Delta unveils new 757-200 BusinessElite product

Last November Delta announced their intentions to install fully flat beds on their BusinessElite equipped 757s, as well as to begin running BusinessElite configured 767s on their premium transcontinental flights. Now, maybe it’s just me, but I prefer not having a 767 on a transcon flight since they’re not equipped with wifi, which for me is one of the most important amenities on a plane nowadays. On a daytime flight I’d actually take a domestic first class seat with Wi-Fi over an international business class seat without it (I’m curious, am I alone that feels that way?).

Anyway, Delta originally announced they were going to start reconfiguring their 757s with the new fully flat business class as of March of this year. However, to this date they still haven’t reconfigured any of their 757s.

The Delta Blog today has an update on this project, as the reconfigurations on these planes will now start in the spring of 2014, a full year late. They’ve also shared some pictures of what the new product will look like:




What’s interesting (and not really surprising) is that American and United will soon all more or less have an identical business class product on their transcon routes. So while they’re all improving, no one really has a competitive advantage.

American is still unique in that they’ll continue to have three cabin planes with 10 first class seats on transcons, which are definitely a step up from the business class product offered by the competition. And then there’s JetBlue, which yesterday unveiled their new premium transcontinental product. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re able to attract any premium passenger with their product, though.

Filed Under: Delta
  1. I have spent a lot of time in the OLD 767 biz class. I will take NO wifi and the new 767 any day! Oh, and should you not say the “other Delta blog”? 😉

  2. +1 – I have no issues tuning out for 5-6 hours, if it means I get to lie down in splendor 🙂

  3. No headrest? Not good. Even their pillow is not thick enough for me to rest my head on comfortably when sleeping on my side.

  4. The transcon versions of the 767 that are dedicated to LAX-JFK and SEA-JFK are supposed to have wi-fi (eventually. Not sure Other routes that have 767s with lie-flat seats use international planes with no wi-fi. I also agree that I’d rather have a standard F or old recliner J seat with wi-fi than a lie flat without wi-fi.

  5. Net good news….but how many damned business class seats will Delta have in their fleet now? They have 1) herringbone, 2) reverse herringbone (either in the fleet or if not on order), 3) staggered lie-flat, 4) probably a few 158-degree cradle 767s left, 5) other 757s with the recliners for lower density European routes and 6) now this?

    I think all the northwest recliners are gone at least (though I liked them better than the original DL BE recliners).

  6. @Lucky — Delta’s 752 modifications are not a year late. They originally announced the addition of flat beds to the transcon routes in 11/12, with the promise of introducing 763s (not 752s) to JFK-LAX beginning in 3/13. Beyond that, the press release only stated that the entire transcon fleet (752s included) would have flat beds within 24 months, i.e., by 3/15.

    @Josh G — The transcon 752 fleet already has Wi-Fi throughout, and the cabin modifications won’t change that. Delta is currently in the process of certifying its first 763 with satellite-based Wi-Fi, with the rest of the intercontinental fleet scheduled to follow.

    @NYBanker — When these modifications are complete, Delta will have four types of long-haul business class seats: reverse herringbone (747 and A330), herringbone (777), staggered (763 and 764), and parallel (752). Today, there are just fifteen 763s with cradles left, but the bulk of the ew-NW A330 fleet still flies with angled lie-flats. The 763 and A330 fleets should be completed in 2014, and the 752 fleet in early 2015.

  7. AA’s 10 F class on the 321 all will have direct aisle access. You can’t tell me they are all roughly the same when someone has to climb over you even on the new Delta and United seats.

  8. @ Rhys — Right, agreed, that’s what I said: “American is still unique in that they’ll continue to have three cabin planes with 10 first class seats on transcons, which are definitely a step up from the business class product offered by the competition.”

    I’m saying American’s business class is very similar to Delta’s.

  9. @ DBest — The domestically configured 757s won’t receive the new seats, so you won’t find these on most non-international/non-premium transcon routes.

  10. One vote for jetBlue. The minisuite is a gimmick — not really private — but the rest of the C-cabin looks quite good, and their service is often my favorite in the sky. Further, while the opportunity to earn AA MQMs can move me their way, SkyMiles’ horrendous low-tier award accessibility keeps me from buying tickets on DL, and EWR is just too far to go to get me on UA. If B6 can add a wide range of international F&C redemption opportunities, I’ll be seriously hooked.

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