Delta's US$1,000 surcharge for A350 Delta One business class

By David Flynn, August 15 2017
Delta's US$1,000 surcharge for A350 Delta One business class

UPDATED | Delta Air Lines will slug passengers booked into its new Airbus A350 Delta One business class suites with a surcharge as high as US$1,000 on a return ticket.

The 'Delta One levy' was highlighted in a memo sent this week from Delta to travel agents in Korea, which will host the A350 flights from Detroit and Atlanta to Seoul's Incheon Airport.

Agents have been advised that when they "book the A350-900 with 'Delta One Suite', you will be charged a surcharge" on top of the base fare.

Delta One passengers booked under discounted I-class and Z-class fares will be charged US$500 "per direction", with a US$250 tariff on C, D and J ticket codes.

Based on current average Delta One fares of US$7,600 for a business class round-trip between Detroit and Seoul flown on the airline's Boeing 747 in early November, the A350 Delta One suites surcharge could see that same fare rocket as high as $8,600 – a jump of some 13%.

Delta's Airbus A350 has 32 Delta One suites, each with sliding doors for privacy, which convert into a fully-flat bed.
Delta's Airbus A350 has 32 Delta One suites, each with sliding doors for privacy, which convert into a fully-flat bed.

Asked to explain the rationale behind the surcharge, a spokesman for the airline said "the Delta One suite is priced appropriately and competitively for the premium experience it will offer our customers."

"Other Delta One fares are available to the same destinations on routes and aircraft not equipped with the Delta One suite."

Despite repeated enquiries from Australian Business Traveller, Delta Air Lines refused to confirm if the new Delta One suites surcharge would be applied to all routes flown by the Airbus A350.

However, this have since proved to be the case for all Delta Airbus A350 flights, which take wing  between Detroit and Tokyo from October 30, to Seoul from November 18 and to Beijing from mid-January 2018. A350 flights between Delta's Atlanta hub and Seoul will launch from March 24, 2018.

While Delta will begin upgrading its entire Boeing 777 fleet with the new business class suites from 2018, Australian Business Traveller was told "It has not (been) decided yet if the surcharge applies to B777 after upgrading."


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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 704

Fair enough... provided they also charge those redeeming miles but if not then why not just roll it into the ticket price by increasing the base fare.

All Delta has now done is create hype around a fare increase when it didn't really need to. Qantas 787 flights between MEL-PER-LHR are like this but they don't add a separate surcharge on the flights, instead they charge more and release less reward seats.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622

DL needs to apply a surcharge on top of J fare specifically for DL One product because:

1) DL One is significantly diff, along with a higher production cost, fm other intercon J products @ DL even though all of them are horizontal flat beds.

2) DL will soon(or already up & running) hv a Trans-Pcf JV with KE including both operating the same ICN-DTW route where DL will deploy DL One.  Similar to 1), the best intercon J product @ KE today is still significantly lower specs/production cost than DL One.

3) In such a JV, published J fares across operating partners on the same route are very closely aligned or even identical for unified sales & mkting purposes(Otherwise, no point to hv a JV in the 1st place).  As a result, DL can't simply roll the DL One premium into their published base J fare because KE is selling the same J fare too.  In contrast, QF will be the only operator on PER-LHR route within the QF+EK JV framework....there's no operating partner to consult/coordinate on this route to set  appropriate J fare for PER-LHR.

4) When DL One can't be provided to J customer on specific route(e.g. DTW-ICN) due to last minute equipment swap, refund of DL One surcharge will be the most transparent & efficient method @ least fm the customer point of view.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Dec 2016

Total posts 10

Its possible to see 150000 SkyMiles one-way plus hefty $1100 surcharge on Delta One award ticket soon...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2016

Total posts 44

Your story says flights to Seoul....what about the possibility of having to pay staff 'risk' payments because of the destination and the current threats being exchanged between 2 idiots with bad haircuts?

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


Well over 70 carriers(Except Air Koryo of course) serve ICN+GMP for the Seoul metro region today.  Will be a huge bill if all crew/staff working on routes to/fm Korea start to seek a 'war risk premium' in their pay....DL crew on the DTW-ICN route won't be alone in this regard and likely cost the least relative to so many other carriers having multiple daily flights into Korea.  In fact, if crew succeed to secure such payment, KE and OZ with their home hubs @ ICN/GMP will be busted  instantly....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 685

It is somewhat curious that Delta has chosen two very specific routes (Detroit-Seoul and Atlanta-Seoul) to levy this "surcharge". Equally curious that their PR is not inclined to answer questions on whether this surcharge will apply to other DL A350 routes, let alone the revamped B777 fleet.

My own suspicion is that this move might more be related to DL's recent 'win' of a business contract with a certain multinational global electronics firm .. which coincidentally beat out both Korean carriers to the USA. Given that DL now has somewhat of a captive J market, could they just being a little bit 'naughty' with the retail market?

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


"...curious that Delta has chosen two very specific routes (Detroit-Seoul and Atlanta-Seoul) to levy this "surcharge"
DL has so far disclosed only 4 intercon routes(3 via normal PR media to the public and 1 directly only for travel agents) to deploy DL One product:
A) DTW-NRT on 359
B) DTW-PEK on 359
C) DTW-ICN on 359
D) ATL-ICN on an unknown type(but will be either 359 or reconfigured 777)

Notice DL has no Rev$-sharing JV partner operating on the same route for A)+B) but has 1 for C)+D).

My theory:
On a route where DL deploy DL One AND has a JV partner operating on the same route selling older J product, DL will apply a separate DL One surcharge.  On other DL One routes where DL has no JV partner, DL will simply embed any  surcharge into its J fare.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Delta's US$1,000 surcharge for A350 Delta One business class