Delta One Service Is Expanding To Three More Transcon Routes

Points, Miles & Martinis reports that Delta is adding three new Delta One transcon routes as of next year. Specifically, the following routes will feature Delta One service:

  • New York JFK to Seattle as of April 1, 2018
  • New York JFK to San Diego as of April 1, 2018
  • New York JFK to Las Vegas as of May 1, 2018

These three routes join Delta’s four existing domestic Delta One routes, which include New York to Los Angeles, New York to San Francisco, Washington DCA to Los Angeles, and Boston to San Francisco.

Delta One is the name for Delta’s premium business class service, which they offer on most international longhaul flights, as well as on select transcon flights. What this means is that these flights will feature fully flat beds in the forward cabin. Previously some of the flights were already operated by internationally configured planes, though the key here is that the flights will feature Delta’s enhanced premium cabin service, including Westin Heavenly bedding, Tumi amenity kits, and improved food & beverage offerings.

Unfortunately it’s not all good news. Delta offers elite members complimentary upgrades to Comfort+ and First Class, but not to Delta One. In other words, when these changes kick in, the three routes won’t offer elite members complimentary upgrades anymore.

So this can be good or bad news depending on how you look at it. On the plus side, those in Delta One will get an all around better experience. At the same time, you won’t get into the cabin with a complimentary upgrade. However, SkyMiles Platinum & Diamond members can use their regional upgrades to confirm an upgrade to Delta One on these flights (Platinum members get up to four of these per year, while Diamond members get up to eight of these per year).

Clearly this decision by Delta is a competitive response to JetBlue. JetBlue is in the process of introducing Mint service from New York to Las Vegas, Seattle, and San Diego. What’s especially interesting is that back when Delta started building up their presence in Seattle, their flights between Seattle and New York were Delta One service. Then they downgraded the service, and now they’re upgrading it again.

What do you make of Delta introducing Delta One service to San Diego, Seattle, and Las Vegas?

Comments

  1. As an SD local, this is awesome news. They fly a couple of 767s out of SAN to various places, and I’ve been wanting any airline to start premium service to/from SAN since LAX and SFO get all the good stuff and I don’t wanna connect. This is great news for anyone that’s a non-elite Delta flyer that, like me, is prissy about wanting to lie flat on transcons. I’m stoked, to say the least.

  2. Just a hypothetical, but does anybody think that Chicago will see lie-flat service to LA or SF anytime soon?

    I know the flights are about 90 minutes shorter than JFK/BOS, but as these are major business travel routes and I imagine that there would be a market for this on AA for flights at the right time of day (evening flights westbound, red-eyes eastbound).

  3. Do you know if Delta is planning to install DeltaOne on its smaller narrowbodies (non-757)? When they first expanded out of Seattle, there were a lot of 767 transcon flights, but I don’t think the demand was there. Now most of the JFK flights out of Seattle are 737s, so it’d be interesting to see if they started putting lie-flat seats on these smaller planes to compete with JetBlue.

  4. IS it too much to hope that, if First Class upgrades are going away, there’ll be Premium Select seats in our future?

  5. Will the JFK-SEA be a widebody or will it be the same 757 that it currently flies with the flat seats but upgraded to have the amenity kit and Westin pillow and blanket.

  6. @ Jack: Guessing Chicago wouldn’t. Most corporate departments I’m familiar with require flights of 5+ hours to book first within policy for senior guys (when they are even allowed to). Chicago longest leg would be a touch over 4 hence one of the policies driving booking in these isn’t relevant.

  7. Also a SAN-NYC frequent traveler who would 95% of the time score a first class upgrad, often times to their daily lie flats during the week. Guess I’ll be saying goodbye to those. It’s great to see Delta one expanding their route network, just a bummer for those who try their luck with status upgrades.

  8. Like Norm, I’m curious about the planes. Flying a lot of 767s transcon seems like it deprives DL of schedule flexibility.

    AA is running similar service on A321s which are about half the size, so AA can offer twice as many daily frequencies.

    Some 737s or A319s with Delta One would be an interesting development.

  9. I have not flown Delta in years, but would be interested in flights between Seattle and JFK with flat beds. I went to delta.com and found no mention of this announcement. I looked at flights in April and found no way of telling whether flat beds were available. I could not find a Delta phone number so asked for a chat. The guy I chatted with was utterly uninformed. So if anyone can help me with more information I would appreciate it. I simply want to book whatever class has flat beds, from Seattle to JFK but especially from JFK to Seattle.
    I also found Delta’s six different classes of service confusing.

  10. What’s the frequency of the new D1 flights compared to the current schedule? It’s not really D1 unless a widebody. Widebodies have greater capacity. Is acquiring A350s freeing up 767s and A330s for domestic service.

  11. I just flew Delta JFK-SEA-JFK. First was entirely adequate on the way there on a 739. However, I would’ve paid a big premium for a flat seat on the 738 redeye return. So this is great news as someone without status who buys paid international biz/domestic first tickets.

    Btw JetBlue’s website is terrible for scouting out Mint routes and availability, at least the last time I checked. Delta’s site is pretty clear about Delta One-enabled flights, so chances are good they just haven’t updated their schedule to reflect this change yet.

  12. Everyone who has commented here are getting ahead of themselves. First of all, the flat beds on the transcontinental 757’s are small, awkward and of course impossible for the window seat passenger to get out from. Unless there is aisle access for everyone, the experience is hit or miss. The food is much better when the flight is branded as Delta One, as is the wine. The amenities are nice, but most people have those things if you fly alot anyway.

    As far as wanting to know what aircraft you will have on those routes, again, this is jumping the gun. Delta changes aircraft on routes as much as the weather changes so there will never be anything set in stone. We should all wait until Delta announces their aircraft and frequencies and then wait another 6 months until we can see the pattern they eventually adhere to. It is nice to think you will get what you booked, paid for, saw promoted and advertised, but really what they only promise is to get you from point A to B.

    I am a Delta Diamond, and would still take the Mint Throne seat over Delta One anytime. And I love Delta and the service they give me. But I have learned, nothing is ever set in stone.

  13. I’ve been buying flat bed seats on SEA-JFK for a while (757) and found them to be reasonably comfortable, and a pretty good value, usually $1,200 or less RT with a few weeks advance planning. Now, with Delta One service, prices look to be about 50% higher, and more than 50% higher than Mint. Obviously things could change, but right now there’s no way I’d pick the new Delta One on this route over the new Mint on this route. In fact I’d prefer that they forget about the Delta One meals, keep the flat beds, and leave the prices in the low 1,000’s.

  14. DL previously had premium transcon service to SEA, but dropped it a few years back. now, they are reinstating it.

    This is interesting because it will further make this market competitive and is also a huge disadvantage for Alaska.

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