It is common knowledge to frequent flyers that when compared to the international premium cabin counterparts the US domestic Business and First class service is an unpleasant joke! Domestic premium seats are commonly only a few inches larger than economy and have only a few inches of recline. They are a far cry from lie flat international seats. To avoid these seats, one of my customers actually flies to Canada, using a short-haul flight, then flies onto his final destination using an International long-haul flight. This itinerary ensures he enjoys all the benefits of international premium cabin service and seating.!
Over the last 18 months there has been a glimmer of light on the horizon as some airlines have introduced International quality service and seats on domestic long-haul flights. Today that light has grown a little brighter still as Delta have announced a new lie-flat service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Washington (DCA). Starting in April 2017, Delta will operate this cross country route with lie-flat, ‘Delta-One’ service and seating.
The new route joins Delta’s existing domestic long-haul ‘Delta One’ routes serving the New York (JFK) – Los Angeles (LAX) route and New York (JFK) – San Francisco (SFO) route.
Happily, Delta is not alone in providing real premium cabin’s on US domestic routes, other routes/airlines include;
American Airlines (AA) offers transcontinental flights using the Airbus A321 on the New York (JFK) – Los Angeles (LAX) route and the New York (JFK) – San Francisco (SFO) route. These flights offer lie-flat seats in both First and Business class.
JetBlue’s (B6) ‘Mint’ service offers lie-flat seats with built in massage and adjustable firmness settings. Currently this service is available on the Boston (BOS) – San Francisco (SFO) route, New York (JFK) – Los Angeles (LAX) route and New York (JFK) – San Francisco (SFO) route. There are plans to add additional airports, such as Seattle (SEA), Las Vegas (LAS), San Diego (SAN) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL) in the near future.
United Airlines (UA) operate their ‘p.s. (Premium Service)’ cabin on the Newark (EWR) – Los Angeles (LAX) route and Newark (EWR) – San Francisco (SFO) route. Departing Newark (EWR) you may also fly First class to Honolulu (HNL), not quite lie flat, but an impressive 75in pitch and 21in width seat.
Hawaiian Airlines (HA) – Hawaiian’s new luxury lie-flat service went on sale just 10 days ago on Oct 3rd 2016. Initially the routes for this new cabin include Honolulu (HNL) and Narita (NRT), Sydney (SYD), Brisbane (BNE) and Auckland (AKL). Hawaiian promise that they will expand the lie-flat seats to their North America routes starting in 2017. So finally there will be a Lie-flat seat when travelling to America’s pacific paradise! We just need a little bit more patience for this route!
Virgin America (VX) – While these seats are not lie flat, I feel Virgin America deserves a mention as the overall service stands out from the crowd. In addition, the VX route network is much more comprehensive than the normal NYC to Los Angeles (LAX) type route. A full list of there route network can be found at https://www.virginamerica.com/cms/airport-destinations.
So a big thank you to all the airlines mentioned !
Delta Airlines (DL)
American Airlines (AA)
United Airlines (UA)
Hawaiian Airlines (HA)
Virgin America (VX)