Delta Is Flying A Domestic Plane To Iceland This Summer

Delta deserves a lot of credit for what a global network they have. One of their coolest flights which I wish other airlines would operate is their seasonal service between New York and Reykjavik, Iceland. I’m really surprised other airlines haven’t picked it up, since seasonally Iceland is a super-popular destination, and it’s no further from New York than a transcon.

Blue-Lagoon-Iceland
Blue Lagoon Iceland

At this point I think it’s unlikely we’ll see more immediate expansion from US airlines given that WOW Air is starting flights between the US and Iceland, and they have super cheap fares, which will surely drive the prices down.

Anyway, Delta will once again be resuming their seasonal Iceland service this year, which will operate between May 1 and September 27, 2015. Historically the flight has been operated by a Boeing 757-200, featuring Delta’s old BusinessElite recliner seats.

Delta-BusinessElite
Delta’s 757-200 BusinessElite

By this summer they should be done with reconfiguring these planes to feature their new fully flat business class product, which is a huge improvement.

Delta-BusinessElite-1

Delta-BusinessElite-2

However, it looks like Delta will be changing up their equipment on the route this year. During peak season, between June 4 and August 30, 2015, Delta will instead place a Boeing 757-300 on the route.

Delta-First-757
Delta’s 757-300 First Class

The catch is that Delta’s 757-200s feature an international business class product, while their 757-300s are ordinarily only used for domestic service, so feature a standard domestic first class product. This represents a capacity increase of eight seats up front and 55 seats in the back, though we’re talking about a huge reduction in the quality of the first class product here.

Bottom line

I figured I’d post this heads up in case you booked a ticket to Iceland this summer. Many don’t find the premium for business class over economy class to be worth it to begin with, given what a short flight it is. And now it’s even less worthwhile, given that it’s just a domestic first class product.

So I guess more people will be going to Iceland this summer on Delta… just less comfortably.

Comments

  1. Hey Lucky, do you know where I can find a list of which aircrafts will feature Delta’s new biz product and when the changes are taking place?

  2. From what I understand, Delta asked for a second slot to fly two 752s into KEF this summer — one from JFK and one from MSP — but were turned down. When that happened, they added capacity by going to a 753.

  3. Not much different than a red-eye from the west coast…you’re just crossing an ocean rather than land.

  4. Why don’t domestic airlines try flights to the Azores. That distance is about the same as a transcontinental and I think it would be an interesting place to visit.

  5. With just one flight a day, especially if it will be a domestic-configured 753, they should look at running it as a daylight service both ways. They could go JFK-KEF 9:00 – 16:30 and KEF-JFK 20:00 – 22:00. Given that this is Delta’s single routing to KEF, it’s clearly for local traffic primarily, so doesn’t need to coincide with inbound or outbound connecting banks.

  6. @ John F – My opinion, but that is a poor conclusion regarding local vs connecting. Just because the flight is a single frequency doesn’t necessarily mean that the flight is designed to rely on local traffic only. Certain point-to-point markets, sure. But out of a hub, not so much.

  7. This is such a short flight though domestic first class really is sufficient. It’s also not a heavy business route so hard to justify a more expensive / high yield product when competing against cheap fares from wow and icelandair. I was just fine in economy from Boston and the flight only ended up being 4.5 hours of flying time.

  8. I’m flying biz elite with Delta on a 767-300 to LAX from ATL. It features a lie-flat biz product, but I’ve flown a 757 on that same route twice. I’ve also flown their 767-300 transcon. It’s really random.

  9. Also Icelandair’s Saga class is just marginally better than the domestic Delta First so I guess they’re just matching the products

  10. By this Summer, Delta’s B753 fleet (most, if not all) will have gone through a major cabin upgrade. Seats in First are refurbished with new padding and 11 inch monitors, while in the main mabin, brand new seats with individual 9 inch monitors are installed. The IFE system is also upgraded which will have more content and faster operating system. Hence, while the B753 is considered as a domestic product, it should provide a pleasant experience on your way to KEF.

  11. its a lesiure destination thats as far from NYC as LAS or PHX. I can’t say i fault Delta.

    But, Iceland is an amazing country and if prices go down this summer i’d love to make another trip.

  12. A few weeks ago I actually booked a one-way KEF-JFK-YYY C award this summer. For the early August dates I was looking at, Y awards were 65k while a C award was available for 62.5k, i.e. there were only “high” Y awards but a “low” C award. The Y redemption, plus the fuel surcharge for originating outside the US, certainly didn’t make sense compared to just buying a one-way revenue ticket on FI. So I figured I’ll splurge and redeem for C. With the downgrade, this was a bad decision in hindsight, even more so since checking back now,Y awards are available at the 45k level.

  13. @ Reine — I don’t think there’s a published chart anywhere, but if you look at the booking page for a flight it shows the product type. Virtually Delta’s entire longhaul fleet features fully flat beds, though.

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