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Travel Why Delta One Suites are poised to become the best business class in America — for now

14:18  22 may  2020
14:18  22 may  2020 Source:   thepointsguy.com

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American ’s best biz seat is found on the carrier’s flagship Boeing 777-300ER. The Safran Cirrus seat is quite comfortable and has a decent amount of privacy. And since Delta One Suites are the best hard product of these airlines, it’s going to be best business class in America … for now .

Business class passengers are given LSTN headphones to use with the systems, though if you have your own noise-cancelling ones, you might want I thought the flight experience in Delta One Suites was very pleasant – probably best in class among U.S. airlines. Delta’s soft amenities excel thanks

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Before the coronavirus put the travel industry on hold, many airlines across the world were retrofitting cabins with the latest innovations to the passenger experience.

Stateside, the big three have already got a good chunk of their long-haul fleet configured with their latest business-class cabins: American Flagship Business, Delta One Suites and United Polaris. AA and UA also have purpose-built lounges for their international biz passengers.

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Delta's business class are getting a big facelift. On Tuesday, the airline introduced the very first business class to Called the Delta One suite , the rooms onboard comes with ample storage space, an Ready Capital buys up commercial real estate loans, and securities backed by them, as well as

Delta will be introducing a new fully enclosed business class suite with doors on their newly delivered Airbus At the same time, in practice it will be over five years until the Delta One suites are fully rolled out, and even In a staggered business class configuration, why not install walls for extra privacy?

Though there’s long been a debate on which U.S. airlines offer the best all-around business-class experience, Delta’s the clear winner in the short term, as we slowly recover from the pandemic.

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In This Post

Ground experience won’t be the same

When we at TPG review a flight in biz, we allot 20% of our score to the ground experience. We answer questions like: What does the check-in process look like? How’s the lounge? Are there any other special amenities reserved for premium-cabin customers?

Among the U.S. airlines, American and United offer Flagship Lounges and Polaris Lounges, which are a step up from the traditional domestic membership lounge. These spaces were designed with premium-cabin, long-haul travel in mind; United’s even features sit-down, a la carte dining. Delta’s supposedly working on building an exclusive Delta One Lounge at LAX, but it’s years away from completion.

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Delta Air Lines will launch its business class Delta One suites onto the Sydney-Los Angeles route next year, raising the bar for premium travel on ( The best deal here is the US pass which offers a whole 24 hours of unlimited connectivity across one or more Delta flights: this works especially well if

At present, the new business class is available between New York and Paris, along with flights AF72 and Alitalia business class seat — ugly, but comfy. Alitalia is poised to get some hand- me -downs a There’s also the overlooked Air Europa for Skyteam… although there may be a good reason why

a room filled with furniture and a flat screen tv sitting in a chair: American’s Flagship Lounge LAX (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy American’s Flagship Lounge LAX (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

When the coronavirus hit, American and United quickly realized that demand for international premium cabin flights had essentially evaporated. To control costs and promote social distancing, they closed all of these fancy lounges.

Even with the industry on the road to recovery, don’t expect these lounges to immediately reopen. As American’s President Robert Isom explained, “Flagship Lounges will be closed until we see demand that warrants opening them back up.”

And while these lounges remain closed, AA’s and UA’s competitive advantage in offering a true business-class ground experience has (temporarily) vanished.

Inflight service modifications

Because of the coronavirus, airlines are modifying inflight service procedures, which will be noticeable at the pointy end of the plane.

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Delta ’s domestic and transatlantic entities are generating strong revenues and profits. Asia has been problematic for many airlines even as Delta is The investment in Aeromexico is notable because American and United are both larger than either Aeromexico or Delta in US-Mexico revenues, but

Learn about Delta 's baggage policy and restrictions or check and estimate any baggage fees for your next flight. When you travel with Delta , we want to help you feel prepared and understand everything you need to know about your baggage — before, during and after your trip.

According to Henry Harteveldt, president at Atmosphere Research Group, “airlines won’t provision complimentary pillows and blankets except, perhaps, for their longest flights.”

Related: Things don’t look too promising about the (immediate) future of business class

Furthermore, expect the meal service to be modified. For now, carriers have consolidated what used to be multi-course meals into one or two trays. I can’t imagine the return of the create-your-own ice cream sundae cart any time soon (as much as it pains me to write that). Similarly, the bread basket and table-side salad preparation could become a thing of the past.

food on a table: United Polaris ice cream sundae cart (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy United Polaris ice cream sundae cart (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Though single-use amenity kits are here to stay, there’s a good chance that we’ll see many of the name-brand headphones replaced with disposable ones.

Without being able to differentiate the product through the ground experience or inflight service, then it’s just going to come down to which airline offers the best hard product. And that’s Delta.

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Hard product trumps all

The one thing that’ll remain the same post-coronavirus is that premium cabins won’t look any different, and that’s to Delta’s advantage.

a desk with a computer on a table: Delta One Suite (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Delta One Suite (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

You see, DL’s the only carrier to offer enclosed suites with sliding doors and direct aisle access throughout the cabin. Though the footwell is a little tight depending on your shoe size, the rest of the modified Thompson Vantage XL seat is quite comfortable. The suites are well designed with large tables, though the finishes could use some improvement.

Related: What’s the difference between hard product and soft product?

That hard product is a notch or two above what American and United offer.

American’s best biz seat is found on the carrier’s flagship Boeing 777-300ER. The Safran Cirrus seat is quite comfortable and has a decent amount of privacy. It’s just not as cutting-edge as Delta’s offering.

a bag of luggage: United Polaris (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy United Polaris (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

United meanwhile customized Safran Optima seats for its Polaris business class that are incredibly comfortable and plenty private if you’re seated in a “true” window seat. However, not all seats are created equal, and some aren’t nearly as comfortable as others.

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Bottom line

As we recover from the coronavirus, expect to see some difference in the flight experience. Nowhere will this ring more true than in biz.

With lounges closed, American and United don’t have a competitive advantage of offering a dedicated business-class ground experience. Once in the air, the service is going to be so heavily modified that you won’t be able to notice a difference between the big three U.S. carriers.

That’s why it’s going to boil down to the seat itself. And since Delta One Suites are the best hard product of these airlines, it’s going to be best business class in America… for now.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

This is what it’s like to fly across the Pacific during COVID .
As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year. The flying experience has been turned upside down …The flying experience has been turned upside down since the coronavirus pandemic began affecting travel earlier this year. Perhaps nowhere is the disruption to air travel more pronounced than on international flights, which have borne the worst fallout of the pandemic.

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