It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair for all who booked business class seats on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A350.
A Tale Of Two Delta A350 Jets
Delta will shortly acquire nine A350-900 aircraft from its LATAM partner, which is retiring that Airbus jet type from its fleet as it emerges from bankruptcy. Delta also markets its A350-900 as its “flagship” aircraft, boasting Delta One suites in business class with doors that close, direct aisle access, and plenty of room to stretch out.
Indeed, I flew one of Delta’s legacy A350s last month from Detroit to Amsterdam and found it a very pleasant flight.
But the nine A350s coming from LATAM are different.
To get technical, Delta’s existing A350s are configured with 306 seats, including:
- 32 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration (each seat has direct aisle access)
- 48 premium economy class seats in a 2-4-2 configuration
- 226 economy class seats in a 3-3-3 configuration
The “new” A350s from LATAM feature 339 seats, including:
- 30 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration (window seats do not have direct aisle access)
- 309 economy class seats in a 3-3-3 configuration
- 63 seats have extra legroom, but there is no premium economy on this aircraft
For business class passengers, this represents a huge downgrade.
While Delta has said these seats are temporary, it has not offered a timeline for when they will be retrofitted with Delta’s “signature” cabin. A spokesperson told Zach Griff of The Points Guy,
“The aircraft feature a temporary seating configuration pending further modification to one consistent with the A350 aircraft currently in our fleet. The integration of these aircraft into our fleet will allow for an important increase to our flying capacity to help get our customers where they want to go this summer and beyond.”
You can expect these aircraft on the following routes starting this summer:
- Atlanta (ATL) – Santiago (SCL)
- Atlanta (ATL) – Dublin (DUB)
Further routes have not been announced.
To see if your A350 will have the old or new configuration, check the business class seat map. If you see 2-2-2 seating it means you have the old configuration. I hope Delta will make very clear that its new A350s will likely not be what consumers are expecting, particularly if they are regular Delta business class passengers. Disturbingly, Delta is still marketing these seats as “Delta One Suites.”
It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done, it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known….said no one traveling on the LATAM-configured Delta A350s. Be aware that these aircraft will pop-up on ATL-SCL and ATL-DUB routes this summer and may be swapped in at the last minute on other routes. Should that happen, I expect you’ll have a dickens of a time trying to convince Delta that you have been short-changed.