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Better, But Not Best: Delta One Business Class on the 767-400ER

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If you're flying in Delta One business class these days, the experience you get while onboard can vary wildly. Case in point: Delta currently has a whopping seven different business class seat configurations flying internationally. 

While nearly 60% of Delta's long-haul fleet is equipped with business class seats from 2013 or even earlier, flights on the Atlanta-based airline's Airbus A350 and A330-900neo aircraft sport its latest and greatest seats with a closing door that turns your seat into a full business class suite. 

Then there is Delta's Boeing 767-400ER aircraft. While these aircraft aren't new by any stretch of the imagination, Delta began retrofitting them in 2019 with new business-class and Premium Select seats and a facelift for Delta Comfort Plus and economy. 

They mostly fly from the U.S. to popular destinations in Europe, such as Paris (CDG), London (LHR), Zurich (ZRH), and more.

For a recent Europe trip, I flew one of these newly updated Delta One business class seats from New York City (JFK) to Paris (CDG). While these seats are updated and look nice, they leave much to be desired—especially when you factor in the premium Delta charges for its business class product. 

Read on for the full review. 

 

delta one seat 767-400ER
Delta One on the Boeing 767-400ER

 

Read next: The Best & Worst Planes for Delta One Business Class

 

How to Book Delta One Business Class Flights

When it comes to actually booking a business class flight with Delta, you'll have a few options … and some are better than others.

 

Book with Delta SkyMiles

If you're trying to use Delta SkyMiles to book a flight in Delta One business class, it's going to cost you – and cost you a lot.

Thanks to the airline's dynamic pricing when setting award rates using SkyMiles, you can almost always book a business class seat using SkyMiles … it's just rarely a good deal. Unless you luck out with the occasional Delta SkyMiles flash sale that extends to business class – which we find for our Thrifty Traveler Premium members a few times a year – you'll likely see rates of 300,000 SkyMiles or more each way to Europe or Asia.

Don't do that.

For example, Delta was charging over 300,000 SkyMiles each way for my exact flight. Delta's TakeOff 15 benefit for cardholders barely makes a dent.

 

Delta One MSP - CDG Booking

 

Related Reading: Want to Fly Business Class? Forget About Delta SkyMiles

 

Book with Virgin Atlantic Miles

If you're looking to use miles to pay for a Delta One business class ticket, using Virgin Atlantic miles can be a great option. The airline offers a crafty workaround that allows you to book Delta One flights to and from Europe for just 50,000 points each way … and sometimes even less!

But this workaround to book Delta One to Europe can be much easier said than done. It hinges on finding the award availability to actually book those seats through Virgin, and Delta can be quite stingy with releasing bookable award space through Virgin – especially lately.

Still, we're always digging for when these flights pop up and alerting our Thrifty Traveler Premium members when they do, like this unicorn alert we recently sent via email (and text message, too!) for wide-open award space between New York City and Munich as well as Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Dublin (DUB) this summer!

 

Unicorn alert

 

These seats are gone now, get the next award alert for open Delta One seats to Europe with Thrifty Traveler Premium!

While you can't transfer Delta SkyMiles over to Virgin's mileage program, earning the Virgin points you need is even easier: If you've got points on cards like the *chase sapphire preferred*, *venture x*, or the *amex gold*, you've got what you need.

 

Book with Cash (or Through a Travel Portal)

Last but not least, you can always book Delta One with cash instead of miles – and that's precisely what I did for this trip to Europe … kind of.

By starting a search with Google Flights, I found a cheap, multi-city flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) with a quick stop in New York City (JFK) and a direct flight home from Amsterdam (AMS) to Minneapolis. The cost? $2,500 for the roundtrip flights—not the cheapest business class flights of all time, but a pretty good price.

But we're Thrifty Traveler. There's always an angle to find some additional savings.

Instead of forking over the cash and booking with Delta directly, I booked the flight through American Express Travel. Since I hold *biz platinum*, I get a 35% points rebate on any premium cabin tickets booked through Amex Travel for up to 500,000 points back each year. 

So while American Express Membership Rewards points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed through Amex Travel – meaning the $2,500 flight cost me 250,000 Amex points upfront – that 35% rebate brought the final cost down to 162,500 points or 81,250 points each way.

While it wasn't the cheapest way to book a Delta One business class seat, it was the path of least resistance. I didn't have to worry about finding award space through Virgin Atlantic. I also earned a ton of SkyMiles and credit towards Delta Medallion elite status when I took the flight.

At Thrifty Traveler, we don't accept freebies. We use our own points, miles, or cash to pay for every single flight or hotel you see reviewed here – including this one!

 

Checking In & Lounge Access

My flight originated in Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) with a stop in New York City (JFK) on my way to Paris (CDG). I hold *amex platinum* which grants me complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club. But even if I didn't have the Platinum card, I still would have had access to the Sky Club in Minneapolis because I had a same-day confirmed Delta One ticket – even though it was departing from JFK. 

After checking in for my flight in Minneapolis, I had time to kill, so I headed to the G concourse to spend some time in Delta's brand-new Sky Club. If you are traveling through Minneapolis on a Delta ticket with access to a Sky Club, this is the Sky Club you want.

It opened its doors last April and is a significant improvement over the Sky Club at the front of the F/G concourses and the one in the C gates. At over 21,000 square feet, it's also a huge lounge. 

But the best part? It's equipped with a 3,000-square-foot year-round, all-weather outdoor Sky Deck with seating for up to 110 guests. 

Read More: 4 Things We Love About the Brand-New Delta Sky Club at MSP

 

MSP Sky Deck

 

msp sky club bar seating

 

Once I landed in Terminal 4 in New York (JFK), lounge access before my flight to Paris was a different story. While I technically had access to the Delta Sky Club in Terminal 4 at JFK, there was a long line to get in. I would have had to wait in line for at least 30 to 40 minutes, which I wasn't willing to do. 

 

Delta Sky Club Line JFK
The line to get into the Delta Sky Club at JFK Terminal 4

 

Overcrowding at Delta Sky Clubs has plagued the airline for the last few years, ultimately leading the airline to implement many restrictions about who can (and can't) access the clubs.  While some Sky Club locations have struggled with this more than others, those at JFK have been notoriously bad.

Delta plans to open a few premium Sky Club lounges exclusively for Delta One business class passengers, including one at JFK. The JFK outpost is expected to open in June 2024, which should provide a much better experience for its most premium customers. 

Since I only had about an hour before my flight to Paris was scheduled to board, I headed straight for gate B38. 

 

Delta 767-400ER at the gate

 

 

The Delta 767-400ER Cabin

While Delta's Boeing 767-400ER planes underwent a major interior refresh, the planes themselves are anything but new. According to my Flighty app, the 767-400ER that would be flying me to Paris took its first flight on October 26, 2000, making it one of the oldest long-haul planes in Delta's fleet.

The business cabin itself is laid out in a 1-2-1 format, meaning every seat has direct aisle access. There are 34 business class seats total – five more than you'll find on Delta's new Airbus A330-900neo and two more than you'll find on the Airbus A350s – the newest long-haul planes in Delta's fleet.

 

delta 767-400ER Cabin

 

Every seat is more or less identical, with one crucial difference: the location of the console and storage unit alternates based on which row you're sitting in. The window seats in rows 1, 3, 5, and 7 are closer to the aisle, while the seats in rows 2, 4, 6, and 8 are closer to the window, providing more privacy.

 

delta 767-400ER seat map

 

Thrifty Tip: Booking a Delta One Suite? Use Aerolopa to Find the Best Seats

There wasn't a single empty business-class seat on our hop across the Atlantic to Paris, but the cabin felt very intimate. And being that it was an overnight flight, many passengers went to sleep shortly after takeoff. 

 

delta 767-400ER cabin

 

delta 767-400ER cabin

 

Delta One 767-400ER Seat

There are a few essential things to know about Delta's business class seats on the 767-400ER before your flight. First, these are some of Delta's newest business class seats but since they were retrofitted onto these older aircraft, they are a bit smaller than what you'll find on Delta's other new planes because the plane's footprint is smaller.

Second, because of the space limitation, these seats do not have doors that turn your seat into a fully enclosed suite. 

That may or may not be a big deal to you, but if you're expecting a Delta One suite, you'll only find those flying on the Airbus A330-900neo and the Airbus A350 currently.

I was traveling alone, so I selected seat 2D along the window. Since it was in the second row, the seat was closer to the window with the console table to my right. Without a door, this seat is about as private as it gets on Delta's retrofitted Boeing 767-400ER. 

 

delta 767-400ER seat 2D

 

As for the seat itself, it is 20 inches wide – a full 2 1/2 inches smaller than what you'll find flying on the airline's Airbus A330-900neo. Having flown both configurations on this trip, I was surprised at how big of a difference that lack of extra space made. And when the seat is in lay flat mode, you'll only have 77 inches of space – 2 inches shorter than what you'll find on the Airbus A330-900neo.

As I'm not the smallest person in the world, that lack of space makes a difference. The flight was slightly longer than seven hours so I didn't have a ton of time to sleep anyway, but when I did, it felt cramped and wasn't the most comfortable. Delta made the best of the space they had to work with on these older planes, but in many ways, it feels like they tried to fit a square peg into a round hole with these business class seats. 

Another knock on these newer Delta One business-class seats is that the padding isn't nearly good enough. They can feel stiff and even uncomfortable, especially in lay flat mode when trying to get some rest. That's not specific to the 767-400ER. Our team has had similar experiences on Delta's newer business class seats on other planes. 

While Delta does offer mattress pads on some of its ultra-long-haul routes to Asia, Australia, and South Africa, you won't find them on flights to and from Europe. Instead, you'll get just a pillow and a blanket – more on this later.

 

delta one seat 767-400ER

 

You can raise a partition for more privacy if you're in one of the seats in the middle section of seats and don't know your neighbor. But if you are traveling with somebody else, you can lower the partition, making it easier to chat with your companion.

 

delta 767-400ER partition

 

Despite the smaller footprint and lack of space, these 767-400ER business class seats are well-designed with an impressive amount of storage space. 

On the back side of the side table and just behind the power outlets and seat controls, you'll find a large compartment with a space for a bottle of water, a rack for the complimentary headphones, and plenty of additional space for anything else you may need to store. It was a great spot for my laptop and charging cords during the flight. I also stashed my menus and amenity kit back here.

 

Delta One suite storage

 

The side table was a great spot to put beverages and anything else you needed to set somewhere while using the tray table.

I also loved the design of the tray table. It didn't feel flimsy as is often the case with larger tray tables on business class seats. Plus, it was easy to take out and store away.

 

delta 767-400ER tray table

 

At the back of the side table, you'll find a few USB-A power ports, a headphone jack, and a 110V power port. You'll also find the control panel for your seat, which allows you to control the position of your seat and the in-suite lighting.

There's a “Do Not Disturb” button, which is a great feature to use while you're sleeping so the flight crew knows not to bother you.

 

delta 767-400ER seat controls

 

Amenities Flying Delta One

No matter where you're flying with Delta, all Delta One business class passengers will get an amenity kit. The kits you'll currently find onboard are from the Mexico-based brand Someone Somewhere.

Delta launched these amenity kits in 2022 as part of the airline's effort to reduce its carbon footprint. Delta says these handmade kits will help reduce its annual plastic use by up to 90,000 tons.

Each kit comes with a QR code you can scan to learn more about the specific artist who crafted your kit if you're interested. 

 

delta 767-400ER amenity kit

 

Inside the amenity kit, you'll find the basics: a sleep mask, a pen, a toothbrush, a pair of earplugs, and a lip balm and hand cream from Delta's skincare partner, Grown Alchemist. It certainly isn't the best or biggest business-class amenity kit you'll find in the sky, but it was adequate for the short flight across the Atlantic.

 

delta 767 400ER amenity kit inside

 

At every seat, you'll also find a premium headset with active noise cancelation to use with the seat-back entertainment system. While they aren't the best noise-canceling headphones out there, they got the job done well enough for me to leave my own pair at home and save space in my carry-on.

 

delta 767-400ER headset

 

Every passenger in business class also gets a pair of Delta-branded slippers, which I wore for most of the flight. As far as I am aware, only one size is available: if your feet are on the larger side, these likely won't fit.

Pajamas aren't available on any long-haul Delta flights.

 

delta 767-400ER slippers

 

Finally, every Delta One passenger will get a blanket and a pillow when it is time to rest. I found both to be pretty good quality, but a mattress pad to soften the unbelievably hard seats is really lacking on these Delta One flights to and from Europe.

While Delta started offering mattress pads in Delta One on some of the airline's longest flights last fall, you still won't find them on any flights across the Atlantic. It's hard to complain about any lie-flat seat overseas, but these newer Delta One seats are undeniably quite stiff and not the most comfortable. I think a mattress pad would help with that. 

 

delta 767-400ER blankets

 

Dining & Service

One thing I appreciate about flying Delta One is the ability to pick your meals in advance.

About a week before your scheduled departure, you'll get an email from Delta allowing you to select your meal for your upcoming flight. Doing so guarantees you get the choice you want, and that it won't run out. A few “limited selection” meals are typically only available if you select them via pre-order. You'll also have the option to skip the meal service entirely if you would rather use the time to sleep. 

I selected one of the limited selection meals, the roasted trout, which Delta described as having a butternut squash puree, mushrooms, and leeks served in a butter sauce. 

 

Delta 767-400 Meal Choices

 

Business class meal service on these shorter transatlantic overnight flights to Europe can feel rushed as the crew works hard to get everybody fed and plates cleared so passengers can sleep. That was certainly the case on this flight, and instead of coursing out the meal, the crew served everything on one plate to speed things up. 

Accompanying my trout was a chopped salad with cucumbers, chickpeas, tomatoes, and olives served with a balsamic vinaigrette, a mushroom bisque, and a few poached shrimp with a remoulade sauce. 

The shrimp was the star of this meal. Despite an unappetizing presentation, the trout was fine although mostly forgettable. 

 

delta 767-400ER meal

 

After my main course, the crew quickly cleared my plate and brought a delicious cheesecake for dessert. 

 

delta 767-400ER dessert

 

About an hour and a half before we landed in Paris, we were offered a pre-arrival meal. I chose the breakfast quiche with spinach and peppers served with fruit and a croissant. I washed it all down with a double espresso to help me power through the jet lag once I landed in Paris. 

Again, the meal was fine, but there was nothing to write home about. The eggs were slightly undercooked but edible. 

 

delta 767-400ER breakfast

 

Overall, the service from the New York City-based flight crew was excellent and attentive. They ensured I had what I needed and never let my drinks get too empty.  They quickly got the business class cabin through the dinner service, allowing more time for rest before landing in Paris.

 

Entertainment

Entertainment is a standout on Delta's updated 767-400ER aircraft.

The screens themselves are state-of-the-art and low profile, with a crisp display measuring over 18 inches. The touchscreen display was responsive and easy to use, and the welcome screen counted 464 movies (including 13 new releases) 55 TV shows, and 146 audio selections. While that was noticeably fewer than what was available for my flight home on Delta's Airbus A330-900neo later in the week, there should be something for everybody. 

 

delta 767-400ER IFE

 

Some of Delta's newest planes allow you to connect a pair of wireless headphones via Bluetooth straight to the seatback screen, but you won't yet find that functionality on Boeing 767-400ER – at least not yet. Back in 2022, Delta said that the A330-900neo and the Boeing 767-400 aircraft will be next up for this upgrade but there haven't been any additional updates on that timeline. 

Delta has made a big push over the last few years to start offering free Wi-Fi on all of its planes. For the most part, if you're flying on a Delta plane domestically, getting online will be complimentary.

But if you're flying Delta on an international flight, that isn't a reality just yet. So I paid $22 to connect to Wi-Fi for the duration of my flight. While that's a fair price for a full flight, it's hard to beat free, so this will be a big improvement for Delta One international flights once it is available.

Fortunately, the speeds on my flight were solid. Running a quick internet speed test, I got download speeds of just over 32 Mbps and upload speeds of about 2.54 Mbps.

 

wifi speed test

 

Those speeds were fast enough for me to get work done on my flight without any interruption. I didn't stream any videos while connected, but with almost 33 Mbps download speeds, that should be an option if you're interested.

 

Bottom Line

Flying on Delta's Boeing 767-400ER is not the best business class experience in the sky by any measure, and it's not even the best business class experience in Delta's fleet. That award easily goes to the airline's Delta One suites on the Airbus A330-900neo aircraft. 

While the seats on the 767-400ER configuration are smaller and undeniably on the hard side, it's hard to beat flying up front on a transatlantic flight to Europe. If you have the choice, the 767-400ER should be the first option compared to Delta's older business class products on the Boeing 767-300 and the Airbus A330 aircraft.

But if you have a choice to fly the Airbus A350 or the A330-900neo, these seats are undeniably better.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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