Excitement is building as Delta Air Lines launches transpacific and transatlantic service on reconfigured four-class Boeing 777 planes, but in the short term, the new cabin options could mean elite flyers will have a few more hoops to jump through in order to upgrade from economy class seats while some automatic upgrades are temporarily suspended on those early flights.
Delta Air Lines passengers flying overseas are now able to choose between four cabins, including Delta One suites, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort Plus and Main Cabin on the same plane. On some routes served by newly retrofitted Boeing 777 aircraft, the choice between the four unique classes is available on flights departing as soon as March 1.
“Last year, Delta announced a full-fleet interior renovation of its 777 aircraft to include the award-winning Delta One suite and the popular Delta Premium Select experience – all while maintaining nine-abreast seating in Main Cabin,” the airline said in a release launching the new four-class service configuration. “Delta Comfort+ will be added to the four 777s already modified and the remaining 14 777s will embark on their four seat product transformation in 2019 … Offering all four seat experiences on one aircraft gives customers greater choice than ever before, allowing them to make more tailored plans.”
While the new options are being celebrated by Delta and will arguably give flyers more choices along with better upgrade opportunities, the Boarding Area’s Gary Leff points out that the new four-class configurations could mean extra hassle for frequent flyers – at least temporarily. The airline says Medallion Members who are normally offered Comfort Plus upgrades automatically will now have to specifically request the upgrade from main cabin to Comfort Plus.
“Due to technology updates that will temporarily impact specific Delta aircraft, Medallion Members that book a Main Cabin ticket on the below routes will need to manually select their Complimentary Upgrade to Delta Comfort+ (if available) in the seat map during their normal clearance window,” the airline announced shortly before opening bookings on the newly reconfigured planes.
In most cases, the affected flights are on routes due to be serviced by the retrofitted 777 aircraft in the coming months. This includes service between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND), Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and NRT, MSP and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), ATL and CDG, MSP and Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) as well as Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Sydney Airport (SYD).
The airline said it expects to reinstate automatic complimentary upgrades to Delta Comfort Plus on these flights before the end of the year. In the meantime, it wouldn’t hurt for Medallion Members traveling internationally to double-check that their names are “on the list” well before arriving at the airport.