Delta details new inflight service with expanded food and drink options

Mar 31, 2021

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Delta is ready to resume (a much more substantial) inflight service that will begin to reverse some of the cuts it’s made during the pandemic.

Beginning April 14, the Atlanta-based carrier will offer a new snack and beverage service on domestic and select short-haul international flights, which will then expand to premium cabins in early summer.

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Full beverage service will return to domestic flights, including premium cabins. This will include Starbucks coffee, tea and water, as well as new offerings designed with safety and simplicity in mind. Sodas will be served in new 7.5-ounce mini-cans for coach flyers, and selections will include Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Seagram’s Ginger Ale.

Cocktails will be provided by Tip Top Proper Cocktails and served in canned, ready-to-drink containers, eliminating the need for flight attendants to mix and pour each order. At launch, the carrier will feature an old fashioned and margarita.

(Photo courtesy of Delta)

Alcohol sales will resume, and there’ll be a new selection of juices and mixers available in all cabins. Note that liquor prices will increase by $1 across the board.

Ice will also be available on request with new handling guidelines designed to minimize contact. All beverages will be delivered sealed in single-serve sizes.

Delta’s also got a new snack selection that includes Goldfish, Biscoff cookies, almonds and Clif Bars. Customers will automatically receive one savory and one sweet snack. There’ll be a menu card for passengers as well.

New snack selections (Photo courtesy of Delta)

In early June, Delta One and first-class flyers on select domestic transcon routes will see hot food options return, while first-class travelers on other key U.S. routes will enjoy fresh boxed meals beginning in early July. More details are expected in the coming weeks.

Until then, premium-cabin customers will continue to enjoy pre-poured beverages and new Flight Fuel snack box offerings beginning April 1. The Bistro box features protein bars, nuts and dark chocolate, while the Bistro box offers nosh such as potato chips, gummy bears and cookies.

New Bistro box (Photo courtesy of Delta)

Flight attendants will use the recently launched contactless payment technology for onboard purchases. (Tap-to-Pay launched on March 16 with the return of earbud sales). Along with the new inflight service offerings, the carrier will also resume a modified onboard recycling program.

New Market box (Photo courtesy of Delta)

Buy-on-board service in coach will resume at a later date.

Beginning in May and continuing through the spring and summer, Delta will resume a more substantial food service in Sky Clubs. Lounges with buffets served by representatives will return to a full hot and cold fresh food offering. Some locations will reintroduce Chef’s Tables featuring a rotating selection of hot food, in addition to an enhanced grab-and-go selection of fresh foods, hot breakfast sandwiches and soups.

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

Delta’s move comes as the carrier has offered one of the most heavily modified food and beverage selections during the pandemic. Currently, Main Cabin flyers receive an all-in-one snack pack consisting of two individually wrapped snacks, one 8.5-ounce bottle of water and a Purell singlet.

Delta Comfort+ and first-class passengers are entitled to complimentary beer and wine for flights longer than 500 miles. Complimentary spirits for premium cabins resumed in July 2020, after a three-month hiatus due to the pandemic.

Delta’s Big 3 competitors, American Airlines and United, have offered a more robust inflight service during the pandemic. In coach, flyers receive a choice of beverages, and first-class passengers can enjoy a variety of warm sandwiches and cheese plates.

Delta’s current all-in-one snack bag (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

In the coming months, United will also improve its coach offerings. The carrier recently unveiled redesigned snack boxes along with a revamped buy-on-board service, which will begin rolling out to Hawaii routes on April 1.

Delta’s move spells good news for loyal flyers. Many have reached out to express their frustration over the lack of beverage and snack options onboard, especially relative to the other U.S. network carriers.

Regardless of what the airline serves, flyers are always invited to bring their own food and beverages onboard. Just note that all alcohol consumed on the plane must be served by a flight attendant.

Featured photo courtesy of Delta

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