Delta is following the lead of some of the world's top airlines by allowing passengers in first-class – domestic and international – to choose their onboard meal in advance.
The airline announced the expansion of its pre-selection process on Monday, available on all Delta First class flights “beginning this week.” It comes soon after Delta rolled out meal selection for international Delta One flights to Europe, Asia, Africa, and other destinations.
Now, all Delta flyers in first class will get the option to pick their meals. It won't be available on regional partner flights like Delta Connection. Each passenger will get an email three days before departure asking for their meal choice.
It should streamline the service on board domestic and international flights. But more importantly, it will help ensure that flyers get their meal choice. It will now be available on more than 1,000 flights – up from its current 200.
“Our customers tell us they love the peace of mind that the pre-select program provides heading into a flight, because it ensures their first meal choice will be available on board,” Lisa Bauer, Delta's vice president of on-board services said in a statement. “It also streamlines the process for our flight attendants, giving them more meaningful time to spend with customers.”
This is a smart move by Delta.
Whether you paid for a first class seat or lucked out with a free upgrade with Delta Medallion status, getting your first choice meal is always a win. Frankly, we're surprised it took Delta this long to adopt a pre-selection system.
Top-tier airlines like Singapore Airlines have a vast meal choice system integrated into their reservations. And even American Airlines beat Delta to the punch in allowing first and business class passengers to choose ahead of time.
We'll be interested to see how Delta's system evolves. It could eventually be weaved into Delta's booking engine so that passengers can easily log in and make their meal selections. That seems like the next step.
Delta also says it uses this passenger selection to inform their meal service overall. So perhaps Delta could eventually give passengers a much broader list of meal choices beyond what's available on board.
This is a no-brainer for Delta. And it's probably a safe bet that this isn't the end of Delta playing around with how and when passengers can choose their meals.