Earlier this week I wrote about Delta CEO Ed Bastian’s belief that people are ready to “reclaim” their lives and start traveling again. But when it comes to in-flight service, Delta will reclaim it on its own terms. That is finally happening. In a small sign of progress, Delta will restore some items onboard not seen for over a year.
Delta Restores Service Onboard…On Its Terms
Bastian told NBC News:
“As the case counts are coming down … and the vaccinations are starting to grow, people are ready to reclaim their lives. And, we’re seeing bookings pick up…They’re ready to reclaim that lost period.”
But when it comes to reclaiming in-flight service, Delta has been very slow and insisted upon doing it on its own terms rather than look to its competitors.
Currently, passengers are offered a snack bag with two snacks, a bottle of water, hand sanitizer, and a napkin on all flights. First class passengers receive a choice of beer and wine on flights over 500 miles and a snack box on flights over 900 miles. No cocktails, coffee, or tea are available.
Effective April 14, 2021, Delta is making a number of changes to its onboard service offerings:
- Beverage service will return in both cabins
- Select drinks will be available in 7.5 oz cans and served sealed
- Diet Coke
- Ginger ale
- Coffee and tea will return
- Cocktails, beer, and wine will be sold in economy class
- Alcoholic drinks will cost $1 more than pre-pandemic levels
- Ice and cups will only be available upon request
- Two snacks will be offered
- Biscoff cookies
- Clif Bars
No word on the return of meals in first class, even on premium transcontinental flights. Juices and other liquor will still not be available in either cabin.
In a memo to flight attendants, Delta said:
“We have not followed other airlines or reacted to the actions of our competitors. Rather, we’re launching the new snack and beverage service the Delta way – driven by our values, focused on safety and with exciting new offerings our customers will enjoy and appreciate.”
Delta has indeed charted its own course. But as Bastian claims it is time to “reclaim” our lives, it is also time to reclaim our inflight food and beverages…
I feel like this is a situation in which we are expected to praise Delta but to which I instead respond “too little, too late.” Even so, it is a step in the right direction.
Expect a choice of drink and new snacks onboard Delta starting on April 14th.
(H/T: Thrifty Traveler // image: Delta)