Departure cocktails and mix-and-match choices are common features of premium cabin dining. Delta Air Lines is extending those concepts to its economy class passengers starting this November in a major shake-up for its meal service.
This is about investing in every single customer who chooses Delta, no matter where they sit on the plane. The thoughtful touches we’re investing in throughout the new Main Cabin experience were designed by flight attendants with one goal in mind — delivering an exceptional experience that our customers will rave about and one that our team, the best in the business, is proud to deliver.– Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President. — In-Flight Service
The upgraded experience will start before passengers even begin boarding. The lead flight attendant will greet passengers in the gate area prior to boarding and then again at the door of the aircraft to welcome them on board. Once in flight the new service features a “Welcome Aboard” cocktail and hot towel service prior to the meal. The carrier is also adjusting the overall meal service to be a more “bistro-style” offering. This is not a paid dining upgrade as bistro-on-board sometimes denotes, but a shift in the overall meal service included with passengers’ tickets.
Passengers will have a printed menu from which they can choose a “mix and match” of upgraded appetizers and main courses. Portion sizes will be larger and recipes updated to reflect the meals offered in the Delta One business class cabin. Dessert will be served as a separate course from the main meal tray service.
Shortly before arrival passengers will see a second hot towel service and receive Fond Farewell Chocolates “as a token of gratitude for flying Delta.”
The carrier tested the new program extensively over the past year on its route between Portland, Oregon and Tokyo-Narita. Design of the effort was led by a team of 24 flight attendants, with more than 1,800 passenger surveys included in the feedback loop.
The idea behind the service is not just about the meals. History has shown that while passengers claim to care about on-board dining they rarely will go out of their way to book for such, especially if fares go up as a result. That’s why Delta’s new service focuses on more than just the food. Indeed, the new product is “designed to delight and create ‘wow’ moments” for passengers. Delivering that personal tough and creating that bond can drive booking patterns, similar to the way frequent flyer loyalty schemes do.
The new service launches in November on international flights scheduled for 6.5 hours or longer, plus select shorter international flights where Delta One or Delta Premium Select is offered.