Delta Air Lines adds “economy comfort” section; improves BusinessElite and First Class seating on long-haul international flights

Delta Air LinesDelta Air Lines announced this morning a major investment in its international fleet: a premium economy section, dubbed Economy Comfort, on all long-haul international flights this summer. The new seats will feature up to four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline than the airline‘s standard international Economy class seats.

The product, which is similar to upgraded Economy services currently available on flights operated by Delta’s joint venture partner Air France-KLM, will be installed in the first few rows of the Economy cabin on more than 160 Boeing 747, 757, 767, 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft by this summer.

In addition to more leg room and recline, customers seated in Economy Comfort will board early and enjoy complimentary spirits throughout the flight. These benefits are in addition to Delta’s standard international Economy class amenities, including complimentary meals, beer, wine, entertainment, blankets and pillows. In-seat power will also be available on aircraft equipped with personal entertainment systems which come with free HBO programming and other for-fee content. The seats will be designated with a specially-designed seat cover.

Customers who have purchased an international Economy ticket on Delta will be able to choose Economy Comfort seats for an additional fee of $80-$160 one-way via the web, kiosks and Delta reservations beginning in May for travel this summer. SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallions will enjoy complimentary upgrades for themselves and up to eight companions traveling in the same reservation. Customers purchasing full-fare tickets will also enjoy complimentary upgrades. Gold and Silver Medallions will enjoy 50 and 25% discounts on the Economy Comfort seat fees, respectively.In addition to investing in the international Economy cabin, Delta today announced it now plans to install 34 horizontal flat-bed BusinessElite seats with direct aisle access in each of its 32 Airbus A330 aircraft by 2013. With this announcement, Delta now plans to offer full flat-bed seating in BusinessElite on all international widebody flights, or more than 150 aircraft, by 2013.

The new A330 seat, manufactured by Weber Aircraft LLC, will be 81.7 inches in length and 20.5 inches wide, similar to the flat-bed product currently offered on Delta’s 777 fleet. It also will feature a 120-volt universal power outlet, USB port, personal LED reading lamp and a 15.4 inch personal video monitor with instant access to 250 new and classic movies, premium programming from HBO and Showtime, other television programming, video games and more than 4,000 digital music tracks.

In addition to adding the Economy Comfort product and offering full-flat bed seats on its entire international widebody fleet, Delta is upgrading its domestic fleet with more First Class seats and in-seat entertainment; adding personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all long-haul international flights; adding in-flight Wi-Fi service to all domestic aircraft with a First and Economy class cabin; and building new terminal facilities for international customers at its two largest global gateways – Atlanta and New York-JFK.