Delta Air Lines plans to make First Class service available on all U.S. domestic flights longer than 750 miles, or about two-and-a-half hours of...

Delta Air Lines plans to make First Class service available on all U.S. domestic flights longer than 750 miles, or about two-and-a-half hours of flight time, beginning this fall.

The enhancement means Delta Air Lines customers can book First Class service on more domestic flights and SkyMiles members will have more opportunities for upgrades to First Class seating. With its June schedule, Delta claims already to lead the U.S. airline industry in availability of first-class seating, providing 11 per cent of its domestic seats in First or Business class.

When the upgrade is complete, 50 routes that currently feature Delta Connection flights with only one class of service will be upgraded to two-cabin aircraft with First and Economy Class service.

Some of the routes scheduled for enhanced service include Atlanta-Albany, New York; Boston-Memphis; Detroit-San Antonio; and Cincinnati-Dallas/Fort Worth. A complete listing of routes being upgraded is available online at

In addition to operating 72 50-seat Bombardier CRJ100s and CRJ200s, Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair flies 15 50-seat CRJ700s and 13 76-seat CRJ900s. Some or all of the latter two types of aircraft feature First Class seating as well as economy-class seats

The Delta Connection First Class-seating services will be operated by Delta Connection carriers Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Chautauqua, Comair, Compass Airlines, Freedom Airlines, Mesaba, Pinnacle Airlines, Shuttle America and SkyWest.

“This enhanced service reflects the investment Delta is making in improving the customer experience on the ground and in the air across both our domestic and international network,” says Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s executive vice president for network planning and revenue management. “Business customers who appreciate the option of traveling in a First Class cabin and frequent fliers who appreciate the opportunity to upgrade will particularly benefit from the significant expansion of two-class service on longer Delta Connection flights.”

Delta’s domestic route upgrades are part of the airline’s ongoing $1 billion investment in products and services across its network, including the retrofit of Delta Connection 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft. By fall, Delta’s fleet will include 219 regional aircraft with two-class service flying on 272 domestic routes, the airline says.

Delta Connection aircraft featuring First Class cabins include Embraer 170s, Embraer 175s, Bombardier CRJ700s and Bombardier CRJ900s. The aircraft feature between nine and 12 seats in First Class and from 56 to 64 seats in Economy.

First Class service onboard flights operated with these aircraft is consistent with the amenities offered on Delta mainline flights, according to Delta Air Lines. Meals, china and linen service, pre-departure beverages, and complimentary cocktails, beer and wine are offered on all Delta Connection flights featuring a First Class cabin.