Delta reveals Delta One private business class suites for Airbus A350

By David Flynn, August 17 2016

Delta Air Lines will debut fully-enclosed business class suites on its international Airbus A350 fleet, in a move which significantly raises the bar for US airlines.

32 of the Delta One suites will dress the pointy end of the A350s, the first of 25 of which is due in September 2017, with the Boeing 777 fleet to follow from 2018.

Each suite has a door which slides shut and is as high as the seat itself, creating a private cocoon for passengers in a design created in conjunction with London's Factorydesign, which notably also worked on Etihad's current first class and business class.

Other features of the suites will include seats which are wider than 21 inches; roomy stowage compartments for shoes, headphones and laptops; two consoles so passengers can comfortably spread out their work during the flight; and an 18-inch HD video screen, with AC and USB power sockets.

The suite is built arund a heavily customised version of Thompson Aero Seating's Vantage XL – which Qantas chose as the platform for its highly-regarded Airbus A330 Business Suite – which Thompson calls the Vantage XL Suite.

"This product is meant to be as close to a private jet experience as possible and is driven by our customers, who were telling us that they wanted more privacy,” said Tim Mapes, Delta's chief marketing officer.

The Delta suites will go up against United's new Polaris business class, which begins flying at the end of this year.

Read more: United Airlines launches new 'Polaris' business class seat, lounges

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 125

Doesn't look like much of a competition.  Delta's new seats will blow United's out of the water.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

This looks amazing. Who needs F when J looks like this?!

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 152

It looks like the same(ish) seat as Qatars to be launched 'super business class'?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Oct 2012

Total posts 150

Borghetti isn't going to be happy. He'll now be "second best business class accross the pacific". I'd pick this over VA's suites anyday! Agreed?

VA Platinum

21 Nov 2013

Total posts 20

Absolutely.... Delta's IFE is also far superior to VA's with hours and hours of box set TV shows and movies. Now the staff is another matter, but perhaps that's slowly getting better!!!

02 Jun 2013

Total posts 46

Given VA and DL revenue share across the Pacific, I imagine it's all smiles, actually!

Virgin will have an in-flight bar and better food. Also, reverse herringbone seats are a little more generous around the footwell area than staggered seats.

The only real advantage that these seats have is that they have closing doors. And sure, that's nice, but you can get reverse herringbone with closing doors as well (the BE/Panasonic Waterfront suite).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2016

Total posts 21

Borghetti will be fine as this above article stated that the 777 will be done in 2018 which is years away! A350s will be first and my guess is that they will replace the A330 and it is the delta 777 that flys to sydney

The Delta 777-200 is what flies to Sydney. The A350 is a similarly-sized jet that is more than capable of making the trip, so it is theoretically possible that Delta will put the A350 on the Sydney route and redeploy the 777-200 somewhere else on its network.

So Borghetti may not have to wait until 2018 before Delta has this new product flying to Australia.

FLX
FLX

10 Dec 2015

Total posts 179

@Alex Arora:

"A350s will be first and my guess is that they will replace the A330..."

1st of all, DL's 330 fleet is pretty young with the oldest frame being less than 14yrs old.  In fact, the youngest frame was delivered only 4 mths ago while 330Neo will join DL fleet fm 2019.  Given DL's typical fleet renewal practice, none of its 330s will be replaced/retired until @ least 10yrs fm now while all 350 deliveries to DL will be completed well before 2020.  2ndly, the payload/range of even the latest, most capable 333  variant(MTOW=240t) joining DL fleet recently is no match for the 350.  Most importantly, DL has publicly stated that the 350s are planned primarily to replace 744(Plus launch new routes) particularly on the longest Trans-Pcf sectors....all these simply don't gel well with the theory of 330 replacing 350 @ DL.

"...it is the delta 777 that flys to sydney."

It is.  But the million $ question is will that continue to be the case after Sep17 when 350 deliveries to DL begin?  A clue: Read the news right here on this website re the rumor about  DL considering to deploy 350 on LAX-SYD....

I bet LAX-SYD will be among the 1st batch of longhaul routes where DL will deploy 350.  It's operationally & economically logical because LAX-SYD is among the top 3 longest routes in DL's current network(i.e. DL won't try to operate an unfamiliar  type on an unfamiliar new route simultaneously) and the 350 is designed to deliver the largest fuel burn advantage over 777/330 on the longest sectors.

DGP
DGP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jan 2012

Total posts 171

WOW! That's looks like an amazing J product.

I wonder if this will push QF even more to commit to a J upgrade on their A380's.

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Maybe now QF will door off first class suites.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

Nice designs, as someone who was once saving his frequent flyer miles for first class, perhaps I'll just aim for business class instead as the gap seem to be shrinking between the two.

Have they announced what routes it will be flying on? I'm guessing international flights only and most likley between Australia and LAX?

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

Well done Delta.

Now we know the Vantage XL seat can be customized with sliding doors/partitions, it's time to stoke the rumour mill re QFs upcoming B787 (Vantage XL) Business suite MKll...and possibly A380 Business, which in turn would lead to First being upgraded to a greater level ..  Just optimism/speculation on my part, of course. :)

 

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Vast improvements. Have I missed an onboard J Bar/Lounge?

Looks good. But how is it priced? And to what extent will this product affect the holistic customer experience that Delta offers?

It's only just been announced and won't fly until September next year, so you'll have to wait until destinations are also announced and fares are loaded into booking systems for pricing information. :)

It was a rhetorical question Chris.

I suspect it will not be competitively priced.

If I was running a US airliner, I'd want to use the present positive cashflow to delist or have the company owned by institutional shareholders. Then embark on a 10-20 year plan for changing the image of the airline from the end-to-end customer experience. The stock market is too fickle for the airline industry, where very long term perspective is required.

A sustained focus on quality, image/branding and product consistency is required. A receptive government policy to support an oligopolistic position is also required but as a caveat the govt should demand equitable pay structure across the organisation and a policy of inflation pegged increases of fares. 

But then what do I know!

Sorry TRB, your post read as a regular question (as pricing is something we'd certainly want to know on a product like this, once available!). :)

No worries. It will be interesting to see how this pans out and how consistent the roll-out would be across the fleet.

I wonder why Delta has moved away from reverse herringbone on Delta One. Surely, BE/Panasonic's Waterfront suite would've added the same amount of privacy whilst also being more consistent with their currently-existing product. Perhaps Thompson offered a better deal?

Either way the new seats look great, although they appear to have a touch less storage than the Qantas version of Vantage XL. Great job Delta!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

So American airlines (not the airline) are finally waking up to the fact that their products have always been way below their competition.  This is frankly a game changer for one of them.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 303

Gotta love competition.... U.S Carriers finally raising their bar... in hopes they slowly raise their soft product and customer service too.  Although i'm not sure what all the hype is about being "enclosed" in...  i actually like a more open cabin feel than being enclosed in a capsule like space.

19 Jun 2012

Total posts 28

So Delta is doing a slightly plussed version of what Jetblue already do on their transcon flights, around 2 years later and only on long hauls?

It looks nice, but they're still playing catch-up.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

Deltas new suites/cabin is way more than 'slightly plussed' to jetblues 'mint' cabin, where a select/small percentage (less than 25%) of seats have sliding door (the single 'throne' seats which are charged at a premium to the rest of the cabin). The bulk of the seats/cabin are in pairs...dont have sliding doors..those pairs dont have direct aisle access for window passengers and the pairs have less space/surrounding storage/bench space. Just my thoughts/observations.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 109

Just as a point of correction, the throne seats aren't charged a premium. They are allocated on a first come first serve basis.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

my apologies...i thought i read it somewhere..sorry

25 Feb 2012

Total posts 78

It may be just me but these cocoons are IMO just too small .  I'm not a lover of the suites as I prefer to have people and some movement around me . 

04 Jan 2014

Total posts 32

I have travelled in EK several times in F, but always find the suites are hot with the doors shut and difficult to sleep. I usually leave the doors open, as walking past, you can see inside each suite.


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