Meal service is coming back onboard Delta Air Lines’ domestic flights. Currently reserved for long-haul international routes, Delta is bringing back food on select transcontinental routes as of June 15th. More meal service will come back later this summer, though the airline will be improving its snack offerings.
Delta brings back service on key transcontinental routes
After suspending its meal service in 2020 due to the pandemic, Delta is finally bringing back hot meals to transcontinental flights in the premium cabin. Starting on June 15th, five routes will see meal service return.
Routes from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will see meal service return.
Passengers flying any of the five routes in operation (Delta is not currently flying between Boston and San Francisco) will see hot meals return in premium cabins. In addition, on nonstop flights, whether it is branded as domestic first class or the premium Delta One cabin, Delta will offer a meal service.
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Details of the meal service
Passengers will be able to indulge in the return of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items like lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry thyme syrup, a smoked salmon plate with bagel chips, and beef short ribs with whipped potatoes.
Beyond traditional items, Delta is also upgrading its bread service. That service will now feature locally sourced sourdough bread and batch-churned slow-cultured butter from Atlanta-based Banner Butter.
Passengers departing Los Angeles are also in for a treat. Partnering with chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the airline will offer Italian-American fare on the routes. This includes meals like marinara-braised meatballs and juicy chicken parmesan. Delta has worked with these chefs since 2017.
Expanding later this year
Later this summer, passengers flying in Delta One or domestic first class on routes over 1,500 miles (~2,400 km) within North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America will be able to indulge in artisan sandwiches, salads, and bowls.
The new meals include coconut chia oatmeal, a superfood grain bowl, a strawberry salad with seared chicken, Italian prosciutto and fresh mozzarella sandwich, and more.
There is currently no date for such meal service coming back, though it will likely be July and August when Delta brings back that inflight service.
Upgrades for snacks and beverages
Passengers flying in Delta One, first class, or Comfort + (extra-legroom economy) on long-haul domestic flights will see an upgraded snack offering. This includes things like Kind Energy bars, potato chips, cookies, and more. This service will come from a snack basket.
For passengers flying in economy, Delta will bring back its Flight Fuel snack boxes. These boxes, which were previously offered in domestic first class over the last few months, include protein bars, beef jerky, chips, and chocolates. Flight Fuel boxes are available for purchase in economy.
Finally bringing back service
Delta has been conservative with returning service. While long-haul international flights have continued to see hot meal service in the Delta One cabin, domestic premium routes have not been so lucky. While its competitors have brought back meal service, Delta has held out.
The return of meal service was expected, as Delta had announced at the end of March that it hoped to bring back meals in early June on transcontinental routes and add more service in July onwards.
There are some routes with Delta One where the airline is not reintroducing premium cabin service. This includes the route to JFK from San Diego International Airport (SAN).
Nevertheless, this is a net positive to start to see meal service return on Delta’s domestic flights. It will be a few more weeks longer before meal service resumes on more routes, but Delta is bringing back food.
For now, it appears the airline is bringing back most of what it had before the crisis. There may be some changes to continue to mitigate the potential for viral spread between crew and customers, though increasing vaccinations will help counter that and drive the return of some more service. This is counter to what one of Delta’s competitors is planning to do on domestic meal services post-crisis on non-premium routes.
Are you glad to see Delta bring back meal service? Let us know in the comments!