Restaurant in the sky: Delta’s enhancing its hot meals on select US flights

Aug 11, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

Back in the day, domestic flyers enjoyed elaborate meals, like Langostino Thermidor and broiled filet mignon. Today, many Delta travelers paying hundreds of dollars for a business-class seat are served little more than a prepackaged box with a mix of candy and processed food.

Fortunately, that’s in the process of changing. On June 15, Delta began serving hot meals again to Delta One and first class flyers on flights between Boston (BOS) and New York-JFK and Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and Seattle (SEA). Then in July, it expanded hot meals to flights between Los Angeles and Washington D.C. (DCA).

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When Delta first announced the return of hot meals, it shared that flyers can expect “popular 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.”

Meanwhile, on flights departing Los Angeles, “Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are preparing their acclaimed Italian-American fare, which includes staples like marinara-braised meatballs and juicy chicken parmesan,” such as the dish pictured below.

Now, it’s announcing two more partnerships that will enhance the dining experience for transcontinental Delta One and first class passengers flying out of New York and San Francisco.

(Photo courtesy of Delta)


More specifically, those flying from San Francisco to Boston and New York will soon enjoy cuisine from the fast-fine Greek restaurant group Souvla. The offerings will include Souvla’s signature spit-roasted meat sandwiches and salads, as well as new dishes created exclusively for Delta. The airline shared, “customers will be able to enjoy Souvla’s famous chicken salad and signature frozen Greek yogurt topped with vissino, a traditional Greek sour cherry syrup.”

Souvla Feta Pasta
(Photo courtesy of Delta)

Meanwhile, on flights departing New York-JFK to Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Delta One and first class passengers will be served American classics prepared by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events (USE). This is the same group that curated Delta’s menus on these routes before the pandemic. USE menus will be available starting in September and include, “seasonal fan favorites like braised short rib with cheesy twice baked potato and a spinach and goat cheese frittata served with bacon and hash browns.”

Related: Inflight service is back — here’s what food and drinks you can expect on your next flight

Delta One meal
Delta’s pre-pandemic transcontinental catering out of New York (Photo by Benji Stawski / The Points Guy)

The move brings a handful of Delta’s flights in line with competitor offerings — American Airlines and United have both been serving full meals on premium routes, as has transcon champ JetBlue, though passengers will still find that service is scaled back considerably on shorter flights.

On Delta’s “domestic longer-haul flights,” Delta One, first class and Comfort+ passengers will find a complimentary snack basket, with items like Kind Energy bars, potato chips and cookies, with packaged or hot meals available in Delta one and first class as well.

Related: What’s it like to fly Delta One across the country during the pandemic?

Travelers in Delta One and first class will also find new options on flights over 1,500 miles, including “artisan sandwiches, salads and bowls.”

It’s all a step in the right direction, for sure, but there’s still some work left to be done.

Additional reporting by Benji Stawski.

Featured photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy

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