Delta’s First 767-400 With New Business Class Seats

Filed Under: Delta

Delta is in the process of refreshing the business class product offered throughout much of their long haul fleet. The airline is installing Delta One Suites on A350-900s, A330-900neos, and 777-200s.

While the airline isn’t installing a new business class product on their A330-200s, A330-300s, and 767-300s, they are installing a new business class on their 767-400s. However, this won’t be the same product they have on their other planes.

That’s because the 767’s cabin is narrower, and there’s no way they can fit four of these seats in each row (and I guess they didn’t want to go with just three seats per row, given the capacity reduction that would have led to).

There are some updates regarding the progress of Delta’s new 767-400 business class.

Delta’s new 767-400 business class

While Delta hasn’t shared that much publicly about these seats, the new cabins look like this:

The seats will still be in a staggered configuration, just as they currently are. It seems that the main change will simply be that they have more privacy. Delta’s 767 business class is among my least favorite long haul fully flat business class product out there, as the seats are really, really narrow, and the footwell is tiny.

So the seats should be an improvement, but I think these will still be seats to avoid.

Delta’s first 767-400 has been reconfigured

While Delta’s first reconfigured 767-400 is only supposed to start flying in November, Airways Magazine notes that the reconfiguration process on the first plane is now complete.

The first 767-400 to get these seats, N828MH, has been in Guangzhou to get this work done since January 1, 2019. It goes without saying that’s a long time, but often installing new cabins for the first time (and getting those certified) can take quite a while. Apparently the process for this plane is now complete, and it could be in service soon.

Subsequent reconfigurations will be much faster.

The plane is scheduled to fly to Tokyo Narita tomorrow (June 24), and presumably will enter service after that, which is exciting.

Scheduled Delta 767-400 flights with new seats

Delta’s first 767-400 featuring the new seats will be entering service soon, and the airline has started scheduling these planes.

To see if your plane is expected to have the new configuration, look for a 767-400 flight that has the “NEW INTERIOR” text written next to it.

Airways notes that as of now the planes only seem to be scheduled as of November:

  • DL1/2 between JFK and LHR will get the new interiors as of November 16, 2019, and DL3 between JFK and LHR will get the new interiors as of January 10, 2020
  • DL58/59 between BOS and LHR will get the new interiors as of November 20, 2019
  • DL 408/409 between JFK and ZRH will get the new interiors as of December 8, 2019

All of that remains subject to change, and it could also be that more routes get the new cabins well before that.

It’s interesting to compare the seatmaps. The current 767-400s have 40 business class seats, spread across 10 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.

The new cabins will have 34 business class seats, spread across nine rows. What’s interesting is that they seem to take up the same real estate, so it does seem like there may be more space allocated to these seats. Unfortunately I wouldn’t expect the width to improve or footwell to get bigger, which is my major issue with these seats.

Bottom line

While Delta isn’t installing suites with doors on their 767s, the new product should represent an improvement over the old one. As of now Delta has scheduled reconfigured 767s as of November 2019, though given that the first plane should be entering service soon, I expect more routes will feature the cabin before that.

So this still isn’t a product I’d seek out, though it is an improvement over the old cabins on these planes.

Comments
  1. Whenever I see what Delta is doing, it makes me sad that I live in an AA captive market (PHL) and am stuck flying A321s that do not even have IFE or power in first.

  2. It looks like the galley, toilets & closets has been moved forward into the area where seats 9 &10 would have been, thus making room to start the new PE cabin within that old space after the doors.

    DL would up their premium cred if they got rid of that AWFUL blue. Just disgusting.

  3. @Matt, I live in PHL and switched to DL. No going back. Connecting in Detroit is so easy (I frequently take 29-34 minute connections here and haven’t missed a single one all year). Planes are all pretty new (except a good number of MD-90s on the PHL to ATL route) or at least newly retrofitted interiors, and most have power and IFE (again, except the occasional MD-90). Worth getting up an hour earlier (or home an hour later) in my book.

  4. So, per Airways Magazine, we can cross off one of the above questions I asked!

    They wrote:

    “The refurbished 767-400(ER) will offer a four-class configuration with 34 Delta One seats, 20 Delta Premium Select, 28 Delta Comfort+, and 156 Main Cabin seats.”

    Alas, no info re widths or pitch, though in the Airways article.

  5. It’s probably noteworthy to mention that not only will this fleet feature a refreshed Delta One product, but it’s also the latest to feature all four branded classes of service, including for the first time on a Delta 767, Delta Premium Select (while maintaining a Comfort+ cabin as well).

  6. Boston-Heathrow hasn’t been a big winner in terms of LF, but apparently it does very well up front where these new seats will be a big draw. The jury is still out on whether JetBlue will gain access to Heathrow or be shunted off to another nearby field. But the BOS-LON market overall will be fascinating to watch two years hence.

  7. The new DL 764 seats look like the the seats on refurbished MU A330s.

    These seats will also be on DL 763s when those seats are replaced in the next couple of years per DL CEO.

  8. @john: MU refurbished A330 uses Thompson Vantage XL, the same seat used for Delta One with doors. And Qantas, LATAM, SAS etc. the Delta 764 business is an ordinary Thompson Vantage as found on board Swiss B777.

  9. Updating from earlier, and per info seen using Delta’s official app:

    For:

    Delta One Cabin:

    4-abreast (1-2-1)
    Width: 20” (51cm)
    Bed length: 77” (196 cm)

    Delta Two (aka Premium Select):

    6-abreast (2-2-2) akin to OG 767 domestic “1st class” when they were commonly flown ATL-LGA; ATL-MIA; LGA-PBI; ORD-BOS; ORD-EWR, etc., three rows plus a “half row” of two center seats.

    Obviously, for those who find Delta One too pricey, in this cabin, there’s NO middle seat at all, with just window-aisle pairs on either side, and two middle seats that offer a “poor man’s/woman’s” version of all aisle access! 😉

    Personally, I’d find this configuration ideal for most long hauls, especially daytime flights, when considering:

    Width: 19” (38 cm)
    Pitch: 38” (97 cm)

    Moving further back to Delta Three (aka Comfort+):

    Standard 7-abreast (2-3-2) configuration.

    The good news is width increased to 18.1” from 17.9” – as indicated on official Delta seatmap, that is.

    Whether this is an actual increase, or a mirage/phantom increase by using different points of measurement, or slimming down the armrests to even skinnier toothpicks than they’ve already become on some other aircraft models, is unknown at this time!

    Of course, since this is a “good news/bad news” discussion, the bad news is row pitch is reduced by ONE inch to 34” from 35”.

    Finally, Delta Four (aka Steerage/Main Cabin):

    Standard 7-abreast (2-3-2) at 31” (changed from 31”-32”)

    Frankly, even at all of 5’8” (and my partner, who’s 5’4” feels the same way), we found 31” aboard an Aer Lingus A330 a few years ago for 6 hours JFK-DUB extremely uncomfortable, and since then flat out refuse to sit in seats with 31” pitch for flights longer than 3-hours.

    For me, it’s a matter of comfort; for him it’s a necessity as he had Polio as a young child, has reduced mobility for his left leg, and the seat on that Aer Lingus flight was extremely unpleasant for him as he could NOT find any position that was even remotely comfortable.

    For Delta Four, the seat widths are the same as Delta Three (discusses above).

    As to the reduction of capacity in Delta One by one row from 10 to nine, this is due to the elimination of the two rear lavatories in the “old” Delta One configuration that are behind L2/R2 doors, with one lav moved ahead of door R2, and the other way upfront by door L1 for that cabin.

    This was done to allow for Delta Two to have seats where the pair of Delta One lavs used to be.

    Cheers!

  10. Guys, this is a fantastic new seat upgrade which removes the narrow CTR footwell giving it the same space as SGL Seats.

  11. I have a big problem with this because the 6 less seats will make using miles or global upgrade certificates harder, at least a confirmed upgrade before check-in. There is nothing worse than waiting and waiting to boarding not to know if you got the upgrade.

  12. @Tjump, Yes, Vantage and Vantage XL are pretty similar seats. The key is the new DL 764 and 763 seats will be a marked improvement over the current ones. There will be a bit of secure storage and you won’t have to take everything off the console to open the tray table. The new seats also lack the extremely narrow entrance and overall claustrophobic feel of existing DL 767 business class seats. Plus they look better and no doubt will dump the existing antiquated IFE for a system in keeping with the current state of the art. I’m looking forward to trying them.

  13. It is a nice seat that lacks a door but decent nonetheless. Thankfully the upholstery looks nice as the biggest qualm I had about the old delta one seats both on the 767 and 777 is that the old blue leather upholstery looks so dated and out of style, a throwback to tacky 70s car booths. Yuck.

    At least this will be direct aisle access versus emirates which makes no sense at 7 across.

  14. just flew Delta One to Tokyo on 777 from MSP. The new seats with closing doors were fantastic. I am 6’2″ and plenty of leg room to lay flat. Great new Menu as was the one from LHR to BOSTON last week. Menu is getting better.

  15. @Tommy,

    Yes, Delta One seats on the 764 are narrower than on ALL other Delta wide bodies, as of course, the fuselage is considerably narrower than Airbus A330s, A350s & Boeing 777s; while bed lengths often, but NOT always, are shorter on the 764 vs Delta’s other wide bodies, with some bed lengths on the airline’s new Airbus A330-900neos (339) & A350-900s (359) apparently one inch LESS than the 764s, as summarized below:

    For 772/77L, width is 22”-24” (56-61 cm) vs 20” (51 cm) on 764 & bed length is 77”-78” (196-198 cm) vs 77” (196 cm) on 764.

    Clearly, 2”-4” inches difference in width is considerable!

    For Airbus A330s (332 & 333s), width is 21” (53 cm) vs 20” (51 cm) on the 764, for a difference of 1” (2.54 cm) less on the 764 & length is 80” (203 cm) vs 77” (196 cm) on the 764 for a difference of 3” (7.62 cm) LESS bed length on the 764

    For Airbus A350-900 (359), width is 22”-24” (55-60 cm; as to why this 22”-24” is reported at 1 cm less than the dimensions provided by Delta for its Boeing 777s, I cannot explain the variance of 1 cm, and if it has any meaningful impact or not) vs 20” (51
    cm) for the 764.

    As with the Boeing 777s, a difference of 2”-4” inches width for the 359 vs 764 is considerable.

    Meanwhile, the bed length for 359 is 76”-81” (193-205 cm) vs 77” (196 cm) for the 764.

    Finally, there’s Delta’s brand new & soon-to-enter scheduled service, Airbus A330-900neos, which if the measurements shown on its app are correct (big “IF”), then this would be the most generous of all among Delta’s wide bodies at 29” (73.66 cm).

    However, for the chart found using the Delta app, the width shown in centimeters is 53, so unless the “too good to be true” sounding 29” actually is true (doubtful), I’d go with the 53 cm as being correct, which comes to 20.8” for the width on the 339s vs 20” (51 cm) on the 764.

    Meanwhile, bed length on the 339 is identical to the 359s, ranging between 76”-81” (193-205 cm) vs 77” (196 cm) for the 764.

    Again, these dimensions were sourced from information shown using the Delta App (for iOS/iPhone), and with the exception of the discrepancy for the 29” /53 cm widths shown for the Airbus A330-900neo (339) on the charts available on the date the research was completed, June 23rd 2019, is presumed to be correct.

  16. Question- is it really worth $6,600 to fly from JFK to LHR?? I mean Delta must be pretty proud of their service, food, and seats to charge that! I can get from Texas to Africa via LHR in BA First for that.

    Why on earth would I pay that much for Delta’s sub-par seat on a 767? I’d argue I wouldn’t even pay it for their Delta One Suite, mostly since row 2 on BA First is just as private, more exclusive than Delta One and has way better soft product. And I am not even a BA/AA person! I keep wanting a reason to leave United for Delta but I can’t see it. Why are US carriers so BAD?

  17. I saw an article about this in this afternoon’s Atlanta Business Chronicle email newsletter. According to that article, one of the routes getting these aircraft come November is ATL-BRU. I am booked on this flight at a point after the potential swap, so I logged into my Delta account and it appears that they now have a 767-400 on this route as of late November. I can’t say that it will be a reconfigured aircraft, but, looking at Seatguru, the aircraft – now labeled on Delta.com as simply “767” – has ten rows of Delta One. When I booked, I had my wife and in seats 5D and 6D but I am now assigned to 7D which further suggests an equipment change. I have taken this flight each of the last two years and both times it was a 767-300ER and I am nearly certain it was a 767-300ER when I booked it.

    I am hopeful we get a reconfigured aircraft. Even if the seats are not drastically different, a refreshed interior would be nice. I have not flown on a 767-400 in over a decade, but even in economy, I remember it being a more updated aircraft than the 767-300 (domestic) to start with.

  18. @Lara,

    NYC-London/Heathrow holds the distinction of being the only city pair in the world that itself generates more than $1 billion in revenues per year for the four airlines (AA, BA, DL, UA & VS) that maintain a stranglehold over this market that would make even monopolists blush with envy!

    The route links two of the world’s leading financial and media capitals where bankers, lawyers, celebrities and more shuttle back and forth in premium cabins the way most others in NYC and London take the Subway or Underground, respectively.

    So, with Heathrow virtually impenetrable until whenever, IF ever, it adds a third runway, and the trans-Atlantic featuring one of tightest grips of the industry’s cartel that are the three spectacularly oligopolistic “alliances” (oneworld, SkyTeam & Star), well, then, $6,600 one way fares for the mediocre biz class product on any of those airlines, is hardly surprising.

    In fact, THAT’s exactly as one would expect in markets where bona fide competition doesn’t really exist anymore!

    E-X-A-C-T-L-Y!

  19. @Frank,

    Agree 100%!

    Thanks for noting that – total brain fart on my part 😉

    And BA/AA & DL/VS have such a stranglehold between the two of them, and the market is so lucrative overall that there’s more than enough to go around for these three oligopolists, that United, instead of taking borrowing a page from Avis, perennial also ran to Hertz Rent-a-Car back in the day, and positioning itself as the underdog that “tries harder” in an effort to win over those wedded to its much larger competitor, by actually attempting to take on the dual behemoths that since forming their respective anti-competitive, price fixing, capacity fixing, schedule colluding cartel/duopoly – aka anti-trust immunized, “joint venture” alliances, has decided instead to become a more “upscale” (I know, an oxymoron of sorts seeing as this is United, after all!), premium cabin, “boutique”-like airline that is converting a sub fleet of Boeing 767-300ERs into super low density, “super high J” configurations – just as BA did for the last 18 or so 747-400s it’s holding onto until the legendary, beloved & iconic “Queen’s” 50+ years’ reign at BA finally comes to an end in 2024 [sidebar: sniff, sniff 🙁 ]

    If this cozy arrangement among these three airlines, where two of the world’s largest airlines turn their aircraft into flying living rooms for half or more of the available cabin space, with BA’s 744s having almost as many premium class seats (130) as there are in economy (145), for a total of 275 seats in an era when 744s packed with 100 and more seats than that are deemed economically obsolete, while over at United, who knows this route is so lucrative and there’s more than enough for all of us if we all play nice together, that instead of leveraging its fortress hub at Newark Airport by laying on a fleet of high capacity 777s using the same scarce slots that it’s using for its 167 seat 763s that have 44 Polaris suites, 22 Premium Economy seats, 43 Economy Plus seats, and just 56 plain old steerage/main cabin seats with miserly 31” row pitch (or 99 total Y seats when including E+) doesn’t scream “Hot dang! You better believe we’re a cozy, oligopolistic, cartel – and we KNOW IT!” then nothing will!

    Yes, it really is true: “Oligopolies are great!” – said NO ONE except the oligopolists themselves who know they have their respective governments’ blessings to legally collude in fixing prices; fixing inventory/capacities of the aircraft flown; and colluding on the schedules of who flies what & when, as BA/AA, DL/VS & their fellow cartel member “third wheel” tag along who plays its “play along to get along” role in the world’s only $1+ billion per year “sandbox” exceptionally well.

    I’ve said this a few times in recent weeks and months, but more and more these anti-trust immunized joint venture alliances are showing their true colors as little more than an excuse to carve up the world’s skies among just three airline groups that then become predominant on certain routes and to/from certain regions who then do as all monopolists do – charge outrageous sums of money for mediocre, at best, and more often the worst possible quality they think they can get away with (sounds familiar, while strapped into a 17” wide seat in a 31” pitch row, eh?) or as @Lara noted above, charging $6,600 one-way for a so-so seat aboard a 20 years old (or in BA’s & UA’s case, even older) aircraft where they all offer mediocre service that’s half as good as their service was when the actually had to compete against each other – instead of legally collude with each other as they do now.

    Just sayin’

  20. @ Howard Miller

    Maybe I’m much luckier than you, but I just searched for BA J class flights (LHR-JFK return) on 3 random dates in the next few months, and they’re all coming out at £3-3,500 ($4-4,600) — or roughly $2,000 less than you’re quoting.

    I know BA is almost always significantly cheaper than the US airlines, but in a world of JVs they should be the same sort of price. (In contrast, last week I got quoted for a September J class JFK-SFO return £3,300 on BA versus, wait for it, £7,200 on UA!)

    Are you sure you’re not exaggerating the fake facts a wee bit to make your rant seem more solid?

    Actually, I’m interested to see if BA’s aggressive pricing drifts upwards when the new Club Suite becomes widespread.

  21. @The Nice Paul,

    The $6,600 fare cited as an example in my comments above was based on the $6,603.70 one way fare shown in the screenshot featured prominently in the author’s blog post above.

    Nothing more & nothing less.

    It was NOT based on a random guess, nor was it intended to exaggerate anything to prove a point.

    It was simply taken in the context of the information as it was provided in this post by the author, and as a follow-up to comments posted by another reader.

    While fares can, and will vary, depending on dates of travel, and other factors such as dynamic pricing algorithms, with some dates/flights lower or higher than the $6,603.70 fare used in the example by the author of the blog post (Lucky), generally speaking, airfares for premium classes between NYC-LHR very often are exceptionally high when compared to flights of comparable, or even much greater, distances.

  22. @Matty
    I agree… while it might be nice to score a free/miles/points upgrade every once on a while, I start planning a vacation with the idea that I am paying for it. For one thing, the uncertainty of waiting for an upgrade would drive me up the wall… Besides, at least vacation travelling is supposed to be a way to relax and unwind, not be upset, stress out and regret!

  23. @Lara’s comment saying:
    “I keep wanting a reason to leave United for Delta but I can’t see it.”

    I actually caught myself sitting here, staring at this comment, my jaw hanging wide open and my eyes an inch or two out of their socket!!!

    WOW…

    I would not fly United if they paid me… The only thing going for United happens to be some of its Star Alliance partners rate fairly well But that sh/would lead to an alliance comparison (in which case, it is my opinion that SkyTeam would lose), not one of individual airlines!!!

    UNITED??????

    RUeffingKM????

  24. I booked my flight to BCN this year and I just found out the Delta One seats are the old ones! I am so disappointed in this as the monitor is old and small and the seats are pretty much sitting on plastic. I just flew 1st class to Hawaii with Delta on their 1st class and nothing 1st class about the food and seats!

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