Delta Air Lines announced a major investment in its international fleet with plans to introduce a premium economy section called "Economy Comfort" on all long-haul international flights in summer 2011. The new seats will feature up to four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline than Delta'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.
Customers who have purchased an international Economy ticket on Delta will be able to choose Economy Comfort seats for an additional fee of $80 to $160 one-way through www.delta.com, kiosks and Delta reservations beginning in May for travel this summer. Complimentary access to Economy Comfort seats will be available to all SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallions; up to eight companions traveling in the same reservation with Diamond and Platinum Medallions; and customers purchasing full-fare Economy class tickets. Gold and Silver Medallions will enjoy 50 and 25 percent discounts on the Economy Comfort seat fees, respectively.
"Just as Delta is investing in BusinessElite, which is among the industry's most competitive premium products, it makes sense to offer enhancements to our Economy Class service that provide additional comfort," said Glen Hauenstein, Delta's executive vice president of network planning, revenue management and marketing. "Economy Comfort is one of many elements Delta is committed to delivering to our customers as part of a more than $2 billion investment we are making in the air and on the ground to improve the customer experience and position Delta as a leader in customer service."
In addition to more leg room and reclining ability, 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.
In addition to investing in the international Economy cabin, Delta said it plans to install 34 horizontal flat-bed BusinessElite seats with direct aisle access in each of its 32 Airbus A330 aircraft by 2013.