Delta’s Inferior “New” Airbus A350s

Delta’s Inferior “New” Airbus A350s

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Delta Air Lines will soon be expanding its Airbus A350 fleet, but don’t expect Delta’s typical onboard product. While we first learned about this in mid-March, Delta has just moved forward the timeline for putting these planes into service.

Delta acquiring former LATAM Airbus A350s

Delta will shortly start the process of acquiring nine Airbus A350-900s that used to fly for LATAM. In 2019 it was announced that Delta would invest in LATAM, which was a major development at the time. Unfortunately the timing didn’t prove to be great, given the pandemic. In May 2020, LATAM filed for bankruptcy protection due to the pandemic, and as part of that the airline announced it would retire its entire A350 fleet.

Delta made the decision to pick up nine used LATAM Airbus A350s, given that these jets are still fairly new, and presumably the Atlanta-based carrier got a great deal on them. Furthermore, with Delta having retired its entire Boeing 777 fleet during the pandemic, the airline could use some more A350s, which are now Delta’s flagship long haul aircraft.

Delta is expanding its Airbus A350-900 fleet

As of the summer of 2022, Delta will put its first three of nine LATAM A350s into service, and we can expect them to operate the following routes:

  • Atlanta (ATL) to Santiago (SCL) as of June 7, 2022
  • Atlanta (ATL) to Los Angeles (LAX) as of July 1, 2022
  • Atlanta (ATL) to Dublin (DUB) as of August 1, 2022

More routes will follow, but those will be the first routes to get these planes.

Former LATAM A350s won’t feature standard Delta product

When Delta puts these former LATAM A350s into service, they won’t feature Delta’s signature A350 cabins, but rather will maintain the former LATAM cabins. Delta usually cares a lot about product consistency, so it’s interesting to see this development.

Just to compare the two products, Delta’s A350-900s feature 306 seats, including:

  • 32 business class seats with doors, in a 1-2-1 configuration
  • 48 premium economy seats, in a 2-4-2 configuration
  • 226 economy seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration
Delta’s Airbus A350-900 business class

Meanwhile the former LATAM A350-900s feature 339 seats, including:

  • 30 business class seats, in a 2-2-2 configuration
  • 63 extra legroom economy seats (not premium economy), in a 3-3-3 configuration
  • 246 economy seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration
LATAM’s Boeing 787 business class (similar to A350 product)

As you can see, these former LATAM jets:

  • Won’t feature direct aisle access from every business class seat
  • Won’t feature premium economy
  • Won’t feature Wi-Fi connectivity

It’s wild to think that a flight between Atlanta and Los Angeles on Delta won’t feature Wi-Fi in the summer of 2022. Then again, perhaps that’s just a nice reminder of how far aviation has come in the past decade, that this is now a standard expectation. 😉

From Delta’s perspective, one benefit is that these jets have more capacity.

Bottom line

In the coming months, Delta will start integrating former LATAM A350s into its fleet. The airline will eventually acquire nine of these, with three entering service this summer.

While the additional capacity is good news, it’s disappointing to see that these planes will feature LATAM’s original cabins. This is a huge downgrade for business class passengers, there will be no premium economy cabin, and there will be no Wi-Fi.

Eventually these planes should be reconfigured to match up with Delta’s typical A350 product, though the timeline for that remains to be seen.

What do you make of Delta’s approach to putting former LATAM A350s into service?

(Tip of the hat to Zach Griff)

Conversations (103)
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  1. Kevin Guest

    Here is the slight for Delta customers (NOT LATAM customers): The equipment from US to SCL and vice versa on Delta was A330s. 1x2x1 configuration and Premium Select.

  2. Sergio Guest

    The 63 extra-legroom economy seats gave 35 legroom, which is awesome for a guy suffering cramps like me. So I think it will be very good for those who want to travel in economy + and have a good flight. And in the 350, say no more. For the business class, it is perfect for families in my opinion and while it has a bed for sleep, no problem at all.

  3. JorgeGeorge Paez⁶ Guest

    So is there IFE?

    1. Sergio Guest

      yes, and The 63 extra-legroom+ economy seats that gave 35 legroon.

  4. Bruno Guest

    Like everything touches, it turns to s..t!

  5. Maxpower Guest

    I don't think I've ever seen Tim Dunn so madly trying to defend Delta as on this thread. lol So much for "all aisle access on all Widebody overseas flights", huh tim?
    Wow, it's like Delta's business class product just jumped back to 2014.

    https://news.delta.com/delta-becomes-only-us-carrier-full-flat-bed-seats-featuring-direct-aisle-access-all-widebody

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      and yet not a single soul has been able to say how "they" have been short-changed when Delta is publishing the seating chart for those aircraft on the routes they say they will operate.
      How is this configuration any different than United's 787s which are STILL in 6 abreast no-direct aisle access or ANY of AA or UA's 787s or 777s that have narrower seats in economy than ANY aircraft in DL's entire international widebody fleet?

    2. Maxpower Guest

      Go back to bed.
      You really want to go down the seat width path when every aa J seat is wider than the new “nice” Delta a350 suite?
      No one is saying delta doesn’t have seat maps. They’re saying delta is the one crowing about all aisle access since 2014 and this latest inferior J product is pretty bad.
      Calm down, Tim. Step away from your keyboard. You don’t have to drink...

      Go back to bed.
      You really want to go down the seat width path when every aa J seat is wider than the new “nice” Delta a350 suite?
      No one is saying delta doesn’t have seat maps. They’re saying delta is the one crowing about all aisle access since 2014 and this latest inferior J product is pretty bad.
      Calm down, Tim. Step away from your keyboard. You don’t have to drink the Passport Plum koolaid all the time.
      Delta has known about these planes coming since 2019. The “can’t order the seats in time” argument is lame.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      You stayed up all night to post that?
      The fact is that not a single airline has an entirely consistent premium product.
      Delta IS converting some of the used Latam A350s to its "standard" configuration BEFORE they enter service. It was never realistic that all of the aircraft would get new cabins before all entered service.
      Delta has specifically noted the routes these non-standard A350s will fly and, ONLY until they start...

      You stayed up all night to post that?
      The fact is that not a single airline has an entirely consistent premium product.
      Delta IS converting some of the used Latam A350s to its "standard" configuration BEFORE they enter service. It was never realistic that all of the aircraft would get new cabins before all entered service.
      Delta has specifically noted the routes these non-standard A350s will fly and, ONLY until they start flying routes where the standard A350 configuration has been sold has anyone been "harmed"
      Your real gripe is that American and United can't ever fix the much narrower seat which AA and UA have chosen in economy on ALL of their 787s and 777s - and I and others have noted that the majority of customers fly in economy, not in the most forward cabin on any aircraft. AA and UA have an inferior product for the MAJORITY of customers on ALL of their fleet.

      And AA and UA continue to lose money and burn cash while DL is already profitable according to their earnings release which just came out.

      As much as you, Ben and others want to "harp" on Delta's used A350 configurations, Delta is running a better business than any other global airline in the world.

      Get back to us after the earnings season has completed and let us know if that isn't the case.

    4. Maxpower Guest

      Deflect deflect when he has nothing of value to add or at all loss with words. Standard Tim
      Ignore the actual subject of business class all aisle access and business class seat width. No one is talking about economy but you. The article is about business class. The topic here is about widebody consistency. You want to bring up seat width. Fine. Delta chose to have an a350 business class suite narrower than every...

      Deflect deflect when he has nothing of value to add or at all loss with words. Standard Tim
      Ignore the actual subject of business class all aisle access and business class seat width. No one is talking about economy but you. The article is about business class. The topic here is about widebody consistency. You want to bring up seat width. Fine. Delta chose to have an a350 business class suite narrower than every J seat at AA. Delta is choosing to provide an inferior business class product to Latin America and Europe than their own supposed standards they’ve been bragging about since 2014.

      Go back to bed, Tim. Your commentary is even more ridiculous than usual.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      The only deflection is on your part in failing to admit that United has accepted not having all aisle (not the spelling, please) on a much higher percentage of its international fleet than 3 A350s is to Delta.
      And the majority of passengers travel in coach and the experience is PERMANENTLY inferior on AA and UA compared to any aircraft in DL's fleet.
      Those are facts which you don't want to hear and argue incessantly to deflect from.

    6. lkmk Guest

      Are you Tim Dunn the BBC presenter?

    7. XPL Gold

      Tim is giving us Delta's perspective, which is useful. Whether you agree with Delta or not, knowing the *why* is never bad, and surely you didn't expect Delta to say "we did it because we think it is stupid".

      Speaking only for myself, I find industry perspective -- even when I disagree -- to be very interesting. I wish we had more, and not fewer, industry insiders sharing their perspectives in the comments regardless of the hyperventilation that follows.

  6. NK3 New Member

    The business class seats are a massive step down from the D1 suites. But as a Diamond Medallion, I am happy to see more planes without Premium Economy. The Global Upgrades certs were majorly devalued last year, with only a guaranteed one cabin upgrade (when available). So if you are trying to avoid paying for PE when using the certs and want to lock in a lie flat seat, the main GUC options are:
    ...

    The business class seats are a massive step down from the D1 suites. But as a Diamond Medallion, I am happy to see more planes without Premium Economy. The Global Upgrades certs were majorly devalued last year, with only a guaranteed one cabin upgrade (when available). So if you are trying to avoid paying for PE when using the certs and want to lock in a lie flat seat, the main GUC options are:
    1. Find a decent route where the Delta aircraft does not have PE (& D1 is available with GUC). This often means a 767-300 with a terrible hard product (yes, direct aisle access from every seat, but these LATAM seats might be more comfortable if traveling with someone).
    2. Use the cert on KLM (pending availability). About 70% of their planes are 2-2-2 in business class (777 & A330).
    With multiple GUCs to use up, we have done both of the above. I am happy to have more options. Using the cert for a less than ideal business class seat is still better than using it for an upgrade to Premium Economy, IMO.

  7. Tom Guest

    I wish Delta would work on restoring its pre-Covid Delta One soft product - better meals inacluding appetizer and cheese plate , decent amenity kits including (now eliminated socks (versus the awkward "greenwashing cheap kit they are offering in April 2022)., real menu cards instead of a cheap paper product that requires access via a phone scan.

    The seats look perfectly fine until Delta refurbishes those cabins.

    1. JorgeGeorge Paez⁶ Guest

      No cheese plate! The horror!

    2. stogieguy7 Diamond

      Yes, your comment seems funny. But it overlooks the fact that the pax pay a lot of money (either via the earning of points/status or directly for the fare) in order to be in that cabin. So yes, DL is shortchanging them as the product is not going to be as advertised on these aircraft.

  8. Bear Guest

    It would be nice if they use these 350's on domestic or trans continental flights until they are concerted to Delta One.

    1. AA70 Member

      I could see it being used on routes like ATL-SLC replacing the 330 that usually operates that. Don’t believe this would be competitive for actual transcons like JFK-LAX going up against United Polaris or American Flagship First

  9. Happy Flyer Member

    Delta has a consistent product and standard thus they should stick to it. They knew they were getting these planes when they took a share of LATAM. That was enough time to order the seat and galley sets. Do it right the first time, it saves time and money in the long run.

    1. Donna Diamond

      Exactly! And it also saves the brand!

    2. JorgeGeorge Paez⁶ Guest

      I think because of the unexpected bankruptcy then they got planes.....

  10. Donna Diamond

    When you pay to rent a Mercedes and end up with a VW, when you prepay for a room at the Ritz Carlton and receive a walk down to the Holiday Inn…

    I don’t want to pay DL International Business Class prices and receive an inferior seat. I am a solo traveler and I’m paying for the privilege of being “distanced” from other passengers. I expect the airline to deliver on that promise. If they...

    When you pay to rent a Mercedes and end up with a VW, when you prepay for a room at the Ritz Carlton and receive a walk down to the Holiday Inn…

    I don’t want to pay DL International Business Class prices and receive an inferior seat. I am a solo traveler and I’m paying for the privilege of being “distanced” from other passengers. I expect the airline to deliver on that promise. If they will not or cannot, then I expect a refund or lower prices when I make the reservation. Even though they can legally switch your aircraft to this hot mess, why take the chance? Just fly another carrier until DL updates this antique.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you do realize that Delta is using these aircraft only on designated routes and the seat maps that are available on Delta.com for the routes they say those planes will fly reflect the Latam and not primary Delta configuration.
      Can you tell us how you have been slighted?

    2. JorgeGeorge Paez⁶ Guest

      Thank you Tim Dunn!

  11. XPL Gold

    I've flown LATAM, I've sat in those seats, and their product is fine. I'm not sure what the whiners' problem is or if they have even tried them.

    1. JorgeGeorge Paez Guest

      If only they could import the foreign FA's along with the planes.....

  12. DesertGhost Guest

    When did it become a crime for airlines to have differently configured aircraft when the situation warrants it? United has widebodies in domestic configurations, as do ANA and JAL in Japan. Sometimes, long-haul markets warrant different configurations. Why can't airlines tailor their offerings to suit the market? There's a balance between total conformity and having the right aircraft for specific missions. Each airline achieves that differently.

    1. Bob Guest

      I don't think anyone alluded it's a crime or its a disaster. I think lucky said it was interesting that they strayed from their usual consistency and I would agree. It's like seeing a starbucks with their logo not in white and green which is rare but I have seen. Makes me wonder why and if there was something interesting going on. That's it. Very innocent. not like it's time to dump their stock.

  13. Jake Guest

    Has Delta ‘recycled’ the seats from their retired 777s?

  14. Regis Guest

    Mu last flight on this aircraft, in business, my seatmate deciced to remove his shoes and socks and expose his soiled feet, untrimed amd fungus infected nails to me the whole flight. Totally gross. It was not the premium experience I paid for. So yes, these seats are inferior that they don't protect you against passengers seated next to you ruining your flight experience.

  15. Anon Guest

    The World is at WAR
    CHAOS

    not good for any economy and much less airlines and or confidence!

  16. Jim Guest

    None of these A350s are flying on routes that A350s would normally fly. They're flying on tourism routes (Dublin, Santiago) that would usually have an non-Delta One suite cabin.

    This is hardly the big downgrade that people are making it out to be.

    1. Leigh Member

      I have been to Santiago many times for work....and never considered it a tourist destination (though I have enjoyed nearby wine regions in between meetings:) Along with SAO, it's the commercial center of SoAm. Certainly agree with you about DUB, and also that some of these comments are overly dramatic.

  17. Nosa Guest

    Traveling with young kids, I appreciate this type of business seats a lot.

  18. William Guest

    Surprised they’re not using for Hawaii flights, like United used to do with the high-density 777s

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      You do realize that United is expected to burn $6 billion in cash this year while Delta is expected to be cash positive even in the first quarter? Following others is not always the best thing to do.

    2. William Guest

      UAs financial problems don’t have anything to do with their choice of Hawaiian aircraft - using the high-density configuration on tourist-heavy flights where the customers aren’t picky is probably one of the wisest business decisions the Tulip has made, and the only reason they haven’t flown them lately is because one of the birds had a meltdown and the whole fleet of hi-d 777s had to be grounded; I believe they’re coming back soon. If...

      UAs financial problems don’t have anything to do with their choice of Hawaiian aircraft - using the high-density configuration on tourist-heavy flights where the customers aren’t picky is probably one of the wisest business decisions the Tulip has made, and the only reason they haven’t flown them lately is because one of the birds had a meltdown and the whole fleet of hi-d 777s had to be grounded; I believe they’re coming back soon. If anything, the lack of those planes has hurt UAs bottom line, and they’ll be glad to have them back.

      If I had said, “Why doesn’t Delta have a massive contingent of surly FAs to get on passengers’ last nerves like United does,” then you’d have a point…

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I can't (or won't) calculate United's performance on its Hawaii network using 777-200s - but UA has the largest aircraft (most seats) with the Hawaiian/Domestic 777-200s (yes, grounded for now). And yet United has the smallest fleet on the rest of its domestic network due to the high percentage of RJs. So the Hawaiian and RJ combination in itself is puzzling. A plane as large as the domestic 777-200 moves masses of people which tends...

      I can't (or won't) calculate United's performance on its Hawaii network using 777-200s - but UA has the largest aircraft (most seats) with the Hawaiian/Domestic 777-200s (yes, grounded for now). And yet United has the smallest fleet on the rest of its domestic network due to the high percentage of RJs. So the Hawaiian and RJ combination in itself is puzzling. A plane as large as the domestic 777-200 moves masses of people which tends to push down yields. Every other airline uses narrowbodies to Hawaii except where widebodies are needed for range.

      The point is not United's Hawaii 777s but UA's larger fleet and network strategy. UA clearly isn't going to burn $6 billion in cash just on Hawaii - let alone with its 777 fleet to Hawaii.

      There is clearly a big difference between what UA and other carriers - even AA - is willing to do given that no carrier is expected to burn as much cash as UA this year.

      Ghost did sum it nicely above. Airlines do come up w/ different strategies. DL clearly bought the Latam subfleet of A350s for the long term and long haul. They will be reconfigured and operated on routes where they are intended to fly - not just to Ireland or S. America.
      Until then, the product for the vast majority of passengers that will fly on it (ie those in coach) is not substantially different than other Delta widebodies and every seat on the A350 (either Delta or Latam configuration) is more spacious than on either AA or UA's 787s or 777s in coach.

      As others have noted, there isn't even universal agreement that the DL 2X2X2 business configuration is "bad" even if it is not in line with what DL has on other widebodies.

  19. Jack Sean Guest

    The LATAM A350 seats are great! Stop complaining about First World Problems.

  20. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Delta should have never retired its 777s.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Since the B777-200ER/LR burns $20,000 more in fuel on a transatlantic flight and $40,000 or more on a flight to Asia, Australia or S. Africa, I doubt that Delta is regretting anything right now.
      The real regret is undoubtedly from American and United that still have scores of 777s in both sizes even as both not only have the lowest fuel efficiency among US airlines while Delta's 7.5% more fuel efficient fleet saves literally...

      Since the B777-200ER/LR burns $20,000 more in fuel on a transatlantic flight and $40,000 or more on a flight to Asia, Australia or S. Africa, I doubt that Delta is regretting anything right now.
      The real regret is undoubtedly from American and United that still have scores of 777s in both sizes even as both not only have the lowest fuel efficiency among US airlines while Delta's 7.5% more fuel efficient fleet saves literally hundreds of millions of dollars per year - and that is before the fuel cost difference that Delta has because of the refinery. We will know more within a couple weeks as all carriers report how large that benefit will be but in the 2nd half of 2021, Delta paid 25 cents/gallon less than American and United. When you burn over 3 billion gallons per year, those differences add up very fast. Getting rid of the 777s was a big reason why Delta's fuel efficiency jumped so dramatically. Fuel efficiency matters the most on long haul flights.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @Tim Dunn

      Unless you Art 101 teacher is teaching your Finance 101.

      It doesn't matter if it burns $20k or $40k in costs. As long as it's profitable it should be flying. The problem is still can Delta sell enough seats to offset the rising cost. Not because it is more efficient.

      An analogy to your logic, Delta should retire everything except the A220 because it's more efficient?

      There is really @Never In Doubt about you comments, LOL.

  21. BA from BWI Guest

    "Delta usually cares a lot about product consistency, so it’s interesting to see this development."
    I don't think this is true - almost every delta wide-body has a different business class product. Delta One on A350s, old A330s, new A330s, 767s - are all different products.

  22. stogieguy7 Diamond

    This is also illustrative of why LATAM hasn't been as successful as it could have been with a better product. Ordering A350s with a configuration more befitting of a first-gen A330 or an old A300? No wifi? Come on, these planes aren't that old. Not like LATAM's ancient 767s that they still fly to SCL. Or way too many of their A320 series aircraft.

    Ever since LAN Chile got involved with TAM it's been all downhill.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      except these WERE TAM's aircraft. They are configured the way TAM ordered them. Latam is trying to undo the mess that was TAM's fleet.

      And, if it weren't for Delta's interest in building a relationship with Latam, they might not have been able to get rid of these planes and put new interiors on them, even if SOME of the aircraft take 3-5 years. And some of the ex-Latam A350s will get new interiors like...

      except these WERE TAM's aircraft. They are configured the way TAM ordered them. Latam is trying to undo the mess that was TAM's fleet.

      And, if it weren't for Delta's interest in building a relationship with Latam, they might not have been able to get rid of these planes and put new interiors on them, even if SOME of the aircraft take 3-5 years. And some of the ex-Latam A350s will get new interiors like Delta's other A350s before they go into service; it was just a bit much for anyone to expect 9 aircraft to be updated in one year.

      Given that Delta is isolating the aircraft to a couple specific routes, there really is nothing to see here. If the planes start popping up on other routes which were scheduled with Delta's "real and superior" A350s, then there might be something to belly ache about.

    2. stogieguy7 Diamond

      Tim, you'll note the last sentence in my comment regarding how TAM cheapened what was a great airline (LAN Chile). Ever since the merger, the airline's financial condition has been shaky, service has declined, as has the product. And the fact that LATAM sold off all of their A350's while still flying some pretty ancient aircraft was the crux of it. The fact that TAM ordered the A350's is immaterial here, aside from the fact...

      Tim, you'll note the last sentence in my comment regarding how TAM cheapened what was a great airline (LAN Chile). Ever since the merger, the airline's financial condition has been shaky, service has declined, as has the product. And the fact that LATAM sold off all of their A350's while still flying some pretty ancient aircraft was the crux of it. The fact that TAM ordered the A350's is immaterial here, aside from the fact that the configuration is outdated for such an aircraft.

      So, your usual defense of DL here rings hollow. They grabbed a bargain (as usual) and won't even invest in bringing a flagship aircraft up to the same standard as the rest of their A350s. And comparisons with older 767s and 777s flown by other airlines on high density routes are invalid here. This is not the same thing.

  23. George Guest

    The funny thing is that Latam Brazil has retired all of the A350 plus most of the 767 to newer Boeing 789 with the new seats in the 1-2-1 configuration.

  24. Eli Guest

    Ben, maybe you do a post on what Delta’s typical onboard product looks like because I saw a few pictures from friends that traveled with Delta, and all of them look different

    1. AA70 Member

      If I am not mistaken he has reviewed every seat type that Delta offers in the most recent configurations

  25. jcil Guest

    I'm consistently amused by all the folks who whine about these style seats being beneath there very high status, or whatever. How in the world can Delta make you suffer like this--surely they must know who you are???

    Actually, if you were even half as important as you think you are, you would be flying a private charter with the whole plane and staff to cater to your exquisite taste in food and drink. Even...

    I'm consistently amused by all the folks who whine about these style seats being beneath there very high status, or whatever. How in the world can Delta make you suffer like this--surely they must know who you are???

    Actually, if you were even half as important as you think you are, you would be flying a private charter with the whole plane and staff to cater to your exquisite taste in food and drink. Even for long haul over seas flights. Just perhaps a bit of perspective and humility are called for.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Maybe all the folks here (except you @jcil) are flying a private charter with the whole plane and staff to cater to our exquisite taste in food and drink.

      But because we are humble, we complain about commercial airline seats rather than our BBJ.

      Joke's on you.

  26. SMR Guest

    I actually love those seats and hate the stupid :suites: concept. Ill be happy to fly on those, especially when traveling with someone. What a spoiled rotten world we live in when aircraft seats need doors on them.

  27. RetiredATLATC Gold

    LATAM looks a lot like TK's A330's. Miles and miles of legroom.

    1. Baliken Member

      Agreed. And those TK 330s are more comfortable than the 787s, which are very space constrained.

  28. MammothLover Guest

    Seems they are being used a lot on domestic flights this fall, LAX-ATL, MSP-LAX in August....happy to get these upgrades with my RUCs!

  29. Mary B Guest

    i spent an hour on the phone after my "Schedule change" on a fall trip to Dublin.I was ASSURED that it would be a 1-2-1 Suite configuration. now that I found this article, I know that is BS. I will insist on cancellation and refund. NOT WHAT I PURCHASED

    1. Chris Guest

      Not sure where you got the idea of getting a suite, right now both ATL-DUB and JFK-DUB are on A330s which while they do have 1-2-1 are not suites. Dublin is not a market premium enough to be getting the suites treatment.

      No airline will ever guarantee product, equipment swaps happen all the time. I feel like you level your expectations.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      You purchased a ticket that will transport you from your origin to your destination.
      They can assure you will be having the whole plane to your self and Snoop Dog in a 4-2-0 configuration.

      You ended up in a broken seat in a middle seat 3-5-7 config flying full to Dublin. YOU STILL GET EXACTLY WHAT YOU PURCHASED.

  30. Steven E Guest

    One would not be happy getting those seats

  31. FlyerDon Guest

    If war continues in Ukraine and oil stays high I’m not so sure Delta is going to need much more lift. They may have plenty of time to retrofit their “new” aircraft.

  32. Greg Guest

    More vapor ware from Delta which actively gloats about “new interior” on the flight shopping pages. Will they have a “dated interior” flag to warn shoppers and reduce the award price or refund if swapped?

  33. Kiwi_Mackem New Member

    A Covid-wrecked business; fuel at $140 and a shooting war with numerous trade war bush fires. I think lack of direct aisle access worries are a little low down the news agenda.
    This sounds so last decade.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I would have been fine with no direct aisle access last decade. Today would make me think twice about other options I have. Just like how I have avoided EK 777 for the last decade because they take middle seat for granted.

      As a customer, I don't give too much F about the airline side how Covid-wrecked business, fuel price, or war.

      The thing I really need to worry for the airline is, they are...

      I would have been fine with no direct aisle access last decade. Today would make me think twice about other options I have. Just like how I have avoided EK 777 for the last decade because they take middle seat for granted.

      As a customer, I don't give too much F about the airline side how Covid-wrecked business, fuel price, or war.

      The thing I really need to worry for the airline is, they are still flying or I get my refund. If their product sucks, I switch. If it cost too much, I drive or Zoom.

      Let Ed Bastian worry about the A350 or risk loosing business to someone else.

    2. JorgeGeorge Paez⁶ Guest

      You be you big E.....

  34. John Guest

    I appreciate an airline with consistency of hard product. It takes the guesswork out of making a booking. Bad move, Delta. Bad move.

    1. KATA Member

      I mean Delta has never been the most consistent airline with its J seats. Virtually every long-haul Delta jet has a different type of seat...

  35. GringoLoco Gold

    Any chance of lower J redemption rates for DL's inferior product? Like maybe 305,000 SkyPesos (one-way) instead of 310,000 SkyPesos (one-way)?

  36. Happy Flyer Member

    This is not going to be fun. Delta should retrofit right from the beginning. Do it right up front and don't risk loyal customers ire.

  37. DLPTATL Guest

    I just booked DL ATL:LAS R/T on an A330-300. Because of the decrease in demand for business routes, European routes (down more than 10% since Russia's "not a war" started in Ukraine), etc. Delta is using some of their international fleet for their top domestic leisure destinations.

    Based in ATL I'm glad to see more A350s based here as I'd rather sit in a 2/2/2 (with my wife) than direct-aisle on one of the old 767s that used to serve most of the routes out of here.

  38. Doug Guest

    While these aren't exciting cabins, I'm hoping they won't cause too much of a disruption in Delta's network. I do think that Delta already has a problem with "Delta One" meaning too many radically different hard products and this won't help that.
    On the flip side, the proposed routes here were not A-350 routes. They were 767-300 routes, where Delta's hard product is hot garbage. If this improves things slightly on non-premiere routes, they...

    While these aren't exciting cabins, I'm hoping they won't cause too much of a disruption in Delta's network. I do think that Delta already has a problem with "Delta One" meaning too many radically different hard products and this won't help that.
    On the flip side, the proposed routes here were not A-350 routes. They were 767-300 routes, where Delta's hard product is hot garbage. If this improves things slightly on non-premiere routes, they can retrofit them over time (and hopefully push some of those 767-300s off a cliff). They can then build the fleet up with newer aircraft over time.
    Granted, if customers on ATL-CDG or DTW-ICN get these planes as a swap they're going to be furious. If Delta does that though, they'll create a re-booking nightmare as they'll have wiped out their Premium Select sales. All in all, I think they can make this work OK, based on the routes they're picking.

  39. Stuart Guest

    Spent quite a few years flying this on LATAM back and forth to Brazil. It's an awful product when the cabin is full and I pity those with a last minute swap from Delta's signature seat.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      since Delta said 3 aircraft will be used on two routes, neither of which end or begin in Brazil or Asia, you clearly don't have to worry about a thing.
      Ironically one of the 2 routes is to/from Latam's home. Delta is apparently giving the SCL market what it has known for years.

      ATL-DUB, IIRC is summer seasonal.

      I'm still scratching my head trying to understand all of the pearl clutching here.

    2. DLPTATL Gold

      What about the cabin makes it especially bad when full? Just the odds of having a stranger seated next to you?

  40. Donna Diamond

    I will not be buying a J ticket on DL showing any A350 aircraft on any route as long as this substandard product is in use. The potential for switching on premium routes is high. It’s beyond annoying when you’ve paid for a flagship product and a last minute substitution is made with a hugely inferior one.

  41. Jeff Guest

    This isn't too surprising. Fleet overhauls take a really long time. The various supply chain, logistics, and labor issues probably complicate matters further. What is surprising is how eager they are to take on additional wide bodies. While air travel has become much more leisure-oriented, Delta is not one to throw capacity at lower-yielding traffic. Yes, they got rid of (18) 777 in 2020, but they also took delivery of some. With businesses travel down...

    This isn't too surprising. Fleet overhauls take a really long time. The various supply chain, logistics, and labor issues probably complicate matters further. What is surprising is how eager they are to take on additional wide bodies. While air travel has become much more leisure-oriented, Delta is not one to throw capacity at lower-yielding traffic. Yes, they got rid of (18) 777 in 2020, but they also took delivery of some. With businesses travel down and international travel far from hassle-free, I'm surprised they have this much demand this soon for additional wide bodies.

    I just hope that they're transparent about these fleet differences during point-of-sale. I'm also hope they don't casually substitute them at their gateway hubs on the more "premium" routes (e.g. ICN, HND, PVG, PEK/PKX, AMS, CDG, SYD, JNB).

    It's really annoying when a carrier prices their fares to demand for their flagship products but do not necessarily supply that product. For example, while the 777-200ER/LRs were being refurbished, there was a massive difference in product. Or, while the A350 was being launched in 2017, there were last minute equipment changes to the 747-400 despite paying a premium for itineraries with the A350 operating.

  42. Serge Guest

    Actually this is great for Diamond members as global upgrades will clear directly to business class!

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      If there is availability. 32 to 30 business seats is a 2-seat reduction. I'm not going to risk getting stuck in a 3x3x3 economy cabin.

  43. uldguy Diamond

    I’m probably the odd man out, but I actually prefer the LATAM business seat. I love the roomy and open place for my feet and it’s not claustrophobic like the DL One suite with its useless door. Plus the 2-2-2 layout is considerably more roomy than the 2-3-2 configuration some other carriers have in their business class. But then again I can care less about privacy on an airplane.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      How do you fart and itch your crotch with someone next to you? Let alone get up in the middle of the night for booze?

    2. Ralph4878 Guest

      I think I'd prefer these from MSP or ATL to HNL than the older 767-300s with Delta One installed. After flying the A350 in a D1 Suite from ICN to ATL, it's just a joke to call any other lie flat product they have Delta One.

  44. shoeguy Guest

    What's remarkable here is that Delta will sacrifice fleet uniformity, to put those planes into service quickly. Over time, they'll refurbish and retrofit the cabin to the DL standard. Presumably, the capital expense is significant and the time scale to perform nose to tail conversion to the DL standard will be lengthy as these projects typically are. That said, Delta has A330s and 767s that fly with different Delta One cabins and the 763s in...

    What's remarkable here is that Delta will sacrifice fleet uniformity, to put those planes into service quickly. Over time, they'll refurbish and retrofit the cabin to the DL standard. Presumably, the capital expense is significant and the time scale to perform nose to tail conversion to the DL standard will be lengthy as these projects typically are. That said, Delta has A330s and 767s that fly with different Delta One cabins and the 763s in particular. But the whole point here is they're getting some relatively new-ish 350s quickly and presumably cheaper than buying new and tied into their convoluted mess of an investment in LATAM.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      so what is United's excuse for flying 787s in two different configurations YEARS after Polaris was introduced?

      Is it related, perhaps, to the fact that neither Delta or United can get large quantities of seats built on relatively short timelines while STILL buying new aircraft of the same model?

    2. pelican55 Guest

      The excuse is...that the retrofits are done in XMN or HKG... and it takes 45 days to perform this work.. and with the covid drama in China, things have been quite delayed.. Stop the United bashing. SMH.

  45. Tim Dunn Diamond

    I'm not sure why anyone thought that Delta could get 9 shipsets worth of seats and galleys etc delivered on less than one year's notice. They clearly say this is temporary and there is every reason to believe it will take a couple years at most for their cabin supplier to produce these interiors.
    Let's keep in mind that United has had the Polaris product for years but only part of their 787 fleet...

    I'm not sure why anyone thought that Delta could get 9 shipsets worth of seats and galleys etc delivered on less than one year's notice. They clearly say this is temporary and there is every reason to believe it will take a couple years at most for their cabin supplier to produce these interiors.
    Let's keep in mind that United has had the Polaris product for years but only part of their 787 fleet has them.
    If anything Delta is being consistent with the way other airlines reconfigure aircraft with some of them intentionally choosing to maintain different cabin standards. And Delta didn't convert the 777s to the new interior on the same day.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Bingo!

      Note my earlier comment.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      Bunch of crap again Tim. Not throwing China invades Taiwan as a reason this time?

      I'm starting to believe @Never In Doubt is really on to something.

    3. DesertGhost Guest

      With all due respect, it's interesting how you correctly assert that it will take time for Delta to refurbish these A350s when you often tend to imply that United and American should instantly have updated their post-merger fleets. There's no reason not to put these aircraft into service as soon as possible so they can generate revenue instead of sitting idly waiting to be refurbished. Your tone above seems to be a bit critical of...

      With all due respect, it's interesting how you correctly assert that it will take time for Delta to refurbish these A350s when you often tend to imply that United and American should instantly have updated their post-merger fleets. There's no reason not to put these aircraft into service as soon as possible so they can generate revenue instead of sitting idly waiting to be refurbished. Your tone above seems to be a bit critical of United, although it's factually accurate. That rhetoric (along with your constant gloating about Delta's alleged perfection) is why some people think you want to see United and American liquidated, or at least file for Chapter 11 (which really won't help either airline much). You're quite correct in this instance, but the double standards you so often employ are telling.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      YOU and you alone are the only one that INCESSANTLY think that I want to see anyone liquidated.
      if you repeat something often enough, it is STILL false.

      And if you read what I have posted here, you would see that I said that the very reason why Delta will have different types of cabins on its A350s is the same reason that United has different cabins on its B787s - because suppliers cannot...

      YOU and you alone are the only one that INCESSANTLY think that I want to see anyone liquidated.
      if you repeat something often enough, it is STILL false.

      And if you read what I have posted here, you would see that I said that the very reason why Delta will have different types of cabins on its A350s is the same reason that United has different cabins on its B787s - because suppliers cannot build enough seats to replace existing seats - whether they are on UA's B787s that are being retrofitted but owned since new or DL's A350s which are acquired used and nonstandard to Delta.

    5. Donna Diamond

      No one is claiming that United covered itself with glory with its Polaris Cabin retrofit pace. But you’re the Delta Apologist in Chief constantly making claims about their superior operations and fleet while they continue to fly very old 767’s with a poor J hard product on premium routes, routinely charging more than AA and UA who currently offer a superior product on the same routes. Maybe converting these A350 cabins in less than two...

      No one is claiming that United covered itself with glory with its Polaris Cabin retrofit pace. But you’re the Delta Apologist in Chief constantly making claims about their superior operations and fleet while they continue to fly very old 767’s with a poor J hard product on premium routes, routinely charging more than AA and UA who currently offer a superior product on the same routes. Maybe converting these A350 cabins in less than two years is not realistic but what’s their excuse for keeping these 767 clunkers around for the past decade and into the foreseeable future?

    6. AA70 Member

      The issue may be supply and that affects every airline. However if we are going to use United as an example, they are actively refitting their entire fleet (wide and narrowbody) don't forget, to all feature a uniform product. The DL suite is gorgeous, but how is the retrofit of these seats on the 332/333s? Has yet to start. 764s? They get a modified version of the old seat with the same bones, not true...

      The issue may be supply and that affects every airline. However if we are going to use United as an example, they are actively refitting their entire fleet (wide and narrowbody) don't forget, to all feature a uniform product. The DL suite is gorgeous, but how is the retrofit of these seats on the 332/333s? Has yet to start. 764s? They get a modified version of the old seat with the same bones, not true Delta One. 763? Absolutely uncompetitive on some of the markets it serves.

    7. Dave Guest

      At United, only 4 787s have the old business class, and United is actively retrofitting until that number goes down from 4 to 0.

  46. avgeekagent New Member

    Makes sense to get these in service ASAP to meet expected demand. Premium Select is important to DL not only for branding but operationally, and when slack opens up, no question these will get converted.

    As an aside, this blog generates thoughtful and original content frequently. However, when (as it appears here) the post is simply a restatement of somone else's scoop, a postscript hat-tip seems an inadequate attribution, IMHO. The source should be cited...

    Makes sense to get these in service ASAP to meet expected demand. Premium Select is important to DL not only for branding but operationally, and when slack opens up, no question these will get converted.

    As an aside, this blog generates thoughtful and original content frequently. However, when (as it appears here) the post is simply a restatement of somone else's scoop, a postscript hat-tip seems an inadequate attribution, IMHO. The source should be cited and linked in the body of your post.

    1. RT Flyer Guest

      It was. Zach Griff @ The Points Guy.

  47. Mak Guest

    This is a loss in Business Class but I suspect it's a slight gain in economy. I don't have the actual numbers but it always seems to me like LATAM is a bit more generous with legroom than Delta. I do though like Delta's IFE system much somewhat better. LATAM's 787s in Y are similarly slightly better than AA due to legroom (but again slightly inferior IFE system).

  48. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    This is pretty remarkable. Since 2012ish, Delta has had 1x2x1 seating in business on all international aircraft except a handful of old 757s that were used for short flights to Iceland and Ireland. Keeping LATAM's inferior product is a huge downgrade, especially considering what Delta charges for business-class. I will go out of my way to avoid this aircraft type.

    1. Ryan Guest

      Those ex TWA 757s are used on quite a bit more than short haul Ireland. Over the last 5 or so years they’ve operated Brasília, Pisa, Stockholm, Paris, Dakar, Valencia, in addition to several points in the UK and Ireland. Those jets can go for almost 10 hours in the air and fulfill long and thin routes, which is why they’ll be around for a while longer.

  49. Never In Doubt Guest

    In before Tim Dunn tells us that this is, like everything Delta does, actually a smart thing that customers should be happy about.

    1. Ken Guest

      hahahahah you seem to always predict Tim Dunn's reactions with almost 100% accuracy, maybe you are Tim Dunn with a different name

    2. Never In Doubt Guest

      Ken, that would be an interesting long con, but the predictions are as simple as Tim Dunn’s comments are obvious.

  50. Raksiam Guest

    Got stuck on one of those when QR was renting them. Definitely a bummer but the seats are fairly comfortable. Business class was basically empty so I had a pair of seats to myself

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Tim Dunn Diamond

I'm not sure why anyone thought that Delta could get 9 shipsets worth of seats and galleys etc delivered on less than one year's notice. They clearly say this is temporary and there is every reason to believe it will take a couple years at most for their cabin supplier to produce these interiors. Let's keep in mind that United has had the Polaris product for years but only part of their 787 fleet has them. If anything Delta is being consistent with the way other airlines reconfigure aircraft with some of them intentionally choosing to maintain different cabin standards. And Delta didn't convert the 777s to the new interior on the same day.

5
Tim Dunn Diamond

since Delta said 3 aircraft will be used on two routes, neither of which end or begin in Brazil or Asia, you clearly don't have to worry about a thing. Ironically one of the 2 routes is to/from Latam's home. Delta is apparently giving the SCL market what it has known for years. ATL-DUB, IIRC is summer seasonal. I'm still scratching my head trying to understand all of the pearl clutching here.

4
Tim Dunn Diamond

you do realize that Delta is using these aircraft only on designated routes and the seat maps that are available on Delta.com for the routes they say those planes will fly reflect the Latam and not primary Delta configuration. Can you tell us how you have been slighted?

3
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