory-foam cushions.

Why I’m disappointed by Delta’s retrofits

Ultimately Delta is installing Premium Select on these planes because it sees a revenue opportunity for this, and that’s fair enough. However, when I first saw the headline about an “elevated experience” coming to these planes, my hope was that Delta would finally get around to installing new business class seats on 767s and A330s (in particular the former).

Delta’s staggered configuration on the 767 is an underwhelming product:

  • The seats are rather tight, but that’s partly because the 767’s cabin isn’t that wide, so good premium seating options are hard to come by (though United did a phenomenal job installing Polaris seats on 767s)
  • Beyond that, there are some finishes that could be upgraded; the cabins are tired, and the personal televisions are small and have poor resolution

Delta’s 767-300 business class

Delta’s 767-300 business class

Delta has installed new business class seats on the 767-400, which aren’t amazing (they have the same bones), but are at least a step in the right direction, with better entertainment screens and more privacy.

Delta’s 767-400 business class

It sure would be nice if Delta also installed these seats on 767-300s, but I guess that investment isn’t a priority right now.

It’s funny, because usually Delta invests so heavily in the passenger experience. With American having retired 757s and 767s, I think American has a huge long haul business class advantage given that it exclusively operates 777s and 787s, which feature a far superior product.

Bottom line

Delta will be installing Premium Select on 767-300s, A330-200s, and A330-300s. There will be some other mild refreshes to these planes, including updates to the lavatories and lighting. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like we should expect Delta to invest in the business class experience on these planes, which sure is a shame.

What do you make of Delta’s 767 & A330 retrofits?

  1. Honestly I totally agree with you lucky.

    I don’t believe now is the right time for an airline to retrofit a fleet of old aging planes…remember how that worked out for Delta with the 777?

    The crappy Business class remains and more economy seats remove. Does not make much sense in any sense.

  2. Totally agree with you Lucky. Delta’s business class seat on the A330-200/300CEOs and 767-300ERs are dated, uncomfortable, and pale compared to what you’ll find on the A350, 339s, and 767-400ERs.

  3. Delta’s A330-200/300 is the reverse herringbone, which is arguably, more spacious than the Vantage seat. I prefer it, tbh.

  4. While I agree that the biz seats are not nearly as nice as they could be, I work for a company (that when the world is normal) won’t pay for business class but will pay for premium economy. (Hard to blame them when biz is $10k+.) I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that regard. On my last trip to Europe (in early 2020) I flew from ATL to DTW in order to catch the A350 to AMS, despite there being 3 flights direct from ATL. For an overnight flight or a 9 hour return, there’s a big comfort difference between Premium Select and Comfort +. Count me as being really happy for this announcement.

  5. So with Delta Premium Select coming to the Boeing 767-300, it might be better to actually fly premium economy than business right?

  6. Delta fanboys gonna delta fanboy. I’ve always had a far superior experience on AA. I’ve generally found Delta service and food to be fairly hit and miss, not much better than AA with a worse hard product.

    With the US carriers, the ranking is:

    AA ~ DL > B6 > SW > Spirit / Airtran / Frontier / United > Allegiant

  7. Think CX when they retrofitted their 747’s and A340’s when they were still around. It’ll be the same situation where they’ll keep their aircraft for several years before they’re gone. It’s an added revenue stream especially now basically.

  8. For the love of all things holy, won’t somebody please put the 763 out of our misery?

  9. This change is better for most people. Especially who can’t afford paying for J on a regular basis

  10. IMO, this makes perfect sense. These are old birds that could be retired any day depending on how long it takes for international travel to rebound. Plus, I believe DL still has several A330-neos and A350s still on order.

    So why invest in a complete remodel? Adding premium economy is taking a select number of economy rows and replacing the seats and provides a product that is obviously making money for Delta. Frankly, the business class on DLs A330s is not that bad. The 767-300’s…that’s another story. However, most times I’ve seen the 767-300s on “secondary” routes.

  11. Given that Delta said it would retire the 767-300ER fleet in less than 4 years (by 2025, presumably after the summer travel season), there is little reason to take the plane out of service for weeks and then walk away from an investment after a few years.
    Premium economy seats are much cheaper and can probably be reused on other aircraft; the 767 cabin is the narrowest widebody so seats have to be unique to that airplane.
    The 767-300ER is still the smallest widebody and can easily do 10 hour flights, esp. on routes where there isn’t enough demand to fill a larger aircraft.

    Delta and United are holding onto their 767s and 757s because there is no adequate replacement for them in a significant number of markets. Both can be used economically because the economics of new aircraft do not offset the higher fuel and maintenance expenses, esp. for size and performance capabilities for which there is no direct replacement.

    As for United’s premium configured 767-300ER, it is doubtful they will make money given that business class fares will be depressed for years and that plane has proportionately even more business class seats.

    The current Delta A330 Delta One cabin is quite comfortable but it was a given that at some point they would upgrade to the same product on the A330-900s.

  12. It completely makes sense if one believes that business travel will not return to pre pandemic levels for years. On the other hand, I think economy cabins will return much faster. Many more travelers with a doable upgrade into Premium Select.

  13. I generally agree. Except for the AA forward/rear facing shaking seats. Anything is better than that!

  14. @BlueDevilDavid – Delta now has one flight on the A350 and another on the A330 on the ATL to AMS route, and KLM operated their 787-10 before Covid (now its a mix of A330/787/777).

  15. I’m guessing this kind of minutiae is far more important to aviation enthusiasts than it is to the general public.

  16. How will the Medallion complimentary upgrades on economy purchased seats be impacted by this product introduction on domestic routes? Will passenger be required to purchase a Premium Select seat to be eligible for an upgrade to domestic first on routes with these aircraft?

  17. Better than “cattle class” – not everyone thinks that flying first/business is worth the price domestically.

  18. I’d say this is mostly good news. The 767 (and 757) are comfortable aircraft with unique mission capabilities for their size, missions that will be especially applicable in the early post-covid recovery phase. 2-3-2 in coach: excellent. And retrofitted with 2-2-2 premium economy that is actually realistic for many travelers to afford: excellent. And although that older business class configuration isn’t exactly cutting edge, it gets the job done, and all seats are forward-facing. Good move.

  19. Honest question/thought: What are the chances these Premium Select seats for the 763s and A330s are from the old 777s that were retired last summer?

    Seat Guru had the 777 PS seats at 19 inches width, and the A330neo PS seats at 18.5, leading to an extra 3.5 inches per row in a 2-3-2 layout of the A330. It would narrow the aisle a bit, but it’s doable. (The 764s PS seats are also 19 inches, same width as the 777s).

    Given that the dimensions are the same, and they aren’t adding in new D1 suites (the 777 suites are way too wide for the A330 and 767s), it’s totally possible Delta is reusing their old 777 seats here. Just a hypothesis.

  20. Just for comparison upgrades on AF are good only for one class. Eco-to-premium economy only not to biz. I suspect DL will follow suit now that they will have a similar class between eco and biz.

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