Delta Air Lines will launch its private business class Delta One suites onto the Sydney-Los Angeles route next year, raising the bar for premium travel on the popular and competitive trans-Pacific route.
The airline has confirmed that one of its long-range Boeing 777-200LR jets, which are being updated to feature the enclosed business class suites with sliding privacy doors, will begin loping daily between Sydney and LAX in 2019.
Specifically when that is, we don't know – in a statement issued to the media, Delta would only say that "exact schedule details will be published at a later date" – although as Australian Business Traveller previously noted, a temporary update to Delta's schedule earlier this year showed the Delta One suites making their Sydney debut from March 31.
Whenever the Delta One suites do appear, travellers will notice they number just 28 Delta One suites on the revamped Boeing 777 compared to 37 seats in the current business class cabin, due to Delta's decision to add a sizeable new Premium Select premium economy cabin.
Once the Delta One suites begin flying between Sydney and Los Angeles, the reduced number of business class seats – nearly a 25% reduction – will make it more challenging for travellers to snare a Delta One suite based on redeeming their frequent flyer miles as well as reduced availability of upgrades.
First introduced in 2017 on its Airbus A350 fleet, the suites boast sliding privacy doors akin to what passengers would expect from first class.
Behind those doors, it's a more familiar scene – a modified version of the same Vantage XL seat (from Irish seat maker Thompson Aero) as used by Qantas for its Business Suite seen on the Airbus A330s, Boeing 787s and from next year the Airbus A380 superjumbos.
On the plus side, this means you get a well-appointed seat with a decent amount of personal space plus a lie-flat bed.
The downside, as reported by some passengers on Delta's A350s, is that the presence of that door can make the suite feel rather enclosed.
The paired Delta One suites in the middle of the business class cabin have a divider which can be pushed down if you're travelling with a partner or colleague.
Behind the Delta One business class cabin, the Boeing 777s feature 48 of the airline's new Premium Select premium economy seats ranked in a 2-4-2 configuration.
These effectively replace today's Comfort+ section, which offers the standard economy seat with a few extra inches of legroom.