I’ve seen many people criticize Delta for what it puts on its blog, but they’ve been putting more and more useful information on there lately. I’d encourage those interested in Delta to go back and give it another chance. My favorite posts are those from Marie Force, Delta’s archive manager. But in the last couple days, there have been a couple of posts with some current developments that are worth noting.
Delta was the first that I can recall to invest in flat screen monitors to make all sorts of information available to the people waiting around at the gate. Included in that was the standby list. Did you make it on the earlier flight? Had they even cleared the list yet? What about the upgrade to First Class? The screen had all the info. It has taken them several years, but they’ve finally brought this functionality to the website.
Now when you’re flying, you can go online and make sure you’re on the standby/upgrade list. More importantly, you can see how many seats are available, and you can learn where you are on that list. Nice, huh?
This is only on the website right now, but they say it will be on the mobile version “shortly.” Then it will become much more valuable.
If you’re one of those people rejoicing at having wireless internet onboard, you’ll be happy to know that Delta has made some real progress. Just yesterday, they said 44 aircraft were outfitted, but this morning they said it was up to 59. As of today, 53 of the MD-88 aircraft (out of 113), 5 757s (out of 128), and the very first MD-90 (out of 16) have been outfitted with wireless internet. One more MD-88 and one MD-90 go in tonight.
If you include all 78 737s, all MD-88s, all MD-90s, and all 757s in the calcuation, that means that 17.6% of the domestic fleet is outfitted. Some of those 757s, however, are part of the international fleet, and some of the 767s are part of the domestic fleet, so it’s not exact. Of course, this doesn’t (and won’t) include regional aircraft.
Still, if you’re on an MD-88, you now have a 47% chance of getting a wireless-enabled aircraft. That’s very good, and it’s progressing quickly.
The rest of the updates weren’t exactly earth-shattering, but they’re still kind of interesting. And the blogger who wrote about them writes in pretty technical language, so I thought I could serve as a translator.
One update was on the “75E” aircraft. That’s actually just their internal code for the 757s that fly over the Atlantic. So what did they do? They added larger lav tanks. Apparently, people were cooped up a little too long on those 757s and they must have been running out of room in the lav tanks. Yuck. The modifications will be done on all the international 757s by June 1. Might want to avoid drinking too much water on those planes until then.
Other good news: they put headrests on the coach seats while this was going on.
Delta’s longest haul aircraft, the 777-200LR, is slowly entering the fleet. The third aircraft was just delivered, and they’ve apparently found a way to squeeze in another two business class seats. So instead of 43, there will now be 45 onboard. The first two aircraft will be modified to have two more business class seats in the next couple months as well.