Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

There's little worse than disappointment.

When your hopes and beliefs are at one level and the actuality is a few floors below, it leaves a bitter tinge.

When, then, does Delta occasionally leave itself open to accusations of overpromising.

The latest example, presented by René's Points, are the seats on Delta's new -- and really somewhat pulsating -- plane, the Airbus A220.

Delta has recently opened bookings for this new, smaller-but-cuter plane, originally spawned by Canada's Bombardier.

And now it's unveiled the new First Class seats.

Which one or two people -- René's Points included -- believe is a Premium Economy seat that's been stretched by a tiny amount.

Naturally, I immediately asked Delta whether it was offering a premium level of subterfuge here. An airline spokeswoman told me: 

While the First Class seat on Delta’s A220 resembles the Delta Premium Select seat on our widebody fleet, it measures 20.5 inches in width, with makes it 1.5inches wider than Delta Premium Select seats.

1.5 inches.

That really doesn't quite sound like the difference between Premium Economy and First Class, does it?

Perhaps, in itself, this might not be such an awful thing. 

After all, the A220 is likely to fly many shorter routes, currently served by truly inferior, rickety old planes.

Moreover, I've always been surprised how domestic First Class on U.S. airlines really is little (or even nothing) more than Premium Economy on a transatlantic flight.

I was stunned how little legroom there was on, for example, Continental Airlines First Class when I first came to live in the U.S.

It took Virgin America and JetBlue to show what a true cross-country domestic First Class should look like.

Then again, there is Delta's tendency to hype that which perhaps shouldn't be hyped. 

Not so long ago, I wrote about the airline apparently making ordinary old Economy Class seats magically become Premium Economy seats when you book on Google Flights.

Delta blamed Google. 

Still, why would I want my airline to risk customer disappointment, especially when my airline has built a reputation on superior customer service?

Why not make sure that the customer gets what they think they're paying for?

No, airlines aren't always good at that.

But Delta really, really wants you to believe that this Airbus A220 First Class is something truly superior.

After all, the airline's spokeswoman also told me: 

The A220 First Class seat also features 13.3 inch Inflight Entertainment screens -- the largest Inflight Entertainment screens of any Delta domestic First Class seat.

Aha. So there's that.

Published on: Nov 3, 2018