Yes, you read that correctly. Delta is giving passengers more room, not taking it away.
In recent years, airplane seats have shrunk in a push to get as many passengers onto a plane as possible, squeezing more money out of each flight in the process. However, Delta recently announced that it has made the surprising, yet very welcome, decision to do the exact opposite and make economy seats wider on some of its planes.
As part of the fleet-wide interior renovation of its wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft that fly to mostly international destinations, Delta will only have nine seats across in its main cabin instead of the typical 10-across configuration, making each seat 18.5-inches wide.
In comparison, some of United’s 777 aircraft have economy seats as narrow as 16 inches, and you’ll have to pay for Premium Economy on an American Airlines’s 777 to get a 18.5-inch-wide seat. (American Airlines’s standard main cabin seats are anywhere between 17.1 and 18.1-inches wide, for reference.)
According to Delta, the new seats will be the widest main cabin seats in its international fleet, although it doesn’t appear that the wider seats also come with more legroom. Each flier will also have access to a personal power port and individual 11-inch-wide screens on each seatback.
9 > 10.— Delta (@Delta) July 5, 2018
Enjoy more room to work or relax in our new 777 interior. pic.twitter.com/2mWr3F5nXv
The first renovated 777 is already flying between Detroit and Beijing every other day during July 2018 and will take over the Los Angeles to Sydney route starting March 2019. Delta expects all eight of its 777-200ER and its 10 777-200LR planes to be renovated in a similar fashion by the end of 2019.