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Delta’s Lie-Flat Seats Boost Transcontinental Travel

The battle for the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of transcon flyers heated up this week with Delta’s announcement that it had completed upgrading BusinessElite seating on the three B757-200s used on its New York-Los Angeles flights. Delta’s B767-300ERs already featured lie-flat seats in the BusinessElite cabin, so now all the airline’s eight daily New York-Los Angeles non-stops boast full flat-bed seats.

The newly installed seats on the B757s are 20 inches wide, expandable to 22 inches, with an average bed length of 76 inches. Not bad, but not quite as spacious as the BusinessElite seats on the larger B767’s, which are 21 inches wide with an average bed length of 79 inches.

Within the next 12 months, Delta promises to have lie-flat seats on every non-stop flight between New York and both San Francisco and Seattle as well.

According to the airline’s press release, “Delta is focused on providing the industry’s best travel experience on the most important non-stop route in the United States.” Delta is hardly alone in placing outsized importance on the transcon routes and offering specially upgraded services to lock in its fair share of that lucrative pie.

American is touting its brand-new Airbus A321T (the “T” for transcon) planes, specially configured for the airline’s flights between New York and both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

United counters with its recent refresh of p.s. service, “an international product for an exceptional transcontinental travel experience between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO).”

And on June 15, JetBlue launched its new Mint service on the New York-Los Angeles route — business-class seating with tickets priced between $599 and $999 each way.

The competition is a boon to cross-country travelers, especially if you’re flying in business or first class.

Reader Reality Check

Is this the Golden Age of transcon travel?

This article originally appeared on

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