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Delta overhauls the premium economy experience with revamped onboard service

Sept. 20, 2022
4 min read
people sitting in airplane cabin
Delta overhauls the premium economy experience with revamped onboard service
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Delta Air Lines is putting the premium in its Premium Select offering.

On Tuesday, the Atlanta-based carrier unveiled an overhauled onboard service experience for those flying in the airline’s premium economy cabin on long-haul flights.

The highlights include a revamped dining experience, new amenity kits and upgraded bedding.

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The first aspect of the updated service begins Sept. 20, when Delta debuts new menus and refreshed tableware.

Delta highlighted several of the new entree choices, including:

  • Braised beef short rib with fingerling potatoes and Dijon green peppercorn jus.
  • Impossible Meatballs with polenta, pomodorini sauce and broccolini.
  • Honey harissa chicken thighs with jollof rice and stewed greens.
DELTA

Meals will be served on bagasse plates, which are made from plant fiber. Real silverware, glassware and linens will accompany the food.

Delta will also add a new “bubbles and bites” course — which consists of sparkling wine, water and an amuse-bouche — to be served after takeoff.

Beginning in October, the airline will debut new amenity kits designed and created by Someone Somewhere — the same company that’s now providing kits in Delta One.

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At launch, Someone Somewhere will provide three designs for these “goodie bags,” one of which will be pink to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

DELTA

These pouches are handmade by artisans in Mexico, and each kit tells the story of the artisan who crafted it. Inside, you’ll find travel essentials from Grown Alchemist, such as lip balm, eye masks and dental kits.

DELTA

Other premium amenities — including a memory-foam pillow, noise-canceling headsets and plush blankets made from recycled materials — will also be available on all long-haul Premium Select flights.

While we’ll have to wait to judge the new meals and upgraded amenities on a future trip, it’s great to see Delta investing in the premium economy experience.

The airline has been chasing premium revenue in recent years, retrofitting much of its long-haul fleet with Premium Select cabins in a bid to offer an intermediate product between lie-flat business class and standard economy.

Premium economy has become an increasingly important revenue stream for U.S. airlines, and Delta’s revamped service is poised to become one of the best in the country.

DELTA

The move will be especially exciting for frequent flyers, particularly those who’ve traveled with Delta during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s because the airline significantly scaled back the onboard service in Premium Select for much of the pandemic. The meal offerings were largely the same as those in the economy cabin.

Upgrading the Premium Select experience comes as the carrier increases the cabin’s footprint on more and more routes.

Going forward, the airline says that most flights to Europe, including all routes to Amsterdam and London, will feature Premium Select. This winter, Delta will operate nearly 400 weekly Premium Select flights to Europe. All transpacific routes will feature premium economy, too.

In addition to the upgraded service offerings, Premium Select flyers will enjoy larger recliners that resemble those in domestic first class with some additional bells and whistles, such as a leg rest and footrest.

DELTA

Each seat features a personal entertainment monitor, as well as an oversize tray table and USB and universal power ports.

For those looking to splurge without breaking the bank for a business-class pod, Delta Premium Select might be the way to go.

As Mauricio Parise, vice president of brand experience, said in a statement, “Delta Premium Select sits at the intersection of luxury and practicality – giving customers the opportunity to treat themselves to a more spacious seat and premium experience at a lower price point compared to our Delta One cabin."

Featured image by DELTA
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees