Delta, through 2017, is planning a major upgrade for the interiors of its over 200 narrow-body aircraft with the addition of power outlets at each seat, wider seats in some aircraft and the introduction of new slimline seats with adjustable headrests.
The airline plans to upgrade its Boeing 757-200, 737-800, Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft by 2016 at a cost of nearly $770 million. The upgrades will also include updated lavatories, the addition of more efficient galleys and other features to improve passenger comfort.
Boeing 757-200 upgrades
Delta will upgrade 56 of its Boeing 757-200 aircraft (49 domestic and seven international planes) with in-seat video, satellite TV and power outlets at each seat. Cabin improvements will include new galleys, updated LED cabin lighting, new lavatory designs, and larger capacity overhead bins.
Delta will be the first North America carrier to install a new bin system that will increase passenger carry-on storage capacity by over 50 percent. This should help to alleviate the rush to find overhead space to stow your carry-ons when boarding the plane.
After the upgrades, each domestic 757-200 will have 20 First Class, 29 Economy Comfort and 150 Economy seats. The seven international 757-200 aircraft will have 18 First Class, 28 Economy Comfort and 151 Economy seats.
Boeing 737-800 upgrades
Delta will upgrade 43 of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft with the addition of in-seat video with satellite TV, power outlets at each seat, new LED cabin lighting and updated lavatories. Each aircraft will have 16 First Class seats, 18 Economy Comfort seats and 126 Economy seats.
Airbus A319 and A320 upgrades
Delta’s 57 Airbus A319 and 69 A320 aircraft will get new seats in First Class and the Economy class cabins with individual power outlets at each seat in all classes and in-seat video with satellite TV. The aircraft also will be updated with new space-saving galleys, new lavatories, new larger-capacity overhead bins with 60 percent more storage space, updated LED lighting systems and new cabin interiors.
The modified A319s will offer 12 seats in First Class and the A320s will offer 16 First Class seats. The aircraft will also feature 18 Economy Comfort seats with 34-inch seat pitch.
A big improvement will be the increase in width of Economy seats on both aircraft types to 18 inches from the current 17.2 inches. The A319s will have 102 economy seats and the A320s will get 126 economy class seats, each with 31-inch seat pitch. As most other airlines are planning to reduce their economy class seat width, it’s fantastic that Delta will be trying to make its seating more comfortable.
The upgrade of narrow-body aircraft interiors is part of Delta’s effort at upgrading passenger comfort across its fleet that began in 2010. Under the program, Delta is introducing full flat-bed seats with direct-aisle access in BusinessElite on all its international wide-body aircraft by mid-2014.
All transcontinental US flights will also have full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite by summer 2015. The upgrades also include more in-flight entertainment options, WiFi Internet access on all domestic two-class aircraft with expansion to its entire international fleet by 2015, Economy Comfort extra-legroom seats on all two-class aircraft, and more power outlets in the aircraft.