We complained, they listened, legroom is on the way

Airline passengers have complained about a variety of things over the years but some nagging topics rise to the top and just won’t go away, prompting airlines to do something about them. Eventually. Common to surveys of airline passengers and no big news to many frequent flyers, a great percentage of travelers said that limited legroom was one of their biggest gripes about air travel. When asked what airlines should offer to make the in-flight experience better, a high number lobbied for more legroom and requested roomier seats.

Delta Air Lines is in the process of making a $2 billion investment in its product and customer experience. In progress right now, Delta is renovating its Boeing 747-400 aircraft fleet to include full flat-bed seats in the Business Elite cabin and new “slim line” seats offering more personal space and individual in-seat entertainment throughout the Economy cabin.

“Our best customers want a full flat-bed seat with direct aisle access and the new Business Elite configuration our 747s provide,” Glen Hauenstein, Delta executive vice president told Travel News Daily.

Each 747 will have 48 Business Elite full flat-bed seats on the upper and lower deck of the aircraft with direct aisle access for every seat, a 110-volt universal power outlet, USB port and a personal LED reading lamp. Each seat also comes with a 15.4 inch wide screen video monitor with access to more than 1,000 entertainment options including more than 300 films, 88 hours of television programming, HBO and Showtime, 27 video games and more than 5,000 digital music tracks.

“The days of having to step over a sleeping customer in the seat next to you are over,” said Hauenstein. “These upgrades will make the 747 the premier aircraft in our international fleet and customers will immediately notice the improved experience.”

To date, more than one-third of Delta’s wide body international fleet have been upgraded and the airline’s entire wide body international fleet of more than 140 aircraft will be flying with full flat-bed seats in Business Elite by 2014.
Delta’s transition in Economy to a slim line seat provides customers with up to two inches of additional knee clearance. All seats feature a headrest with adjustable wings, height and tilt, USB power and a nine-inch touchscreen featuring personal on-demand entertainment, the same as BusinessElite.

Installing full flat-bed seats on Delta’s widebody international aircraft is a major component of the $2 billion investment Delta is making in its product and customer experience.

Customers also will see Delta’s investment in its more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs throughout the system, power poles at dozens of airports, mobile apps which include features such as baggage tracking and WiFi on more than 800 aircraft.

Flickr photo by Kentaro Iemoto@Tokyo