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Free Drinks and Longer Legroom: Delta Introduces 'Economy Comfort' Class

May 9, 2011 at 8:35 AM | by | ()

Happy Monday and happy awesome airline news days! After many months since their initial announcement to expect it, Delta has opened up booking for their version of Premium Economy, called "Economy Comfort." These are seats which, with a little more money, provide a traveler with a few extra advantages over the basic coach seat and service. Let's break it down:

· The seats: Here's what puts the "economy" in "economy comfort." The seats themselves are the same you'll find throughout the rest of the econ cabin, but Delta has added legroom and extra recline to distract you from that. To be exact, there's four more inches of legroom and 50% more recline than those in the basic economy seats. Both are immediate positives for tall people, families, those more comfortable crossing their legs, travelers with medical conditions, and people like you and I who just appreciate the little upgrades on big flights.

· The service: Economy Comfort seats will be the first several rows in the economy cabin, marked green on the seat map when you go to choose your seats after booking. Therefore you can expect to be among the first economy passengers to deplane at your destination as well as among the first in your cabin served for food and beverage service. The latter is super important as Economy Comfort will also receive complimentary beer, wine and spirits throughout the flight.

· The availability: First off, these seats are so far only available on Delta's prime international routes. Straight from the fine print, we see it'll be on their Boeing 747, 757, 767, 777, and Airbus A330 aircraft flying "long-haul intercontinental routes between the U.S. and Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and South America (Lima, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Santiago only)." Even then, it's best to double-check your itinerary for plane type and attempt to change your seat assignment just to see if the green Economy Comfort seats now appear for booking.

Those traveling with regular economy fares will be offered to upgrade for a price (see below), while Delta offers it for free to their Diamond and Platinum Medallions (and a select number of additional guests on their reservation). If you're sitting at Gold Medallion status, it's 50% off and Silver Medallions receive 25% off the offered price of an Economy Comfort upgrade.

· The price: The cost of upgrading to Econ Comfort depends on where you're headed. You can only view the price and book a seat if you've already booked your flight on a route with the Econ Comfort option, and you go back into your reservation to view other options and seat upgrades.

Our compadre thepointsguy notes that his friend, booked on a JFK-Madrid Delta flight, has been offered the Economy Comfort upgrade for $80 each way. Keeping it under three figures will surely entice many flyers to spring for it, so we're anxious to see how quickly the section fills up on summer flights to Europe. And personally, since you can often find us coughing up $50 for cross-country extra legroom on JetBlue for a 5-hour flight, $80 for a trip of 7+ hours is a no-brainer.

Delta has opened Economy Comfort seats for booking on flights after June 1, 2011, so get on it if you're staring at some lengthy flights this summer especially, when planes fly fuller. Check out more details on the official Delta site here.

So, what do you think? To Economy Comfort or not to Economy Comfort? Is it worth $80 to stretch your legs and get good and tipsy in flight?

[Image: Delta]

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