First A350 premium-economy review

Old Oct 31, 17, 9:35 am
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First A350 premium-economy review

One of the bloggers at The Points Guy has the first review of Delta's new premium-economy product, which launched yesterday on the inaugural A350 flight from Detroit to Tokyo-Narita: https://thepointsguy.com/2017/10/fli...elect-dtw-nrt/.

I noticed from Twitter that the menu in premium-economy contains about 1/2 of the food on the menu in business-class. That's interesting as I thought they might have a separate menu for premium-economy as not to water down the upscale soft-product marketing of business-class. Also, it will be interesting to see how flight attendants handle food inventory. For example, if there's one fish dish left, who gets first choice? The business-class passenger or the premium-economy passenger?

There are no reports on whether the wine was the same as business-class.

One thing that stood out, however, was a comparison between the premium-economy seats on Virgin Atlantic (21 inches) and the 18 1/2-inch premium-economy seat on Delta.

Also, you get the same so-so headphones (the reviews have been pretty negative) in premium-economy as business-class.

Last edited by hockeyinsider; Oct 31, 17 at 9:52 am
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Old Oct 31, 17, 10:06 am
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Interesting article. For me, the width of the seat at 18.5 inch fine but it's the separation between me and my seat mate that is much more important. It looks like PS seats accomplish that. Have two flights coming up on the A350, one in PS and one in D1. Will be interesting to experience both. I suspect that PS to be a big upgrade from C+ but the "suites" might even be a downgrade over the herringbone 777 D1 seats. It looks little different from the 767 D1 seats with sliding doors added.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by LonghaulCommuter View Post
Interesting article. For me, the width of the seat at 18.5 inch fine but it's the separation between me and my seat mate that is much more important. It looks like PS seats accomplish that. Have two flights coming up on the A350, one in PS and one in D1. Will be interesting to experience both. I suspect that PS to be a big upgrade from C+ but the "suites" might even be a downgrade over the herringbone 777 D1 seats. It looks little different from the 767 D1 seats with sliding doors added.
Then don't sit in the middle. I think Delta configuring the premium-economy into a 4-across middle section is perhaps the most disappointing aspect -- outside of seat width -- if only because there is zero privacy or separation between the middle four seats.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by LonghaulCommuter View Post
Interesting article. For me, the width of the seat at 18.5 inch fine but it's the separation between me and my seat mate that is much more important. It looks like PS seats accomplish that. Have two flights coming up on the A350, one in PS and one in D1. Will be interesting to experience both. I suspect that PS to be a big upgrade from C+ but the "suites" might even be a downgrade over the herringbone 777 D1 seats. It looks little different from the 767 D1 seats with sliding doors added.
I was nervous about the Suite as I'm really not a fan of the 767 seat.

The footwells are MUCH bigger and I didn't feel constrained at all. I'm not a huge guy (5' 9'', 230), but not small either. The Suites is my favorite Delta J product, barely beating out the 747.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
I noticed from Twitter that the menu in premium-economy contains about 1/2 of the food on the menu in business-class. That's interesting as I thought they might have a separate menu for premium-economy as not to water down the upscale soft-product marketing of business-class. Also, it will be interesting to see how flight attendants handle food inventory. For example, if there's one fish dish left, who gets first choice? The business-class passenger or the premium-economy passenger?
Other airlines, like BA and CX, do this as well- make maybe two of the J entree choices available to the PE cabin. However, as far as inventory, they have a segregated batch just for PE.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 12:09 pm
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4 seats in the middle looks bad....what is better - an aisle in Y or middle in PE?

Fortunately for me I will never have to answer that question, but.....D1 cubes look tiny

While the aisle in PE looks good, anytime you have someone in the middle it creates problems all around. Obviously there has to be a middle but 2 middles?

My recent AF flight in J I had a sumo wrestler next to me in the middle seat....I felt very sorry for him but it was no picnic for me either. Don't see how they can call that middle business class.

Maybe the pics are misleading but usually when that is the case the pics are better than actual!
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Old Oct 31, 17, 12:23 pm
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Had a friend on Delta One Suites on inaugural flight yesterday... Said they were awesome. Look forward to trying it.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by dilbertsdaddy View Post
4 seats in the middle looks bad....what is better - an aisle in Y or middle in PE?

Fortunately for me I will never have to answer that question, but.....D1 cubes look tiny

While the aisle in PE looks good, anytime you have someone in the middle it creates problems all around. Obviously there has to be a middle but 2 middles?

My recent AF flight in J I had a sumo wrestler next to me in the middle seat....I felt very sorry for him but it was no picnic for me either. Don't see how they can call that middle business class.

Maybe the pics are misleading but usually when that is the case the pics are better than actual!
I encourage you to review some of the reviews in the 350 thread...most concur that the D1 suite is more spacious than it seems. I've sat in the seat, and was pleasantly surprised by how roomy it is. The footwell is nothing like the 767 and feels as open as the 330/747 IMO.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 12:56 pm
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Well played Delta! The A350 and PE are all steps into the right direction.

I just wished my UA would ever move into the modern world .
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Old Oct 31, 17, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
Then don't sit in the middle. I think Delta configuring the premium-economy into a 4-across middle section is perhaps the most disappointing aspect -- outside of seat width -- if only because there is zero privacy or separation between the middle four seats.
It's premium economy. What exactly are you expecting??
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Old Oct 31, 17, 3:17 pm
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Hahaha. Premium economy. Is it like jumbo shrimp?
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Old Oct 31, 17, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
Then don't sit in the middle. I think Delta configuring the premium-economy into a 4-across middle section is perhaps the most disappointing aspect -- outside of seat width -- if only because there is zero privacy or separation between the middle four seats.
While I agree the 4 across is disappointing (CI and LH use 2-3-2 for A350 W, though SQ and CX use 2-4-2), the separation is the same as pretty much every other 4 across W setup, with a double armrest between the two middles. You can see it in the photos in the trip report.

Originally Posted by dilbertsdaddy View Post
4 seats in the middle looks bad....what is better - an aisle in Y or middle in PE?
The answer is a middle in W, unless you have to get up frequently to use the toilet or whatever. The seat is more comfortable, wider, and has more legroom, and the service is better. You're less likely to have somebody elbow you the entire flight.

Fortunately for me I will never have to answer that question, but.....D1 cubes look tiny
#humblebrag ?

While the aisle in PE looks good, anytime you have someone in the middle it creates problems all around. Obviously there has to be a middle but 2 middles?
2-4-2 is the standard for W on wider-bodies like the 777 and 747, though as already mentioned not on the A350. The advertising point for W is "never more than 1 seat away from the aisle", not "it's just like business class!".
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Old Oct 31, 17, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by golfr View Post
Hahaha. Premium economy. Is it like jumbo shrimp?
As we've discussed in other threads before, modern day Premium Economy is in many ways just a return to the original 1980s Business Class.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 6:55 pm
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I just snagged a seat on DL 133 AMS-DTW for April... Apparently, they're flying the A350 on that route on that day, at least according to DL.dumb—hope I'm not in for an April Fools Day prank. I thought they were only going to be putting it on TPAC. Excited!!
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Old Oct 31, 17, 11:03 pm
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From all indications between photos and reports, Premium Select appears to be a one step down from the old 767 BE seats before the current product was installed, albeit with less recline and legroom. Actually, it reminds me most of the original Business Class product on the MD-11. While I reserve the right to judge by trying it out myself, so far from the hard and soft product, a job well done by Delta. Soft product and leg rest at every seat beats AA's W product.

As for the Suites, I said it earlier many times to sceptics, the Thompson Vantage XL, which Delta uses a heavily modified version to include the door, is NOT THE SAME as the Thompson Vantage used on the 767. As a few who have tried the product already, the footwell is much larger, the seat wider, and overall more space as seen in the photos. There are several other airlines using the Thompson Vantage XL seat, notably QF, and the seat has received excellent reviews. Ok, I know many on this forum wanted the new KE J seat, which is the exact same as the JAL Sky Suite, but it takes up even more real estate than the Thompson Vantage XL. Delta probably chose the best product that maximises space but does not take up too much real estate. UA's Polaris probably does the job better than any seat designed, hence they can 30 seats in the front of the 777, while the Delta Suite can only fit 28.
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