Delta Air Lines will launch its 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 enclosed business class suites with sliding privacy doors will appear on Delta's daily Boeing 777 flight between Sydney and LAX starting April 18, 2019 (the first Delta One suites from Los Angeles to Sydney will take wing on April 16).
Each of the 28 suites on the upgraded Boeing 777 has a seat width of 22-24 inches and extends to a 2-metre (79-inch) fully flat bed with memory foam cushions and Westin 'Heavenly Bedding'.
The Delta One suites – built on the same Thompson Vantage XL platform as the Qantas Business Suites – are arranged in a staggered 1-2-1 layout, so there's not only direct aisle access for every passenger but the option for those in window seats to be closer to the window or closer to the aisle.
Each passenger gets an 18-inch HD touchscreen, AC/USB outlets and a snazzy Tumi amenity kit with Kiehl skincare products, plus – for a fee – very fast WiFi.
(The best deal here is the US$28 pass which offers a whole 24 hours of unlimited connectivity across one or more Delta flights: this works especially well if you have an onwards connection from Delta's LAX terminal to another destination within the USA.)
Delta has also extended its choose-before-you-fly 'Pre-select' meal service to business class travellers between Los Angeles and Sydney, with chef duo Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo designing the seasonal menu on flights from LAX plus a selection of matching wines curated by Delta's Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson.
"We want to make dining at 30,000 feet feel like dining at a favourite restaurant," explains Lisa Bauer, Delta's Vice President for On-Board Services.
It's worth noting that Delta's revamped Boeing 777-200LR jets have a smaller business class cabin – down from 37 seats to 28 Delta One suites – due to Delta's decision to add a sizeable new Premium Select premium economy cabin (below) in place of the extra-legroom Comfort+ section.
This near-25% reduction will make it more challenging for travellers to snare a Delta One suite based on redeeming their frequent flyer miles, and will likely see reduced availability of upgrades.
Qantas frequent flyers who are tempted to try the Delta One suites will also be interested in Delta's status match for Qantas Platinum and Gold card-holders.
This provides three months of complimentary status in Delta's Sky Miles rewards program, which can then be extended for as far away as January 2020 by completing a not-very-challenging "mileage challenge" with just a single flight.