Delta premium economy service is coming to flights between NYC and LA

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 passenger plane arrives from Dublin at JFK International Airport in New York as the Manhattan skyline looms in the background on February 7, 2024.

Charly Tribelleau | Episode | Getty Images

Delta Airlines said Monday it will offer its premium economy service on transcontinental flights in September, its latest effort to boost sales of higher-priced tickets to customers willing to splurge for more space and perks.

Premium Economy is a relatively new service class that major airlines offer on longer, often international flights. It sits between First Class or Business Class and the rest of Economy Class and can have a ticket price that is often twice that of a standard coach.

Delta and its rivals love it United are engaged in an arms race to equip planes with more premium seats, upgrade lounges and sell more rewards cards to take advantage of travelers spending higher while airfares overall fall. JetBlue Airways this year said the turnaround plan will emphasize profitable routes that offer the Mint business-class cabin. Even Southwest AirlinesUnder pressure to increase sales, it is considering a more expensive seat on its plane, breaking with its decades-old business model.

Delta's main cabin ticket revenue rose 4% to $5.4 billion in the first quarter compared to a year ago, while premium revenue rose 10% to $4.4 billion.

The additional service will launch on September 10 on four of 11 peak-day flights between Los Angeles and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Boeing 767s. Delta said it plans to expand service later this year.

Delta customers who purchase standard economy tickets can pay for upgrades to premium economy on transcontinental flights.

Delta said Medallion loyalty program elite members are eligible for free upgrades to the so-called Delta Premium Select, but they can also request upgrades to the flagship Delta One product on those flights.

Some Delta planes flying on some routes previously had premium economy seats, but the airline did not offer the associated services, such as amenity packages, noise-canceling headphones, a full meal and a blanket. The seats were sold as extra legroom tickets, which are below premium economy.

Some US airlinesShorter domestic flights will operate a similar model, with lie-flat seats, but not the flagship service offered on international flights.

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