Delta Adds 7th Route for the Airbus A350

Delta A350 Adds 7th Route for the Airbus A350

delta A350 taking off

The airline’s order for the A350 stands at 25 units, to be delivered through the nest few years- the first aircraft was delivered in fall of 2017, and as of this article, there are two in operation.

As of November 2017 these are the routes being flown by the new plane :

Initial Route : DTW to NRT

Second Route : DTW to ICN

In early 2018, the  Detla A350 will fly from DTW to Beijing, Shanghai, and Amsterdam. ATL to ICN will be added in the spring. Just announced this week, LAX to Shanghai will begin in July 2018.

All of the aircraft feature Delta One Suites and Premium Select seating. They will also include 2Ku wifi and the latest features and technology from Delta and Airbus.

The Delta A350 replaces the iconic Boeing 747 as the airline’s premier long-haul aircraft. The final 747 flights will occur in December 2017.

Check out more of the features of the A350 on Delta’s site :



With Delta & United Retiring The 747, How Can You Fly The Queen?

Now that United has retired its last 747 and Delta will do the same before the end of 2017, which airlines are still flying the Queen of the Skies?

boeing 747-8

The History of the Jumbo Jet

It’s been 47 years since the widebody era began aboard the Boeing 747 that would change flying forever. However, before the 747 took to the skies, the Boeing 707 was the go-to long-haul jet. After debuting in the 50’s, by 1969 the 707 was noisy, inefficient, and dirty to operate. It also held under 200 passengers, featured a MTOW of under 350,000lbs, and had a range of just 4,000 – 5,800 km.  Credited with ushering in the Jet Age, the 707 was soon unable to deal with the passengers, cargo, and flights that it had helped create.

This increase in travel fueled the need for a larger plane. Other factors leading to the creation of the 747 were the military’s demand for a large, long range cargo plane; the side effects of the increased number of passengers, such as airport congestion; and the growth of a freight industry that was using standardized shipping containers, which didn’t fit on other aircraft.

A few other things molded the initial designs into what became the 747 Jumbo Jet. First, because of the development of supersonic transport around the same time, many saw the future of this jet in cargo roles, which led to the 747’s  having a swing up nose to load/unload cargo. This necessitated the cockpit in the “hump”. Second, engineering developments created the high-bypass turbofan, which produced twice the power with significant efficiency gains over previous engines. Thirdly, increased focus on safety led to the addition of redundant systems (the 747 has backup systems and quad main landing gear). Lastly, the plane mostly needed to operate from existing airports & infrastructure, which led to many new engineering accomplishments (slats and flaps that provided 90% more lift then a similar size wing).

Compared to the 707 that it replaced, the debut 747-100 model held around 400 passengers, featured a MTOW of 735,000lbs, and had a range of 8,560km.



Lufthansa 747-8

Why is the Jumbo Jet era ending?

For the most part, flying has changed. When the 747 was introduced, it typically would fly between big hub airports such as New York and London.

Smaller airplanes on domestic flights would typically feed passengers to the Jumbo Jets. Connecting flights would complete travel for passengers who needed to reach their final destinations in smaller cities. Travel has transitioned to longer, more direct flights between smaller city pairs, such as Fort Lauderdale to Oslo.

“Frankly we really don’t see much demand for really big airplanes,” said Randy Tinseth, Boeing vice president of marketing. “There will just be a handful moving forward. Things we do for VIPs, military operations, but we don’t see a significant demand for passenger 747-8s or A380s.”

There are still nearly 500 passenger 747s in service, but those numbers are falling as they’re retired and replaced.

British Airways, the largest 747 operator with 36 in service, is aiming to withdraw its last jumbo in February 2024. It has been undertaking a replacement of the Jumbo with long-haul twinjets – Boeing 777s and 787s.  According to the company, new-generation aircraft were 30% more efficient than the 747s.

Besides technology enabling two engines to reliably do what four used to, there are efficiencies to be realized in maintenance and repair costs. As new regulations go into effect, it’s expensive to upgrade older planes when you can replace them with newer models.


Lufthansa 747-8 a

Last Flights

United flew its last 747 on a flight between San Francisco and Honolulu on November 7. Delta, with the only other remaining 747 passenger fleet in the US, will fly the jumbo on its last flight between Detroit and Seoul, Korea, on December 17.

Does this mean the 747 era is over entirely? No. As a freighter, the 747 has no direct competition. Boeing continues to have orders for 747-8F versions but is producing only six per year.

If you’re willing to fly aboard a foreign airline, you can still get on a 747, and will likely be able to for many years. Lufthansa, Korean Air, & Air China operate the newer 747-8 Intercontinental.






Delta One New Routes plus Delta One Complimentary Upgrades!!!

Delta One New Routes plus Delta One Complimentary Upgrades!!!

Delta One First Class

Two huge news items came out of Delta today. First, the availability of Delta One cabins on additional domestic routes. Second, a huge perk, is allowing Medallion members to upgrade to Delta One.

New routes featuring the Delta One product are not a surprise, since JetBlue’s Mint (their first class cabin) is the best product on the transcon routes and are expanding into other markets.

However, the ability for Medallion members to upgrade into Delta One is huge news, and a really positive addition to the SkyMiles program, which is usually in the news for devaluations. Previously, these were not available for a complimentary upgrade; you had to buy the ticket, or Platinum and Diamond members could use an upgrade certificate to get in (assuming you opted for the Platinum and Diamond “gifts”).

The new complimentary upgrades will not clear on the 5/3/1 day windows like regular domestic first class complimentary upgrades, but will clear the day of. This makes sense since Delta wants to sell as many seats as possible (obviously) but if there are Delta One seats open the day of the flight, now Medallion members have a shot at the upgrade.

Delta already offers the Delta One experience on all flights on the following routes:

  • New York-JFK and Los Angeles & San Francisco
  • Boston and San Francisco
  • Washington-Reagan and Los Angeles

Delta is launching its Delta One experience on key long-haul domestic routes, starting Spring 2018, with select flights (not all flights) between the following markets:

  • Boston and Los Angeles
  • New York-JFK and San Diego & Seattle
  • New York-JFK and Las Vegas
  • Atlanta and Honolulu
  • Minneapolis and Honolulu

“Our domestic expansion of Delta One is all about responding to customers who have told us they want more opportunities to buy in to the premium experience that Delta One has quickly become known for,” said Delta President Glen Hauenstein. “And while more customers are locking in their preferred experience by purchasing First Class or Delta One, we know how important Complimentary Upgrades are to our Medallion Members. Offering our best product to our most loyal customers as an upgrade further distances SkyMiles from the competition.”

Delta One Seat

The Delta One cabin offers a luxurious experience with privacy, comfort and exceptional service featured at every step, including:

  • 180-degree flat-bed seats, featuring Westin Heavenly In-Flight bedding
  • In-seat power and USB outlets, seat-back entertainment screens with free entertainment, noise-canceling LSTN headsets and a TUMI amenity kit with Kiehl’s Since 1851 products
  • Sky Priority check-in, security, and baggage handling and Premium Boarding
  • In Los Angeles, Delta One customers continue to have access to the exclusive Delta ONE at LAX check-in
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club access on day of flight
  • A refined dining experience including chef-curated menus served on Alessi serviceware and seasonally rotating wines selected by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson


Delta One Upgrade

From the Delta website :

These are the latest improvements as part of the airline’s multi-billion dollar investment in the customer experience that includes a cabin modernization program featuring new seats, seatback entertainment systems with free entertainment, high-capacity overhead bins, free mobile messaging, access to Wi-Fi on nearly all flights, free Main Cabin meals on select flights, upgraded Main Cabin snacks, an Alessi-designed collection of serviceware, Westin Heavenly® In-Flight Bedding, chef-curated meals paired with wines hand-selected by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, noise-canceling LSTN headphones and more. Delta has also invested in a number of innovative solutions to ease the travel experience including real-time RFID bag tracking and auto check-in via the Fly Delta app, faster ways through security lines via efficient automated screening lanes and a partnership with CLEAR, and a redesigned E-Gate experience at its Atlanta hub.

Delta Mileage Run – NYC to Mexico City

Delta Mileage Run – NYC to Mexico City

delta aeromexico mileage run

With much debate over what will happen with the Delta MQM waiver going up to $250,000 for 2019 Diamond Medallion status, there is some argument (and has been an ongoing topic of debate) as to what value a mileage run brings.

Before MQD / dollar requirements, you just needed to fly a lot of miles to make status levels. The more miles you flew, the higher status you got. Simple. So obviously you want to fly the most while spending the least – hence the mileage run. Where can I go to get miles while not paying a lot? Deal websites popped up, mistake fairs became a thing to search for, and suddenly price wars happened. As spend requirements came into play, the value of mileage runs became questionable. You now had to spend more AND fly more.

mexico city

Mileage runs can still be useful since Delta allows rollover MQMs. They are useful if you are close to achieving a status level and just need a few more miles to make it. They’re also good if you like to fly and check out new places for a cheap price.

Last week I posted about $192 r/t fares to Mexico City (MEX) from New York – I got the flight for a long weekend in February to check out the city. But this week not only was the fare still around, but it was available across more dates. Time for a mileage run?

I did a weekday mileage run : JFK – MEX – ATL – DTW – JFK with a 7 hour layover in DTW. Price was $192.

Note, if you play around with schedules you can get a Dreamliner on this route, but only JFK to MEX, so you’ll get less MQMs. Also note that MSP was available instead of DTW, for extra MQMs, but the times didn’t work as well for me.

MQM : 4,525

MQD : 114

SkyMiles : 1,254

Cost : $191 or 4.2 cents / mile

Deal Alert – New York City to Mexico City for ~$192

AeroMexico and Delta are offering deals to Mexico City from NYC for as low as $192 – most tickets are $230-$260 round trip.


I was able to purchase a weekend trip leaving in the morning on Delta and connecting through Atlanta. On the return, I have the morning Dreamliner flight direct back to JFK. This will be the first 787 experience and I’m excited to try it out along with the recently added Medallion upgrade benefits for AeroMexico. These prices are mainly available from the end of 2017 through spring 2018.

For those interested in medallion status, this flight earned me :

4,182 MQM

124 MQD

1,364 SkyMiles

Price $192 for CPM of 4.6 cents

Delta Upgrade Certificates Usable on AeroMexico

Delta Upgrade Certificates Usable on AeroMexico

delta aeromexico


Earlier this year, Delta strengthened their partnership with AeroMexico. By streamlining various processes and facilities, they made transfers between the airlines more seamless to the customer. Along with rebranding codeshare flights and allowing complimentary upgrades, Delta effectively brought the airline into the same SkyTeam level as KLM and AirFrance.

Now, Delta announces that you can use upgrade certificates on AM. A passenger can redeem both regional and global upgrades for first class seating (you get these certificates from being a Platinum or Diamond member and selecting them as your “gift”). The fine print says that they are available only on Delta-marketing flights, however.

Overall, this is step in the right direction for Delta and its Mexican partner.


Delta adds Free Messaging to Flights

Delta adds free messaging to flights

Currently, you can buy wifi on nearly all Delta flights. It’s usually slow and expensive. Many of their newer planes are getting 2Ku, which is much faster. Older planes are being retrofitted. That’s great news if you want to work on the plane, but you’ll still pay a pretty penny.


What about if you just want to communicate with the ground but you don’t need to work on your laptop?

Beginning Oct. 1, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to offer free mobile messaging, providing more customers access to free messaging than any other airline.

According to Delta, “this new, complimentary capability will enable customers to stay fully connected with those on the ground and exchange real time messages in flight with friends, families, colleagues, and clients via iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.”

Powered by Gogo’s 2Ku Wi-Fi technology, Delta offers technology that provides consistent, uninterrupted coverage anywhere in the world, including over oceans. The airline has the largest current fleet of Gogo 2Ku aircraft –  by 2018 over 600 aircraft will have High-Speed Wi-Fi for domestic and international flights.  2Ku Wi-Fi gives customers an at-home experience, including the ability to stream video and use work-related networks, such as VPN, globally. It can also be used gate-to-gate, unlike current Gogo wifi.

Delta Raises MQD Amex Waiver to $250K

For those Delta elite, what are your thoughts on this for the 2019 Medallion year?

delta MQD

While I can understand wanting to make the top-tier Diamond level more exclusive, this is extremely high. American offers a way to get extra MQDs with spend. I think the only incentive with Delta was that you could reach this status without spending $15,000 on actual tickets. Diamond will now be available only for those who travel internationally for work (i.e. not spending their own money) and for those few who have come up with manufactured-spend-quasi-scams.

Another point – for those who DO make it to Diamond status, are there added rewards? I feel like if you either spend $250K on your Amex, Delta should give you something more valuable then what it previously offered, and Amex should also essentially love you forever. No word on that yet.

Should be interesting to see the results of this. It could mean more upgrades for certain tiers, or that there will be so many Platinums that no one will ever get upgrades.

Time to start planning travel without Delta. This was a big FU.

Delta Acquires 10% of Air France KLM

Delta Air Lines Acquires 10% of Air France KLM

delta klm air france

Delta Air Lines is increasing its investment in Air France KLM by acquiring 10 % equity in the joint venture partner. The deal also brings a seat on the Air France KLM Board of Directors. Air France KLM also purchased 31% of Virgin Atlantic.

“A dynamic global landscape means it’s more important than ever for Delta to deepen ties with our global partners to provide opportunities for mutual growth,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “Bringing together the strengths of Delta, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic into a combined joint venture will create the trans-Atlantic partnership of choice for customers.”

Delta, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, and Virgin offer nearly 300 daily nonstop trans-Atlantic flights. Customers also benefit from the ability to earn and redeem miles, use facilities at key airports, and gain access to each carrier’s airport lounges.

Delta’s existing joint venture with Air France-KLM dates to 2009; Alitalia was added in 2010. In 2012 the Atlanta-based airline launched a joint venture with Virgin Australia. This was followed in 2013 by both a 49 percent investment in, and joint venture with, Virgin Atlantic.

Partnerships :

In 2015, Delta Air Lines acquired a 3.5 percent stake in China Eastern. In 2017, Delta increased its equity stake in Aeromexico to 49 percent. Also in 2017, the airline enhanced its joint venture with Korean Air Lines. Delta also holds a 9.5 percent equity interest in Brazil-based airline GOL. As of July 2017, Delta is considering investing in India’s Jet Airways, although nothing has been announced formally.

Delta and it’s partners have the most trans-Atlantic routes, while presence in the pacific markets is increasing. Seattle has been growing as a hub for Delta’s trans-pacific flights, while increased code-shares with Mexican and South American airlines will increase Delta’s footprint there. A strategic partnership with Jet could provide access into the growing Indian and South Asian market.




Delta’s New Terminal at LaGuardia Airport

Delta’s New Terminal at LaGuardia Airport


The Port Authority of NY has given final approval to a lease agreement with Delta for it’s new $4 Billion terminal at LaGuardia Airport.

The Port Authority will pay $600 Million, with the airline responsible for $3.4 Billion plus any cost overruns.

The nearly all-new airport will be closer to the Grand Central Parkway, allowing more room on the airfield. This should result in fewer delays and less congestion. Construction started in summer 2016 on the roadways, parking facilities, and other terminals.

The Central Terminal will also be all new, and feature better connections, direct access to parking, and a link to a hotel. There is also still ongoing debate about how to get public transportation to the airport.

Delta’s terminal will feature 37 gates, 4 concourses with a central check-in / security / baggage area, and more concession space than currently. Also, Delta’s site promises a roof-deck Sky Club, similar to JFK. This terminal replaces the recently-updated-but-still-mostly-crappy terminals C & D. Completion is scheduled for 2026, which we can only hope happens on time.