What It's Like to Fly in Delta's New Business-Class Suites

It's amazing what one little sliding door can do.

I recently spent a week in Japan, and while I was incredibly excited to visit a country I'd heard so much about, the prospect of a 13-hour flight—the longest I've ever clocked—filled me with mild dread.

But when I learned that my itinerary included a ride on Delta's new Airbus A350 plane, whose business class features a new seating option called the Delta One suite, I was nearly as excited about the journey to Japan as I was about the destination.

Launched last October on the Detroit to Tokyo route (and now available on six others, with more to come starting this summer), the Delta One is a business-class version of the suites that Singapore Airlines and Emirates offer in their first-class cabins.

The biggest change to standard business class is a sliding door that offers privacy from the rest of the cabin. Pull a latch, and it swishes closed to seal you off from the passengers.

With the door closed, the suite feels like an oasis. The seat turns into a fully flat bed (like previous Delta One offerings first announced eight years ago) and a new "Do Not Disturb" button allows passengers to alert flight attendants; I took advantage of the feature and slept better than on any other flight I've taken.

The seats turn into 81-inch, lie-flat beds.

There are also three light sources you can control: a wall lamp, overhead light, and ambient blue light over the entertainment system screen (coupled with extra-wide windows, the LED lighting on the A350 is designed to reduce jet lag). At 81 inches long and about 21 inches wide, the seat is wider and has a larger footwell than on previous planes, and it is embellished with a quilted, "memory foam-enhanced comfort cushion." If you're in one of the two connected middle seats across the row of four, a sliding divider offers privacy; with the divider down, it's great for couples or friends traveling together.


Passengers in the middle suites can close a divider for privacy.

There's a storage compartment that comes stocked with noise-canceling LSTN headset and a TUMI amenity kits with Kiehl's skincare products, and the 18-inch-tall entertainment monitor is the largest of its type among American airline carriers.

I was impressed by the food, and discovered on my outbound flight that certain passengers had pre-ordered a Japanese meal. I took advantage of that option on the return flight and enjoyed dinner prepared by Michelin-starred chef Norio Ueno that included braised pike conger eel with plum sauce and Jibuni-style duck with a lotus root cake, leeks, spinach, and carrots.

I'm already thinking about my next flight.

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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