Delta Introducing Pajamas In Business Class

As of now American is the only US airline to offer their passengers pajamas. American just offers them in international first class, though they’ve announced that they’ll be offering pajamas in business class on their route between Los Angeles and Sydney, which launches on December 17, 2015.

American-Pajamas
American Airlines pajamas

That’s probably because they’re operating the flight as a joint venture with Qantas, and Qantas offers pajamas in business class on their flights.

Qantas-A380-First-Class-15
Qantas pajamas

United doesn’t offer pajamas in first class on any of their flights, while Delta doesn’t either, though they also don’t offer an international first class cabin.

Via Rene’s PointsDelta will begin offering pajamas in Delta One (business class) between Los Angeles and Sydney and Los Angeles and Shanghai as of December 15, 2015. Apparently pajamas will be progressively rolled out on more flights after that, though no exact timeline has been given.

Delta-One-London - 3
Delta One cabin on the 767

I also reached out to Delta earlier in the day to ask if they had any further info, though they just said they “expect to have more to share in the coming weeks.” It sure sounds to me like this might be part of a larger product enhancement.

The two launch routes for pajamas seem random, since they’re not Delta’s longest routes, and arguably not their most premium (at least the Los Angeles to Shanghai flight).

So what’s the explanation for their route choices for pajamas? My guess is that it has to do with the fact that those are two of the only longhaul routes where American, Delta, and United compete head-to-head. They also all fly Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita, though my guess is that this is a market Delta has relatively conceded, given that American and United have joint venture partners also operating the route — namely JAL and ANA, respectively.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall in one of these meetings between the onboard product people and the bean counters. What exactly goes into deciding whether to add pajamas or not? I would assume they cost a few dollars each, so it’s an investment of up to a couple of hundred dollars per flight. Presumably they don’t think pajamas in and of themselves will increase yields, but rather that they’re part of an overall product which they hope people will pay for.

Bottom line

I’m curious to see if Delta ends up rolling these out on all longhaul flights, and if so, if American and United match.

Even though I’m someone who wears pajamas on virtually every longhaul flight, I’m not actually sure I’d offer them if I ran an airline, as they do seem wasteful in many ways. In my experience only some people will change into pajamas, but most of them won’t actually take the pajamas with them off the plane.

So while they’re great marketing if people take them home and use them again, if they’re literally single use pajamas, it’s tough to justify ones which are decent quality while also keeping in mind they’ll only be used once. At the same time if they’re not decent quality, people won’t even wear them once.

Singapore Airlines doesn’t offer amenity kits in business class, which puzzles some, given that they’re considered one of the most premium airlines. But I actually think they’re quite smart, as they simply have all the amenities you could want stocked in the lavatories and galleys. They saw how much kits were being wasted and left behind, and decided based on that it didn’t make sense to hand them out. And I sort of think that makes sense.

Singapore-Amenities
Eyeshades and socks — the extent of the amenities proactively offered on Singapore Airlines

When offered pajamas on planes, do you wear them? And if so, do you take them with you, or just leave them on the plane?

Comments

  1. I love my AF PJs. They’re fairly light though. While some may consider them to be “cheap” because they’re not heavy, I like it, because of how warm cabins usually are on long-haul routes. Also, living in San Diego, I have little need for super warm PJs, so they get quite a bit of use around the house as well.

  2. Yes, I wear them on the flights (glass of good wine, light bite and off the sleep). I like my Qatar Sleep Suite – just the right weight and color to suit my sleep style!

  3. Hi Lucky,

    Thought it might be important to clarify that the Qantas PJs that you’ve snapped are first class PJs (which are different in design and material from the business class set) considering your article discusses business class PJs.

  4. I rarely fly International First, so my pajama collection stands at 2: JAL and Virgin Australia. I have kept all pajamas I have been given on flights and do wear them on the flight. I don’t think I’ve worn any since, though.

    And I agree with Singapore in not giving out an amenity kit. My most common thought in perusing an amenity kit is…I wonder what this is, and I wonder what I’m supposed to use it for.

  5. Totally always wear PJs when offered. In fact, just got off a CX & JAL r/t flight where I got to sample each of their pajamas.

    This is one area where Singapore get it wrong, IMHO. Amenity kits are a great souvenir and having to go into the disgusting lavatory to retrieve items — where frankly people’s, ahem, bodily functions are in close proximity hardly screams premium to me.

    Glad to see DL copying AA here, and here’s hoping PJ’s are offered on more flights system-wide in J, and UA is quick to copy.

  6. I suspect the soon-to-be Delta pajamas will be as elusive as the Delta slippers, which are confined only to business-class, aka Delta-one, on flights to and from Asia. I’m pretty sure they aren’t even provided on seven-h flights within Asia from N.R.T. to B.K.K. or S.I.N. The slippers are actually quite good quality; better than what I’ve had at Marriott and Sheraton hotels. I typically swipe a couple and donate to a homeless shelter, along with all the toiletries. In my experience, many, if not most, business-class passengers don’t take Delta’s amenity kits or slippers. I’ve seen bunches of unopened slippers and barely used when debarking the aircraft.

  7. I only have 2 pair (just got the 2nd one about 6 weeks ago) but I definitely brought them with me. I used the one set all last winter and am amazed at how well they held up. From now on I will definitely take one set with me on longhaul routes that don’t offer them. I’m glad to see AA & DL stepping up to include them!

  8. I’d guess that Delta’s decision has to do with their joint ventures with Virgin Australia and China Eastern. I don’t know if China Eastern offers pajamas, though.

  9. Related to Lucky’s reference around AA adding pajamas to LAX-SYD, I’m still in transit home after a QF longhaul in business (DFW-SYD and SYD-LAX on the A380) and what stuck me was that the Qantas experience is far, far superior to what I expect AA to offer. Between the excellent lounges (both domestic and internationa), the qualifty of the food and particularly the wine, the level of staffing, the level of engagement of the cabin crew, and the entertainment offerings there’s really no comparison. I’m an AA EXP and fly AA longhaul fairly regularly but given the choice, I’d take Qantas 100 percent of the time. They even offered real espresso coffee options on the return this morning — I know AA is looking to improve their coffee offerings on that route (I really wish they’d do it systemwide) but whatever they brew still won’t come close to what Qantas has on offer.

  10. @GloveParker: I know many of us stateside blame the unionized flight attendants and bean counters at the corporate headquarters of airlines for lousy service and inconsistent offerings but I think the real problem are our fellow Americans. By and large, Americans don’t have the same tastes for the fineries of service and amenities as those passengers from other countries. Most Americans probably would pick Maxwell House over an espresso drink. Most Americans prefer being called “hun” from the friendly waitress at the family-style restaurant rather than some young kid fawning over them as “sir” and “ma’am,” as you get from Asian carriers.

  11. *FNT – Delta actually hands out slippers on LAX-SYD and I have also had them on NRT-BKK AND NRT-SIN. I just returned from Singapore today in Delta One. I did Sydney a month ago.

    lucky- I tried Thai first this past weekend and have to say their PJ are awesome. I actually prefer them to LH pj’s. I will definitely be wearing Thai’s PJ on all red eye flights.

  12. Well there you go! There’s something that neither Emirates nor Etihad offer in business. Considering how behind these carriers are in terms of service from their competition in general, pajamas in business are a good move – especially from the leader of the pack.

  13. @AN: Etihad do have PJs available in J, although I wouldn’t bother asking for them, as they’re almost as uncomfortable as the EY F pair – awful fabric and an annoying collar. EK F has the best PJs, in my experience. QF (F and J), SQ F and BA F are all much the same. I used to wear them whenever offered, but I now find the average cabin temperature to be too warm for such garments, so now bring my own lightweight, short-sleeved pair.

  14. I don’t wear or take the PJs. I’ve perfected my plane outfit for lounging and sleep comfort – as well as being passable in the lounges and terminals. James Perse cargo pants and a black t-shirt. Toss on a hoodie and you’re good to go.

    Love the DL Tumi amenity kits. The contents are great, and I use the Tumi bags for a million different things. I’d conservatively estimate I’ve got about 30 of them.

  15. I sometimes wear the LH F PJ, but only because I sometimes miss their B744 F cabin, and they remind me of it…

  16. The other thing: How many people would actually change into the PJs? And where would they change? There aren’t enough lavatories already. Plus, they’re typically really yucky — especially the floor — not long after the flight begins thanks to everyone who aims for the toilet but misses and hits the sides and the flooring. II really, really hope nobody sits on the toilet but I’m guessing they do judging by the pubic hair you often see.

  17. @Tom: I knew they had slippers in/out of Asia. I said so. I wasn’t sure about all of the Asian flights, though. I didn’t get them the other day for N.R.T. to M.N.L. and M.N.L. to N.R.T. I also don’t remember getting them on N.R.T. to G.U.M., G.U.M. to N.R.T., N.R.T. to H.K.G. and H.K.G. to N.R.T.

  18. I can just imagine the rush to the loos in the final half-hour of a flight if 24-36 business class passengers are all wanting to change back into their civvies… As it is now, I take the bottoms from an LH sleeper suit on my overseas business class flights and slip into them for the duration of the flight…but there’s always a rush for the washrooms after the final meal service before landing, so knowing when to change becomes a strategic calculation.

  19. Unfortunately this won’t come for free. Their evil mind CEO will find a way to charge back to customers. BTW, I would prefer that they give out slippers instead of PJs. It is nasty to walk into the bathrooms on an airplane so slippers would be way better than having me to put my shoes back all the time I need to go.

  20. @DavidB: I’m one of those guys who always goes bathroom. I just can’t keep my liquids down. I’d say every 90 minutes, unless I’m sound asleep, I’m going to the lavatory. I’ve learned to do it just before the breakfast/arrival food service, as most people are just waking up or are too focused on eating.

  21. @Jason

    MU offers pyjamas in business. I have a pair and they are pretty good quality and the ones I wear most often on flights.

  22. Love that JL F has a little fold-down platform in the lavatory so you can change without having to worry about your pants touching the floor.

  23. I would think that DL would add pajamas to their LHR flights as many are code shared with VS and VS offers pajamas in their Upper Class.

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