Delta’s Premium Economy Launches on NYC-LA Flights in Competitive Market

Delta’s Premium Economy Launches on NYC-LA Flights in Competitive Market

Delta Air Lines said Monday it will introduce premium economy service on transcontinental flights starting in September, the latest attempt to boost sales of more expensive tickets to customers willing to pay for more space and perks.

Premium economy is a relatively new class of service offered by major airlines on long-haul, mostly international flights. It sits between first or business class and the rest of economy class, and tickets are often twice as expensive as standard economy class.

Delta and rivals such as United Airlines are racing to add more premium seats to their planes, upgrade lounges and sell more loyalty cards to capitalize on frequent flyers as airfares overall fall. JetBlue Airways said its turnaround plan this year will focus on profitable routes that offer a mint business-class cabin. Even Southwest Airlines is under pressure to boost revenue and is considering breaking with its decades-old business model and introducing more expensive seats onto its planes.

Delta Air Lines’ first-quarter main cabin ticket revenue rose 4 percent from a year ago to $5.4 billion, while premium revenue increased 10% to $4.4 billion.

The additional service will begin Sept. 10 on four of its 11 peak daytime flights between Los Angeles and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport using Boeing 767 aircraft. Delta has announced plans to expand the service later this year.

Delta customers who purchase standard economy class tickets can upgrade to premium economy class on transcontinental flights for a fee.

Delta said that Medallion loyalty program elite members can get free upgrades to what it calls Delta Premium Select, but will also be able to sign up for upgrades to the top-of-the-line Delta One on these flights.

Previously, some Delta aircraft operating on select routes were equipped with premium economy seats, but the airline did not offer related services such as care kits, noise-canceling headphones, full meals or blankets. The seats were sold as extra-legroom tickets, one step below premium economy.

Some of American’s short-haul routes use a similar model with lie-flat seats, but without the flagship services offered on international routes.

Topics #Competitive Market #Delta #Deltas Premium Economy #NYC-LA Flights

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