Delta has been touting their Premium Select product for long haul flights as something that bridges the gap between Delta One and main cabin seating. They claim that it “sits at the intersection of luxury and practicality – giving customers the opportunity to treat themselves to a more spacious seat and premium experience at a lower price point compared to the Delta One cabin”.
It’s supposed to have an enhanced dining experience, more comfortable seating and premium amenities. With such great marketing, I had to give it a try on my 14 hour flight from Detroit to Tokyo. But was it worth it? I’ll give you my personal experience and perspective to see if it lived up to the hype.
Let’s start with the details of the flight:
- Destination: Detroit (DTW) to Tokyo Haneda (HND)
- Airline: Delta Flight # DL275
- Aircraft type: Airbus A350-900
- Distance: 6,400 miles
- Scheduled Flight time: 13 hours & 50 minutes
- Seat: 22G (Aisle)
- Class: Delta Premium Select
Related: ANA Business Class Review Tokyo to Houston (the return portion of this trip)
What is Delta Premium Select?
According to Delta, Premium Select is a class that offers bigger seats, additional recline, an adjustable footrest and other goodies to enhance your international flight experience. These extra perks come with a bigger price tag, but is the extra cost really worth it? In this article, I’ll share my firsthand experience, highlighting the pros and cons of Delta Premium Select.
According to Delta, when you’re flying Premium Select, you’ll get:
- Sky Priority service at the airport. Passengers receive accelerated check-in, airport security screening and priority baggage service. You’re also among the first to board on the plane.
- A larger, more comfortable seat. Your ticket includes a wider seat that offers an additional recline and an adjustable footrest.
- Premium food and beverage. Passengers receive complimentary wine, beer and spirits to go with an enhanced meal service.
- Enhanced entertainment options. Watch TV and movies or listen to music on your own device during the flight, or use the complimentary noise-canceling headphones and embedded in-flight entertainment screen that’s up to 13.3 inches.
- Exclusive amenities in the air. Enjoy a memory-foam pillow and plush blanket to curl up with during your flight. You’ll also receive an amenity kit that includes an eyeshade, socks, Le Labo facial mist and lip balm, along with other travel products.
Delta Premium Select Price
Roughly speaking, for my flight, the price for a Premium Select seat was about 40% more than Main Cabin ($1,350), 30% more than Comfort Plus and less than half the cost of Delta One.
In miles, the ratios are the same as with a paid fare.
Priority Service at Check In
One of the benefits of premium select is Sky Priority service for the check in process which includes access to sky priority lines for both check in and security, as well as early boarding.
I have Delta Platinum status so I already receive these benefits, but they would be nice for someone that doesn’t have elite status with Delta. The only perk I received out of the check in and boarding benefit was early boarding with the premium select cabin.
Delta Premium Select Seats
In my opinion, the only reason you would buy a premium select ticket is because of the larger seat and extra legroom. The seats are definitely bigger and have a lot more legroom than main cabin seats.
Premium select seats are about 1 inch wider than comfort plus and main cabin seats and they have 4 inches more legroom than comfort plus and 6 inches more than main cabin economy seats.
This makes a big difference if you need to work on the flight. The added space allows you to easily work with your laptop up, even if the person in front of you has their seat fully reclined, which they normally do on long haul international flights.
The other benefit of the premium select cabin on this flight is the 2-4-2 configuration. If you are flying with a spouse or friend, having a 2 seat configuration is very nice. The comfort plus and main cabin seats are 3-3-3, so if there are just two of you flying, you will most likely be stuck with a stranger sitting next to you.
If you are flying alone, this really isn’t a benefit because you will be stuck sitting next to a stranger either way.
The seats come with a pillow, blanket, slippers, headphones and an amenity kit. All of which are neatly laid out on the seat for you.
There is additional space for storage in the back of the seat in front of you, which was nice for storing the headphones and magazines.
The seats recline more than main cabin seats and have a fold-out adjustable footrest and leg rest. This is nice if you are reclining back to watch a movie, but I didn’t find them to be any more comfortable for sleeping than main cabin seats.
Premium Select Food
The biggest disappointment of my Premium Select flight experience was the food. Delta advertises the premium select meal service as “Inspired Dining” with an elevated food experience. As you will see from the pictures below, there is nothing elevated or inspiring about this meal service.
It wasn’t terrible, but based on their marketing I was excited for something that was much more than what they served. The dinner service looked bad, but tasted pretty good. The mid-flight and breakfast could not have been any different than what was served in the main cabin. Overall a big disappointment.
In Flight Entertainment
Delta’s in flight entertainment system had plenty of options to choose from.
The screen was a little bigger than main cabin but the content was the same. It also came with a much nicer headset than the earbuds you get in main cabin.
The amenity kit included a sleep mask, socks, lotion and toothbrush.
Final Thoughts: Is Delta Premium Select worth it?
On my flight, the price for Delta Premium Select was $1,350 more than a main cabin ticket. While the seat was definitely bigger and had more legroom, it didn’t result in any more sleep than what I would have gotten in a comfort plus or main cabin seat. The only real benefit I found with premium select was the ability to work on my laptop when the person in front of me had their seat reclined.
Personally, I don’t think Delta Premium Select is worth the added cost. I would rather put that money into a better hotel and just grind out the plane ride in main cabin or comfort plus.
Tim is a business road warrior and avid leisure traveler who has flown over two million miles in the air and spent well over a thousand nights in hotels. He enjoys sharing tips, tricks, and hacks to help readers get the most out of their travel experience and learn how to “travel like a pro”!