Delta Air Lines will acquire its most passengerfriendly jet next year, where it will be used in competitive markets. The new, high-tech aircraft offers wide seats and a quiet cabin. Delta expects to use this aircraft on its more competitive domestic routes, such as between New York and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

What is Different?

The primary difference in this new plane is that the two-by-three seat configuration means fewer middle seats for passengers. While most travelers don’t have an aircraft preference or aren’t willing to pay a premium for an aircraft of choice, on longer domestic flights, travelers have proven to change airlines for a more comfortable passenger experience.

Where Will It Fly?

Outside of its key markets, Delta is testing routes in areas of the U.S. with lucrative economies, such as Austin, Boston, San Jose, and Raleigh. This approach separates Delta from its competitors, who are known for encouraging travelers to connect through those airlines’ largest hubs. Following a similar approach to Southwest Airlines, Delta will fly in any domestic market where it deems it can make money. Delta identifies where travelers want to fly, and then they figure out how to make it work. Beyond a domestic focal point, Delta is adding European destinations from outside its main hubs. Travelers can keep an eye out for these additional routes to be introduced. Delta is aggressive in building focus cities, having recently announced three daily flights from Raleigh, NC, to Chicago O’Hare. Whether a premium cost will accompany these new, more comfortable jets remains to be seen.

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