Delta has filed their initial specifications for the refurbishment of the 777 fleet with the new Delta One Suites and the news is not good. We are talking a huge reduction in business class seats. According the filing the new mods will include:
- 28 Delta One business class seats (down from 37)
- 48 Premium Economy Seats (up from zero)
- 220 Coach seats (compared to 36 C+ and 218 coach)
First things first. Of all the Delta One seats, I dislike the 777 the most so will not be sad to see the seat itself go away. However, a 25% reduction of seats has HUGE implications to just about everyone who flies Delta.
Now we did learn with the introduction of the new Premium Select a.k.a. Premium Economy (PE) seats that Delta Medallion Global Upgrade certs would be valid from coach all the way to Delta One Suites. However, with a 25% reduction in seats they will be even hard than now to use (if that is possible). They can be used to bump you from coach to Premium Economy but they are burned and you would have to use another to go to Delta One Suites (not a good choice).
Is there a plus side to this? I have speculated in the past that PE, that is basically a domestic 1st class seat (almost), will soon be the “new” sweet spot redemption for SkyMiles awards. After all, this seat will be much like the old “World Business Class” seat of years ago when you could get it for 100,000 RT to Europe, for example. With 48 PE seats this will be a good option for many for a 6-8 hour flight.
Also it looks like Delta will stick with 3-3-3 in coach not moving to 10 across as some had feared. This is also good news. Since C+ seats are the same as the rest of coach their going away is not a huge deal to me. As an elite we can still pick exit row seats for leg room etc.
Overall I am disappointed with the huge reduction of Delta One seats. It will make it much harder to score them with GU certs. Also already limited SkyMiles awards in Delta One will be even harder and we already know partner awards, that tend to be wide open, now cost even more.
What do you think of these proposed changes to the Delta 777 fleet? – René
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