Delta’s first Airbus A350 rolled out of the paint shop this week. This is notable because it’s the first Delta aircraft that will offer 48 premium economy seats and also 32 business class suites with doors.
On Thursday Wandering Aramean wrote that this aircraft is expected to debut on the Detroit – Tokyo Narita route on October 30 (though it may operate domestically for a short while before that).
@RenesPoints notes that the A350 is indeed reflected at Delta.com this way, even though my quick check of computer reservation systems still shows the flight operated by a Boeing 777.
What’s more, he further notes that premium economy saver awards are available — including for the anticipated inaugural.
Premium economy is priced almost as expensively as business class (a saver award ‘should be’ 80,000 miles in business).
And business class pricing on this route is silly at 160,000 miles one way. Business class is going to be a Thompson Vantage XL seat seat with doors. I’m looking forward to seeing this in practice, since it’s a fairly standard seat, good enough, but not world leading I’m curious to see what the modifications are like and the extent to which the doors gain privacy but trade off with space.
Oddly 160,000 miles isn’t some sort of new pricing because of the new product, it’s just what Delta often charges. Indeed, before the A350 starts on the route and also after pricing goes as high as 240,000 miles one way from Detroit to Tokyo.
They have a monopoly in their company town and simply charge whatever they wish. While they frame themselves as offering more value to high spending customers, their award pricing puts the lie to that claim.