A Video Walkthrough of Delta’s New A350

Last week, Delta brought its fancy new A350 to Los Angeles to show it off. The airline parked the airplane at the Flight Path Museum on the south side of LAX and invited media, travel agents, and others to come out and crawl around. Why? Well, starting July 2, the A350 goes on to the highly-competitive Los Angeles – Shanghai route, and Delta’s hoping this airplane will help improve the route’s performance.

After poking around, I decided I’d put together three short videos, one for each cabin on the airplane. Let’s start in the back with a look at coach.

Next up was, to me, the star of the show. The A350 is the first to get Delta’s new Premium Select premium economy cabin.

And last, it’s Delta’s new Delta One business class. The big gimmick is that it has a door that closes, but I found myself really liking the seat even without the door. The only thing I wondered about (much to the displeasure of the flight attendant who was filming) was whether the bed might be a little too narrow. Here’s that video.

If anyone’s flown the airplane, I’d love to hear your thoughts after sitting for such a long time. It’s not quite the same when you just come on and wander around for an hour.

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24 Responses to A Video Walkthrough of Delta’s New A350

  1. Catherine Burnett says:

    Thanks for the post, Cranky! I can’t imagine that everyone will like the in-arm tray tables in the Premium Select seats. Especially larger people. Or people traveling with a child restraint device. And no overhead storage space in the Delta One business class? Perhaps people traveling such a long distance will only bring on one carry-on bag, so storage won’t be an issue, but Americans love to “carry on”, so I can only imagine that this is going to be a nightmare for the flight attendants to manage.

    • Hajime Sano says:

      It looks the Delta One section has storage along the sides, but not in the center. Perhaps the designers were thinking with in-seat storage areas, there won’t be as much to put in the overhead bins.

  2. Flew Delta Premium Select DTW-ICN, and truly enjoyed it. The airplane itself is very refined— quiet and much more hospitable due to better cabin pressurization. But what stood out in DPS was the soft product. The seat is the same as a SUA A380 Premium Econ. I took, but their upgraded catering and flight attendant ratio are both excellent. True silverware and plates, as well as dedicated FAs, makes a difference.

    • Doug Swalen says:

      I dislike those arm rests in the Premium cabin. The rest of the seat seems fine but why’d they have to stagger the glass rests in the middle like that? That design is going to cause “accidents” as things get knocked over. I prefer EVA’s Premium Economy arm rests.

  3. Scott Z says:

    I flew it DTW to ICN. I used a global upgrade and flew Delta One going over (I had booked Premium Select round trip. Considering the Delta One cabin was designed with the A350 in mind it looks like someone shoved way too many cubes in an office. The aisle between the seats are so narrow they had to build new carts. Also the forward galley is tiny. I was shocked. Do yourself a favor and don’t choose the first window seat on either side because you’ll be doing nothing but looking at the people going in and out of the lavatory the entire flight because it’s right there. I agree though the Delta One seat is very nice. It really felt very similar to what’s on the A330. Food was great. My return ICN to DTW I really enjoyed my Premium Select experience. I will be happy to pay for that any flight I can. The service was great. Seat comfort superb. I slept 8 hours of good sleep in the Premium Select seat and I have never slept better on a plane in 20 years. I hope DL considers ripping economy comfort out on transcon domestic routes from narrow bodies and replace it with 2 x 2 Premium Select. The A350 is a nice plane, the lack of center overhead bins in the Delta One cabin gives you a really spacious feeling too. But the A350 is not a 787. It’s more of the Chevrolet Suburban while the 787 is the Cadillac Escalade. Just in my opinion.

  4. Jonas says:

    So, why is 54H “probably the worst seat”? Too far in the back? No screen? Last to get service? Even less legroom?

    • CF says:

      Jonas – Well, it’s the last row and right next to the galley. While it may recline a little, it was definitely impeded by the wall behind it. Oddly enough, row 55 exists in the center section only, but that appears to allow for more recline based on the position to the wall behind it.

  5. Kilroy says:

    With all due respect to Brett and to Delta, I know that Brett has a trimmer waistline than some of us (referring especially to myself here) and is not the biggest guy. If Brett is wondering if the bed is a bit too narrow when he’s in it, it will almost certainly feel narrow to many others, even people who are not so large that they require a seat belt extension.

  6. I love this version of premium economy—Brett, when do you think similar cabins are likely to come to more US carriers’ fleets? (And does DL have more of these planned for other planes and routes?) I’d love to avoid the 10-abreast cabins on UA’s 777s without having to buy all the way up into business.

    • CF says:

      Jack – They’re already out there. American has it rolling out on a growing percent of the fleet. I thought by next summer the widebodies were done (except the 767s). United is going to start flying this later this year.
      And Delta will be expanding it. The 777 fleet is next on the list.

  7. Lord Dima says:

    It’s nice to see the videos instead of just a bunch of pictures. Delta One looks very tight. How’s the bed length? I’m 6’8″ and Singapore A350 biz was very, very uncomfortable. This seems like it might be similar…

  8. A says:

    The premium select is what I’ve been waiting to hear about. Unfortunately DeltaOne is too rich for my blood but I can probably use my SkyPesos to get into a domestic F seat on a flight to the orient. Back in Y class my complaint is the 3 abreast seating on the outside. I don’t mind the long international flights on the 330 and 767 with 2 abreast when flying with my spouse. We are not too fond of adding a stranger to the mix…and for 10+ hours that gets awkward. That’s when I connect at SEA and take the old metal for the Asia flight.

  9. Jake says:

    Wow, nice business class. LOVE the cathedral ceilings!! What’s difference from those ugly interiors where you feel like you are in a basement apartment and you can’t even stand up.

  10. Hey CF, love the L1011 reference regarding no center bins! I still miss that old bird!

  11. Mike says:

    I sat in seat 41J last month DTW to AMS, and this is definitely the best economy seat I’ve sat in in a long time. It had legroom for days, and the ability to slip out of a window seat without disturbing others in the row is always a nice perk. Great aircraft all around.

  12. I’ve flown withe the in-0arm tray tables, as a big guy, 6’4, I gotta tell you its not the best way to set up a tray table. Overall the flight was very good. The airplane is well set up and as much as I’m a boeign man, this is one nice airbus!

  13. Peter says:

    After having flown the 350 from DTW to PEK three times in Delta One I can say I am a big fan. The seats are not too narrow and I have super sized my fair shares of happy meals. I like the door but hate the fact that there is no overhead bins in Delta One. I always board last as I travel light and last week – no room for a briefcase! The guy in the window seat on the other side came had to come back to row 3 on my side to put everything he owned. Someone made a bad decision to “open up” the cabin at the guests comfort and convenience. Lastly, at Delta’s rediculous pricing I must switch to China Southern as my new contract does not pay airfare but gives me a lump sum of money each year for six RTs. Too bad, I like the plane and the service.

  14. Phllax says:

    I noticed that they’re using EU and Asian style exit signs on the 350. Doesn’t the FAA require the typical red EXIT signs we normally see?

    • CF says:

      Phllax – I assume that whatever they’ve done is FAA-compliant, because that airplane is flying in regular service.

  15. rfa says:

    The premium select is what I’ve been waiting to hear about. Unfortunately DeltaOne is too rich for my blood but I can probably use my SkyPesos to get into a domestic F seat on a flight to the orient. Back in Y class my complaint is the 3 abreast seating on the outside. I don’t mind the long international flights on the 330 and 767 with 2 abreast when flying with my spouse. We are not too fond of adding a stranger to the mix…and for 10+ hours that gets awkward. That’s when I connect at SEA and take the old metal for the Asia flight.

  16. John Dewes says:

    I’m new to this blog, so correct me if my query is off base (too cranky?), but do you care about the impact of the A350 and Premium Select on Delta frequent flyers? I don’t know if you are aware, but on overseas flights, such as DTW- PEK, frequent flyers received free upgrades to Economy Comfort based on availability. Not so with Premium Select! Spend $4K on a Y class fare, and you are stuck in the Main Cabin! I was quoted 35,000 miles to upgrade to Premium Select! For this reason alone, I’m going through SEA to get to PEK and avoiding the A350 like the plague!

    • CF says:

      John – That’s really not my concern in this particular post. I’m sure that elites who have to buy coach won’t be happy that they can’t get extra legroom for free, but it doesn’t diminish the quality of the onboard product.

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