Introduced in 2017, Delta’s Premium Select cabin is growing in popularity—a trend seen across many airlines with a premium economy option. The seating choice, which bridges the divide between Delta One (Delta’s flat-bed business-class cabin) and economy, provides an elevated level of service and a spacious seat that many deem worthy of its extra cost..
If you have something of a flexible budget, but you’re not looking to shell out thousands for Delta One, Premium Select is a pretty solid happy medium, one that’s pretty comparable to other premium economy cabins across airlines, including United’s Premium Plus.
If there’s any room for improvement, it’s in seat width. At just 18.5 or 19 inches wide, depending on the aircraft, Delta’s Premium Select seats are far smaller than some of the top products on the market. Virgin Atlantic, for instance, has Premium seats that are 21 inches wide. (The airline does partner with Delta, for what it’s worth…) That said, it’s still certainly a step up from economy.
What to know about Delta Premium Select
Delta’s Premium Select cabin is currently only offered on select widebody aircraft servicing certain long-haul international routes. Because of the pandemic, there’s not very much regularity as to which specific routes have the cabin, but Premium Select cabins generally can be found on flights to all six continents.
By summer 2022, Delta expects all of its European routes to be flown by aircraft with Premium Select cabins. Delta’s newest widebodies will be outfitted with the cabin from the get-go, while many older planes will be retrofitted to add it. Eventually, all of Delta’s long-haul flights will offer Premium Select cabins.
While there’s really no comparison between Premium Select and Delta One—one seat simply reclines while the other lies flat—Premium Select is substantially more comfortable than economy. If you’re on a long-haul flight that’s more than eight hours long, particularly if it’s a daytime flight, you’d likely benefit from the extra roominess. But if you’re looking for a genuinely good night’s sleep? You’ll probably want to pay up for that flat bed in Delta One.
The other consideration you might want to weigh is your status with Delta. Premium Select comes with benefits like SkyPriority check-in, boarding, and baggage, not to mention two free checked bags, but those perks are already offered to most Delta elites.
And finally, if you're chasing Delta status, you should know that Premium Select tickets earn 150% of the distance flown in Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs).
What is Delta Premium Select?
Delta’s Premium Select is a seat offering that falls somewhere between economy and business (Delta One) in terms of services, amenities, and price. It includes perks like fine dining, additional recline and legroom beyond that of Comfort+, footrests, and SkyPriority access for check-in, boarding, and baggage.
The difference between Premium Select and Comfort+
Premium Select is a distinct cabin that provides spacious seats with an elevated level of service, whereas Comfort+ is a segment of the economy cabin with extra-space seats. The only additional perk of Comfort+ is that it does include complimentary alcoholic beverages for passengers 21 and up.
Summary of Benefits
- More spacious seats than Comfort+, with extra recline and footrests
- SkyPriority check-in, boarding, and baggage services (including two free checked bags)
- Fine dining service with complimentary alcoholic beverages for passengers 21 and up
- Amenity kits
Examples of previous Scott’s Cheap Flights deal for Delta Premium Select fares
- NYC to Barcelona for $785 roundtrip
- Boston to Tokyo for $1,207 roundtrip
- Milwaukee to Athens for $1,028 roundtrip
The Delta Premium Select experience at the airport
Lounge access is not included with Delta Premium Select fares. Passengers must use their elite status or a credit card to enter Delta Sky Clubs.
Check-in for Delta Premium Select
Delta Premium Select passengers have access to the SkyPriority lane at check-in, which typically offers shorter wait times than the regular desks.
Baggage Allowance for Delta Premium Select
Delta Premium Select passengers can check two bags up to 50 lbs. each for free, with SkyPriority service—bags are given a special tag that theoretically expedites delivery, though your mileage may vary.
The Delta Premium Select experience in the air
Seats in Delta Premium Select
Delta’s Premium Select seats are definitely a big step up from Comfort+, Delta’s extra-leg-room economy seat. They’re a few inches wider with far more legroom and recline, plus they have those helpful leg rests. But each Premium Select seat also has more substantial armrests, which means you and your neighbor don’t have to share. Overall, they’re very comfortable seats akin to domestic First Class with more space than economy in every aspect except one: storage. The only in-seat storage here is under the seat in front of you, just like in economy, though there are also dedicated overhead bins for the cabin.
- Airbus A330-900neo. The 28 Premium Select seats on Delta’s A330-900neo are arranged in a 2-3-2 pattern, and they’re set between a galley and the bulkhead in front of the economy cabin. The seats have a pitch of 38 inches and a width of 18.5 inches.
- Airbus A350-900. There are 48 Premium Select seats on Delta’s A350, arranged in a less-than-ideal 2-4-2 layout. The cabin is located between a galley and lavatories to the front and the economy cabin bulkhead to the back. The seats have a pitch of 38 inches and a width of 18.5 inches.
- Boeing 767-400ER. Not all of Delta’s 767s have been retrofitted to include Premium Select, but the ones that have, have been done right. There are just 20 seats in a staggered 2-2-2 pattern, meaning every single one is an aisle or a window. Plus, they’re slightly wider than Premium Select seats on Delta’s Airbus aircraft—19 inches instead of 18.5
- Boeing 777-200ER/LR. Like Delta’s A350, Delta’s B777 has 48 Premium Select seats in a 2-4-2 layout. The one advantage to this cabin is that the seats are 19 inches wide instead of 18.5. Every half an inch counts on a long-haul flight!
Benefits of flying Delta Premium Select
For most travelers, the best perk of Delta’s Premium Select is the extra space associated with each seat—up to 38 inches of pitch, up to 19 inches of width, and up to seven inches of recline. The seats also come with adjustable footrests, which makes a surprisingly big difference in terms of comfort levels. But passengers in Premium Select also receive SkyPriority boarding, a TUMI amenity kit with Le Labo toiletries, noise-canceling headphones, and fine dining. There’s also at least one flight attendant solely dedicated to the cabin, which equals more attentive and faster service.
Meals in Delta Premium Select
Meals are a big step up from what’s served in economy with locally inspired menu items, such as beef with garlic ginger sauce and soba noodles on flights to Japan and bibimbap on flights to Korea. They’re also served on real plates with real flatware! But do note that though you’re offered multiple courses, they’re all served at once on a single tray. Since Premium Select cabins only exist on long-haul flights, you’re guaranteed to be served at least one meal, but quite possibly two.
Alcohol in Delta Premium Select
Alcohol is free for Premium Select passengers who are 21 and up. Delta’s beverage selection includes a wide selection wine, beer, and spirits, with some decent premium and craft options, including Du Nord Foundation Vodka, Breckenridge Brewery beer, and canned Tip Top cocktails such as the Old Fashioned and margarita.
How to book Delta Premium Select
How much does it cost for a premium economy ticket on Delta?
Generally speaking, Premium Select fares can cost up to twice as much as Main Cabin (economy) fares when paying in cash (well, via card). However, Scott’s Cheap Flights has found some pretty good deals that bring the price pretty close to that of economy, so you might be surprised at how affordable it can be. For example, while a typical premium economy flight to Europe on Delta might be around $1,500, we’ve frequently found fares in the $700s and $800s at Scott's Cheap Flights.
As Delta uses dynamic pricing for award travel, redemption values can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of SkyMiles.
How to upgrade to premium economy on Delta for free
Delta frequent flyers can use Global Upgrade Certificates (GUCs) to upgrade to Premium Select for free. GUCs are a Choice Benefit offered to Delta’s Diamond Medallion status holders. Otherwise, there are no free upgrades to Premium Select.
How much does it cost to upgrade to premium economy on Delta?
Because of Delta’s dynamic pricing model, the price of upgrades to Premium Select varies from hundreds to thousands of dollars. You cannot upgrade from a Basic Economy ticket.
How many miles to upgrade to Delta Premium Select?
Because of Delta’s dynamic pricing model, upgrading to Premium Select with SkyMiles can cost tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of SkyMiles. You cannot upgrade from a Basic Economy ticket.
It’s hard to make a blanket judgment on whether or not Delta’s Premium Select is worth the money, since everyone’s financial situation and tolerance for economy seats differ. (And that’s not to mention the outrageous price fluctuations for the service…)
However, generally speaking, it’s likely worth the upgrade to Premium Select on flights that are at least eight hours long, as the extra space really does make a substantial difference. On shorter flights, if you happen to find a good deal, book it! That’s doubly true if you don’t already get free checked bags via elite status or a credit card, as those fees can add up. Otherwise, it might make more sense to save up the extra cash to spend elsewhere on your trip.