A couple of weeks ago, Delta announced its two newest A350 routes. These included Detroit to Amsterdam, beginning March 31, 2018, and to Shanghai-Pudong beginning April 19th. While the Shanghai route was straightforward, the Amsterdam route left behind a mystery. Delta operates four daily flights from DTW to AMS, but the announcement failed to specify the exact A350 schedule. Well, some sleuthing over the weekend appears to have solved the mystery. The new Delta Detroit – Amsterdam A350 service is now open for booking.
Delta’s Current DTW-AMS Schedule, And Enter the A350
As mentioned, Delta currently operates four daily flights between Detroit and Amsterdam, utilizing Airbus A330 aircraft:
- Delta Flight 132, Depart DTW 16:23, Arrive AMS 05:55 (+1)
- DL 134, Depart DTW 18:13, Arrive AMS 08:10 (+1)
- DL 136, Depart DTW 20:22, Arrive AMS 10:25 (+1)
- DL 138, Depart DTW 22:33, Arrive AMS 12:30 (+1)
Meanwhile, the return schedule from Amsterdam looks like this:
- DL 133, Depart AMS 09:20, Arrive DTW 11:48
- DL 135, Depart AMS 10:20, Arrive DTW 13:11
- DL 137, Depart AMS 13:00, Arrive DTW 15:59
- DL 139, Depart AMS 15:25, Arrive DTW 18:17 (except Saturday)
So the question was, which of the four dailies would switch to the A350? I’ve been watching the past week, and looks like we now have our answer. And so the winner is…the first flight out and back. Flights 132 and 133 win the sweepstakes for Delta’s first Transatlantic A350 flight.
Pricing is the same for coach for both A330 and A350 flights (ignore what’s shown here; these are for one-ways). However, Delta charges a $550 premium each way for the Delta One suites on the A350. Interestingly, you can currently book the same A350 flights through KLM without the surcharge. I suspect this is a temporary glitch, though. At least you get a swanky looking seat for all that cash.
The A350 also features Delta’s new Premium Economy product, “Premium Select”, designed to compete against American’s offering. The seat itself looks a lot like American’s Premium Economy seat.
In addition, the general service offering – priority boarding, free booze, etc. – basically sounds the same. The only upgrades I see are the Tumi amenity kit and Westin-branded blanket. Prices appear to run about $400 over Main Cabin each way. That seems steep for a relatively short Transatlantic flight.
Expect Limited Delta One Saver Award Availability
As expected, Delta’s playing games with Delta One saver availability on the A350. Though I didn’t do an exhaustive search, the lowest price I found was a cool 110,000
SkyPesos SkyMiles each way. Delta no longer publishes an award chart, but “Saver” space generally runs 70,000 miles one way to Europe. I did, however, find some availability at that level on the other flights, even in summer. In addition, coach has a smattering of availability on the A350 throughout the calendar at the lowest level, 30,000 miles.
Practically speaking, it’s cheaper to book awards through Air France Flying Blue. AF charges 25,000 miles each way for coach, and 62,500 each way for business. Flying Blue is transfer partners with all major transferable currencies – Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi Thank You, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Given that the cheap seats currently run around $1,500, that’s not a bad value coach redemption. Of course, I expect a fare sale to drop these at some point. But if you need a ticket and can’t wait, it’s not a terrible way to go.
If Detroit-Amsterdam doesn’t work for you, the A350 is also set to fly several other routes. In addition to Shanghai, other Detroit A350 routes include Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo. The Tokyo route launches today, with Seoul launching November 16th and Beijing on January 17th. Atlanta to Seoul also switches to an A350 effective March 24th.
Delta’s A350 provides a nice new Transatlantic product. Just beware that if a Delta One redemption is what you’re after, don’t expect much availability. I’m actually closely eyeing the calendar to grab a seat. I really want to get on an A350 for the first time, and a flight to Europe is easier for a quick turn than one to Asia, since I’d have to connect through Detroit. I’ll probably end up doing it in coach, then maybe catching Icelandair back home.
Photos of Delta One, and Delta Premium Select courtesy of Delta via Delta.com.
Photo of Delta A350 – “Delta A350-900 (N502DN)” by airbus777, via Flickr Creative Commons, CC BY 4.0.