I am a lowly Diamond as well. I do ATL-SIN monthly and hope Delta retains Singapore with their own planes. I find Korean Air business class seats to be uncomfortable mainly since they are designed for the average Asian build. I do not mind using them for short hops around Asia but I avoid them for long flights. As has been mentioned the connecting flights from ICN via Delta 27 (A350 ATL-ICN) require a very long layover at ICN
. I find the 767 to be comfortable in the D1 cabin and I am looking forward to my first trip in the 777 D1 suites this week on my return. I really like the A350 D1 one suites and I notice the higher humidity level in the cabin as well. I think not having over suite air vents on rows B&C on the A350 is a major mistake. It can get stagnate with no airflow.
I am not sure why people keep wishing that SIN and MNL get dropped. Like DLDiamondBoy, I too am a lowly Diamond traveler and am on the MNL flight almost monthly. I have been doing that flight for 4 years now and not once have I been on a less than 90% capacity flight, even when the Queen was flying the route. It constantly is full. I also fly in/out on random days of the week so I’ve seen typically “high and low” demand days. D1 is always full, granted I don’t have records as to how much each ticket ends up being purchased for, but the flight is serving a demand.
I also agree with DLDiamondBoy about Korean Air. I’ve done the ICN-MNL flight and the product is not comparable to DL, especially business D1 vs Prestige.
You also have a SkyClub in NRT vs a shared club with two alliances at HND. I understand the appeal though for the Japanese market with HND being closer to the city. But it can’t be 100% of the market. UA has a good presence at NRT, I’m sure DL doesn’t want to forfeit that. Why not have a nice mix between the two? Airlines do a good job with this and the London market. What I’d be looking at is swapping PDX for SLC. One of DL major hubs and receiving a brand new airport in 2020. Argument there is NIKE, and a good one at that. But SEA is only a 30 min flight and quick connection. It would be a good way to kick off the new SLC with a new international route. Maybe both? And what about opening up the Northeast market again to NRT or HND? HND only has 2 flights to the Northeast between ANA/JAL. NRT has 6 with ANA/JAL/UA. With more A359s, new A339s, and not many 76Ws retiring, DL will have a wider range of WBs to do more Asia-Pacific routes. Spread out the gateways evenly, routes like:
NRT - PDX/SLC/DTW/HNL/SIN/MNL;
HND - SEA/LAX/MSP/ATL/JFK.
My all time ideal route would actually just be a SEA-MNL. 5788 nm, well within the A332/A333/A359/77E/77L and even the 76E (specifically 76T) fleet. Really the only WB of DL’s that couldn’t make that is the 764. But there is a decent size Japanese-Filipino market on the NRT-MNL flights. So I can see the logic behind connecting through NRT.