A new First for Delta’s domestic flights on the A321Neo

Delta Airlines recently unveiled the new “First” cabin that will equip the Airbus A321Neo aircraft it will operate on its domestic routes starting in December 2020.

The airline partnered with RECARO and Factorydesign, based on customer feedback and industry trends, to develop the next generation of first-class seats for domestic flights.

The promise: “more privacy, more storage, larger screens and more comfort”.

Delta Airlines’ new Domestic First


– A fixed headrest for greater privacy and sleep without compromising seat width or space.
– A larger, stronger tray table with 25%* more workspace offering 3 times the volume for storing personal items and devices, including dedicated storage for laptops and water bottles for all phases of flight.
– Small touches like passenger-facing power ports and memory foam cushions for added comfort.

With these pictures it is difficult to know if it is a fixed shell seat or a recliner. Considering the space between the rows, I would rather bet for a reclining seat, especially since the experience of some airlines such as Air France on the fixed shell in premium economy shows that for this type of configuration it is not ideal in terms of comfort. We will certainly know more soon but today Delta does not communicate on this subject…which reinforces the hypothesis of the recliner because if it was a fixed hull they would surely have mentioned it as a differentiating element.

By the way, what is the First at Delta?

Be careful, it is not a “First”, a first class as we mean it in Europe with spacious and very private cabins on long haul flights. For Delta, and American airlines in general, the First class is in fact the business class of domestic routes.

Indeed, in the USA, as is often the case in Asia, and unlike in Europe, with the notable exception of Turkish Airlines, the medium-haul Business class (called First) is given specific seats and not the same seat as the Economy class.

However, the notion of domestic and medium-haul flights on this ” continent-country ” must be put into perspective. When a New York-Los Angeles flight lasts more than 6 hours, i.e. 1 hour less than a New York-Paris flight, it is obvious that a configuration closer to a long haul flight makes sense.

A real move upmarket at Delta

This is further proof of Delta’s commitment to move upmarket, as it already offers a very solid product for an American airline. After the introduction of the One Suite and the implementation of a new premium service protocol on long-haul economy, this is further proof of Delta’s focus on improving its product and customer experience.

The A321Neo at Delta

Delta and Airbus have agreed on terms for a firm order of 100 A321Neo aircraft and 100 options.

The airline will configure the A321neo with a total of 194 seats, including 20 in First, 42 in Delta Comfort+ and 132 in the main cabin. The aircraft will be equipped with an on-demand entertainment system, high-speed satellite Wi-Fi, power ports and streaming video content available at every seat via the Delta Studio. The cab will also feature large library-style storage bins that are 25 percent larger and full-spectrum LED cabin lighting.

Delta plans to take delivery of its first A321neo in the fourth quarter of 2020, with new aircraft arriving through 2023.

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.

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