BAM! It’s A True Premium Economy World After All, Delta CEO Says

After selling an Economy product with a few inches as a Plus and achieving only  moderate load factors, Delta Air Lines’ CEO advised reporters at the Delta Meet and Fleet event in Atlanta that a new “True” Premium Economy cabin will be introduced on the airline’s A350 aircraft.

Premium Economy: If you know how to work it, it works!

Of course, Delta must have been planning this all along, since they couldn’t have made the decision to add a Premium Economy cabin to this aircraft yesterday, but let’s review why this is such a good idea. Good enough to consider on other long-haul aircraft in future too.

  1. Sow’s Ear Cabins aren’t selling. That whole Plus cabin thing is flying piddly load factors in the why bother!
  2. American Airlines ain’t playing games. It knows from Premium Economy and it will get the higher revenue out of it others leave sitting in the magazine pockets of ordinary seats dressed up in inches.
  3. Singapore Airlines rocked the A350 with its gorgeous Premium Economy, and other airlines are getting in the game. It’s time for flagships to step up with product differentiation or be left on the sidelines looking back.
  4. Even Low-Cost competitors are bringing their A-Game at home and abroad. Can we talk about JetBlue’s Mint? Have you seen long-haul Premium Economy on Norwegian? You can’t keep them out forever.
  5. For heaven’s sake Virgin Atlantic created the Premium Economy label, made this class the best in the world, and kept it that way! The least a smart airline can do is learn best practices from partners.

I can be hard on Delta sometimes. I have my reasons, and I’ve made some of them pretty public.

But the news I’ve heard from Delta in the past two days has made me think something fresh and pretty special is in the air, and I’m delighted.

(I’m not even getting into the baggage tracking thing yet. That’s pretty awesome, but I’ll write more about it shortly.)

I still think the Open Skies debate is a debacle, but…let’s stick to happy news. It’s Friday (Saturday for me, actually).

Well done Delta! Keep this up, I might just have to change my mind. (It’s been known to happen).

Featured Image: Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy cabin. Will Delta’s version measure up?

More on Premium Economy:

This New Blended Cabin Could Introduce the World’s First Lay-Flat Premium Economy Seat, Skift

Year in Review: Top Cabin Interiors of 2015, The APEX Association

In Conversation with Fernand Fernandez on Creating a True Premium Economy Cabin for American Airlines, The APEX Association

Hot Seat: Premium Economy Cabins Are All the Fashion, The APEX Association

Happy Medium: Tackling Premium Economy for Brand and Profit – Part One, The APEX Association

Happy Medium: LOT Avoids Brand Commoditisation With a Focus on Premium Economy – Part Two, The APEX Association

Happy Medium: JPA Design Explains Why Airlines Should Make Premium Economy Differentiation Count – Part Three, The APEX Association

Virgin Australia Escalates the Battle for Better Premium Economy, Skift

Singapore Airlines’ New Premium Economy Class Was Worth the Wait, Skift

The Best Feature of Singapore’s Premium Economy We Weren’t Expecting, Skift

JAL Introduces a New Premium Economy Class for Dreamliners, Skift

Lufthansa Takes the Wrappers Off Its New Premium Economy Cabin, Skift

The World’s Best Airlines for Long-Haul Premium Economy, Skift






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Marisa Garcia

After working for sixteen years in aviation, specializing in aircraft interiors design and aviation safety equipment, and getting hands-on with aircraft cabins in hangars around the world, Marisa Garcia turned her expertise into industry insight. She has been reporting on aviation matters since 2014. Every day, she's putting words to work.

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