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Delta Upgrades Meals, Drinks for Long-Haul Economy Flights

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Delta has upped the ante in economy, rolling out an overhauled dining experience, welcome cocktails as passengers get settled onboard, and more on many long-haul international flights. The revamped meal service started Tuesday, Nov. 5. 

The new service begins with a bellini soon after boarding, along with hot towels. Come mealtime, Delta will allow flyers in economy and Comfort Plus to mix and match their appetizers and entrees – the airline calls it “bistro-style” dining – with some upgraded options available. Dessert will be served separately, with a coffee and tea service. And it will all be served with new dinnerware and cutlery. 

It will only be available on flights of 6 1/2 hours or longer, with a few exceptions. So don't expect this treatment on shorter jaunts to Mexico or the Caribbean. 

These new touches are more akin to business class or premium economy than what the average traveler expects at the back of the plane. It's another way that Delta is trying to set itself apart with customers at a time when United and American are pulling out seatback entertainment and cramming more seats into both long- and short-haul planes.


Delta economy meals
Photo courtesy of Delta


“How we make every customer feel across their travel journey is extremely important to us,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight service, said in a statement. “We want every customer, no matter where they sit on the flight, to know how much they’re appreciated.”

The launch follows a long trial period on flights between Portland (PDX) and Tokyo-Narita (NRT). Delta said they refined the process after more than 700 flights and 1,800 rave customer reviews. 


Bottom Line

Between the bigger seats on its longest flights, amenity kits for all flyers, and now this, Delta continues to set itself apart from the rest of the U.S. carriers.


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