Delta’s 757 Business Elite Seats – Holiday Traveling Isn’t So Bad

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Holiday travel isn’t that bad for frequent flyers for a number of reasons. Flying on a 757 that has transcontinental configured cradle Business Class seats is just one of them. But that’s not the only reason I think I really hit the jackpot the day before Thanksgiving this year.

When I found out that I’d have to travel out and back on the day before Thanksgiving, initially the thought wasn’t that exciting. I immediately looked at the flights to find one with a good configuration. If you are route agnostic (meaning you could fly from an airport like BWI to LAX through one of Delta’s hubs) consider looking at routes that start in airports with internationally configured dedicated lie-flat service. For example, if you choose to fly through New York JFK to Los Angles, you could fly the 757 transcontinental configuration. Or if you flew through Atlanta, you could fly on Delta’s 777 international configuration. The lie-flat configured planes have more space upfront and will increase your chances of an upgrade to a lie-flat Business Seat on a domestic route.

For my original return flight I booked the internationally configured 767 with cradle Business Class seats and was instantly upgraded to Business First cradle seats at the 5 day Platinum Medallion upgrade window. I had flown on this route before, from New York JFK to Atlanta, and was looking to switch it up by trying out seat 1A on the internationally configured 767 with cradle Business Class seats.

As luck would have it, I was on my way back to the airport early in the afternoon and could catch an early flight. I like to consider myself a pretty lucky guy. But this day I hit the jackpot.

When I same-day confirmed to an early flight for free, courtesy of my Delta Platinum status, I left the comfort of the internationally configured 767 Business Class seat and was confirmed onto a 757. Now, I didn’t know what configuration the plane was, but I was hoping it would be the transcontinental configured 757 with cradle Business Elite seats.

When boarding began, I scanned my boarding pass and was greeted with an upgraded boarding pass of 2D. Upon entering the plane, I quickly realized I hit the biggest travel jackpot on the day before Thanksgiving Day. Seat 2C was inoperable. This meant, I’d have two Business Elite seats for my jacket and I during the 2.5 hours. Plenty of room to stretch out in these seats.


The seat next to me, 2C, had this sign on the seat back.


INOP, do not use, were words I never thought I’d appreciate on a Delta flight in Business Class, until this day.


INOP stands for inoperable. This is placed on a seat generally when a seat needs to be repaired and is taken out of service. But I tested out the recline on this seat and there was no issue. So both my jacket and I would have plenty of room to stretch out on this flight.


The legroom was very good on this 757 configured with Business Elite seats.


The legroom reminded me of the space offered on the 767 with cradle Business Class seats.


The leg rests have a metal footrest at the bottom which comes out when the seat is reclined.


The plane is equipped with power ports, great for a business traveler needing a little recharge.


The arm rests have in-flight entertainment screens tucked in. Flipping these televisions out will give you access to current movies, HBO, satellite TV and much more including a moving map of your flight.


The seat head rests were the standard Business Elite ones with adjustable side rests to rest your head.


After exploring the seat, our drink order was taken and we were quickly met with a cold Belgian-style Blue Moon beer. Check out all the room in this Business Elite seat.


Once airborne, I took the opportunity to stretch out by reclining the seat.


Today was a good day. It’s the simple things that make a frequent traveler happy. Like, how many times do you get access to one power port on a plane, let alone two power ports!


After charging up my batteries, I sat back in my cradle class Business Class seat relaxing with one of the best drinks in the sky, the Woodford Reserve on the rocks. The best drink in the sky deserves no less than its own Business Class seat. So I folded out the other seat’s operable tray table and placed my drink and my jacket on the tray. I watched the flight on the moving map as we approached closer and closer to home and Thanksgiving Day.


Bottom Line

Traveling on the day before Thanksgiving isn’t that bad for frequent flyers with status.

If you know which routes are operated with lie-flat or cradle Business Class seats and book them, SkyMiles Medallion members can greatly increase your chances of flying up front in an internationally configured Business Class seat.

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Just a note – most (?) of the internationally configured planes do not have wifi, so if that is important check the setup of the plane for your flight on before booking.

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