Last year Delta announced a mayor upgrade to their Delta One hard product, introducing the Delta One Suites on their new Airbus A350 fleet (John discussed it here). On this new planes the airline is also rolling out their new Premium Select product, their take on a Premium Economy product.
Well, they just took delivery of their first flagship Airbus A350-900 on July 13, and one week ago confirmed the rumors that the first scheduled route would be Detroit to Tokyo Narita starting October 30 with a daily nonstop service.
I was curious of how much was Delta going to ask for the new products, both the Suites and the Premium Select, and I was expecting probably a marked up Business Class price for the suites: it’s a Suite, it’s not a First Class product. What I was not expecting was (almost) Etihad Aparments prices!
These are the prices Delta is asking for a one way ticket on the A350-900 inaugural flight DTW-NRT next October 30:
Yup, $13255 for having the privilege of experiencing the Suites before everybody else. This price is absolutely intentional: I checked ExpertFlyer to see the fare loads for the inaugural flight and found that all the Business Discount fares (C, D, I, Z) were zeroed out while all the other fare buckets were wide open!
Let’s see how Delta prices compares with the competition. I used Matrix ItaSoftware to check prices for a round trip travel departing Detroit on October 30 and returning from Narita on November 7: while their Economy and Premium Economy products are cheaper than the competition (even being the only nonstop option), their Business Class price doubles most of the others:
Here are some prices for round trip travel (3-10 days length). Prices ex-NRT are significantly lower than ex-DTW
If you want to book the Inaugural Flight using your miles, in the best Delta fashion, there are no saver awards available. You only need 240000 miles to book your Suite one way!
What to expect for the money?
For Economy class I don’t expect the cabin and the seat to be much different from what is already in use in their wide bodies. The Economy cabin will have a 3-3-3 layout, with lavatories in the middle and a service galley at the end of the plane.
For the Premium Select product, the layout is 2-4-2, a tight configuration in my opinion. I was expecting a 2-3-2 config as other airlines offer. The seats will have footrest.
The Suites, 32 in total, are distributed in 9 rows and each one of them has direct aisle access.
Either Delta does not want customers on the Suites on the inaugural flight because they expect press and executives to be there, or they really think their fanboys and fangirls will pay $13k or 240k to try them before anybody else. I know Delta has its loyal following, but these prices are deterrent!