Delta launches Comfort+ as a fare on select international flights

  Comfort+ is now bookable as a fare on certain international flights for travel beginning September 19, 2016   (Photo: Delta Air Lines)

Comfort+ is now bookable as a fare on certain international flights for travel beginning September 19, 2016 (Photo: Delta Air Lines)

In March 2015, Delta Air Lines debuted Comfort+, a refreshed enhanced economy offering. Then, last November, the airline evolved the product by making it bookable as a fare rather than as a seat upgrade option on Economy fares. This change, however, was only for flights within the United States. Today, Delta announced the next step in the transformation of Comfort+ toward a full fare class in its own right.

  Comfort+ will now appear as a separate fare on booking screens at Delta.com   (Photo: Delta Air Lines)  (click to enlarge)

Comfort+ will now appear as a separate fare on booking screens at Delta.com (Photo: Delta Air Lines) (click to enlarge)

Comfort+ is now available as a fare on certain international flights. "Customers can now purchase Delta Comfort+ flights for travel on or after Sept.19, 2016, to and from the Asia-Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean regions." This is not a revolutionary product announcement. In fact, it is barely evolutionary. Delta's international Comfort+ is not to be confused with a true premium economy product such as a American's international Premium Economy. American's product features seats very similar to domestic first class whereas Comfort+ is standard economy seating with additional legroom, preferred boarding and other perks.

I won't call this a non-event for the reasons I outlined when Delta launched Comfort+ as a fare class domestically. However, until Delta really takes a significant step beyond cramped economy seats, it will lag competitors with true international premium economy offerings.