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Delta Air Lines Introduces Premium Economy Service on Transcontinental Flights

Delta Air Lines has announced that it will be introducing its premium economy service on transcontinental flights starting in September. This move is part of Delta’s strategy to increase sales of higher-priced tickets by offering customers more space and perks. Premium economy is a class of service that is positioned between first or business class and economy, and it often comes with a ticket price that is twice as much as standard coach.

Delta, along with other major airlines like United, is in a competition to provide more premium seating, upgrade lounges, and sell more rewards cards in order to target high-spending travelers. Even Southwest Airlines, which has traditionally followed a different business model, is considering offering a more expensive seat on its planes to boost revenue.

Delta’s ticket revenue from its main cabin increased by 4% in the first quarter of this year, reaching $5.4 billion, while revenue from premium products saw a 10% increase, reaching $4.4 billion. This demonstrates the potential profitability of offering premium services to customers.

The premium economy service will initially be available on four out of eleven peak-day flights between Los Angeles and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Boeing 767s, starting from September 10th. Delta plans to expand this service to other routes later in the year.

Customers who purchase standard economy tickets will have the option to upgrade to premium economy on these transcontinental flights. Additionally, members of Delta’s loyalty program, Medallion elite members, will be eligible for complimentary upgrades to Delta Premium Select. These members will also have the opportunity to list for upgrades to Delta’s top-tier Delta One product on these flights.

It is worth noting that although some of Delta’s planes previously had premium economy seats on certain routes, the carrier did not offer the full service that comes with premium economy, such as amenities kits, noise-canceling headphones, a full meal, and a blanket. Instead, these seats were sold as extra legroom tickets, which are a step below premium economy.

American Airlines also operates a similar model on some of its shorter domestic flights, featuring lie-flat seats but without the Flagship service offered on international flights.

Overall, Delta’s decision to introduce premium economy on transcontinental flights is a strategic move to cater to the preferences of high-spending travelers who are willing to pay more for added comfort and amenities. By expanding its premium offerings, Delta aims to boost revenue and maintain its competitive edge in the airline industry.

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