Hot Meals Return To Delta First Class, Sort Of

Hot Meals Return To Delta First Class, Sort Of

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We’ve seen major airlines in the United States progressively restore inflight service, as vaccination rates continue to increase, and coronavirus cases continue to decrease.

In mid-April, Delta Air Lines restored more drink and snack service in all cabins, though the airline stopped short of bringing back hot meals in first class. That will finally be changing.

Delta will serve hot meals on select transcon routes

As of June 15, 2021, Delta One and first class passengers traveling on select transcon routes will once again be offered hot meals. Eligible routes include the following:

  • Boston to Los Angeles
  • Boston to San Francisco
  • Boston to Seattle
  • New York to Los Angeles
  • New York to San Francisco
  • New York to Seattle

Passengers can expect dishes like lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry thyme syrup for breakfast, a smoked salmon plate with bagel chips for lunch (probably not hot?), and beef short ribs with whipped potatoes for dinner. Menus will be available digitally via seatback monitors.

Delta is bringing back hot meals in first class

Delta will reintroduce the snack basket

As of June 15, 2021, Delta One, first class, and Comfort+ passengers on longer domestic flights will once again be offered a snack selection from the snack basket. Options could include Kind energy bars, potato chips, cookies, and more.

Delta Comfort+ passengers will get more snacks

Delta will serve meals on 1,500+ mile flights later this summer

As you can see, Delta will initially only offer more substantial food in premium cabins on select transcon routes. When should we expect more service in first class on more routes?

Later this summer, customers traveling in Delta One and first class on flights of 1,500+ miles will be offered sandwiches, salads, and bowls. You can expect options like coconut chia oatmeal, a superfood grain bowl, a strawberry salad with seared chicken, an Italian prosciutto and fresh mozzarella sandwich, and more.

My take on Delta resuming inflight service

During the pandemic, Delta made the deepest cuts to its inflight service in order to minimize contact between passengers and crew. I’m inclined to believe the airline had the right intentions (rather than cost cutting), because Delta also blocked middle seats, which was infinitely more costly than anything that could be served inflight.

However, Delta is certainly taking its time with restoring inflight service. While it’s nice that six transcon routes will now have hot meals, Delta is still only serving snack boxes in first class on other routes, and that will continue to be the case until later this summer.

Delta first class passengers currently get a snack box

It sounds like even later this summer we shouldn’t expect hot meals on 1,500+ mile flights, but rather should just expect more substantial cold meals. Now, personally I don’t necessarily view that as a bad thing. Hot meals aren’t necessarily better than cold meals (just ask United), and if Delta can serve something tasty that’s cold, I’m all for it.

United’s “hot” food is… not amazing

Still, it sure feels like Delta is trailing here. Both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines are restoring hot meals in first class. American Airlines has been serving hot meals in premium transcon markets throughout the pandemic, but otherwise the airline is living in its own french vanilla fantasy, where customers don’t want meals, but rather want to just pick at things in a cardboard box, or something.

American’s standard transcon catering nowadays

Bottom line

Delta will be restoring more premium cabin service on domestic flights. This week the airline will be bringing back hot meals on six transcon routes, along with bringing back the snack basket in Delta One, first class, and Comfort+, on longer flights. Then as of later this summer the airline will bring back more substantial food options on 1,500+ mile flights, but don’t expect hot food.

What do you make of Delta’s service resumptions?

Conversations (41)
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  1. zoe Guest

    Many of the cross-country flights that I take and my family takes do not include any warm meals dining service still in FC, it’s plastic and it’s packaged meals, I believe people are getting tired of this, it has nothing to do with Covid Clean when it all comes down to it, it’s poss budget cuts, I have heard that many people feel it should be back and that it’s not even worth being in...

    Many of the cross-country flights that I take and my family takes do not include any warm meals dining service still in FC, it’s plastic and it’s packaged meals, I believe people are getting tired of this, it has nothing to do with Covid Clean when it all comes down to it, it’s poss budget cuts, I have heard that many people feel it should be back and that it’s not even worth being in first class then coupled with grumpy in flight service from Atlanta, without that once amazing dining service,?
    I believe they have a point.

  2. John Guest

    My last pandemic flight to Incheon had proper meal service on Delta January 23rd.

  3. seonjin lee Guest

    I am taking delta airlines to go to Incheon Korea. The confirmation no. is GJZG87. I just want to know if meals will be provided or not.

  4. Joe M Guest

    Does anyone miss the yak steak? Seriously, though, Delta had better hop on the meal bandwagon for first class meals and fast. They are not the only game in our skies.

  5. Brett Guest

    Is Delta serving Spirits (Bloody Mary)

  6. Pam Guest

    The snack boxes in first class are inedible--nothing but junk food! If Delta doesn't reinstate meal service in first class on flights of over 2 hours, I won't be flying first class on Delta anymore.

    I appreciated Delta's seat blocking policy at the height of the pandemic, but now Delta needs to reinstate everything and hire more people to staff its call center. Nine-hour wait times are not OK. Also, it's on-line booking has become extremely glitchy.

  7. Cindy Guest

    Delta sucks. They are reinstating meals in some first class flights and not others? How the f is this about protecting anyone. Delta had phone waits of 13 hours with no call back feature. Delta booked my flight from Hawaii and it was impossible to check in as the flight was managed by Hawaiian, without calling Hawaiian and waiting over 2 hours. Screw Delta. I will never, ever fly this POS airline again! And I will short their stick every chance I get.

  8. Shell Guest

    If the need to scale back because the think this is decreasing exposure then so be it (no evidence to support a quantitative time frame for masks off). What I find interesting is the fares for first class do not reflect the amended service. I have flown first to and from Hawaii several times since Covid and the experience in first is as incredible as always, and their guidelines are stricter. I’d did enjoy the...

    If the need to scale back because the think this is decreasing exposure then so be it (no evidence to support a quantitative time frame for masks off). What I find interesting is the fares for first class do not reflect the amended service. I have flown first to and from Hawaii several times since Covid and the experience in first is as incredible as always, and their guidelines are stricter. I’d did enjoy the movie screen that was no bigger than my iPhone and the strapping around the over head bins that fell off .

  9. Lauren Guest

    Flying Delta direct from ATL to LAX and then LAX to TPA first class in early July. Can anyone provide any insight if we'll be provided a snack box or can we expect to receive a hot meal? Just trying to plan ahead...

  10. Linda le Guest

    Delta using COVID as an excuse for being cheap and reduced service for first class what is “first class “ is even don’t have a cold sandwich for the flight 4 and half hours long from Atlanta to oranges county California I can’t live with just snack and even didn’t have a bottle of water for the trip from sna to salt lake,I’m a loyalty customer of delta but I’m so disappointed with them now I may be thinking about changes the airline for travel now

  11. Clifford Allen Guest

    Delta, like many companies, is now using Covid as an excuse for being cheap and getting customers - who have become used to reduced service and value - to accept this as the "new" norm. Total BS.

  12. BARBARA ARMOUR Guest

    I think there's absolutely no reason why on domestic flights 1st class we can't get a cold Box lunch it is ridiculous.delta could serve Panera meals of sandwich salad and fruit or chips.
    Travel level had rebounded with a vengeance...so Delta and other airlines can afford it now for first and comfort class.
    I do think that not serving alcohol right now in the main cabin is a good idea in light of...

    I think there's absolutely no reason why on domestic flights 1st class we can't get a cold Box lunch it is ridiculous.delta could serve Panera meals of sandwich salad and fruit or chips.
    Travel level had rebounded with a vengeance...so Delta and other airlines can afford it now for first and comfort class.
    I do think that not serving alcohol right now in the main cabin is a good idea in light of the unruly passenger behavior which that has been escalating alarmingly in main cabin.

  13. Barbara Guest

    We were on a first class 7:45 am flight in May, Milwaukee to NYC, and offered only beer or wine. No coffee. Not even a pretzel. Appalling.

  14. Christopher Guest

    I flew JFK-KEF last month and got a hot meal in comfort+, but didn't get one LAX-JFK (not to mention the same route DELTA ONE in November). It seems dumb to me that just because a flight is international (regardless of distance), Delta serves a hot meal.

  15. Phylis Guest

    At the cost of First Class we should get a nice option versus a box. It’s insulting. Love Delta but on a recent trip to Florida the flight attendant in First didn’t even offer anything until 45 minutes into the flight and that included drinks. No turbulence so that was not the reason, Unfriendly.

  16. Alpha Golf Gold

    So... six routes where they just happen to compete with Mint?

  17. Dave Guest

    They should upgrade their hot food offering especially on domestic and international Delta One. The stuff they serve right now in Delta One to Europe is truly disgusting.

  18. Casey Guest

    Do we know if amenity kits and bedding are back on D1 Transcon flights between SFO/LAX - JFK?

    1. JakeRobertson212 Guest

      Bedding on domestic D1 has been catered since the beginning of 2021. In fact I don’t think it was ever eliminated. Still no amenity kits though.

    2. Mary Guest

      I flew Delta One SEA to RSW in Feb 2021. Has to bring my own pillows and blanket. Food was unhealthy snack bag like goldfish, mini clif bar etc. no excuse for this.

  19. Chacoun Guest

    Living for the Valentina reference

  20. Bobo Guest

    Alaska continues to shine with decent, well-presented hot meals served again in first on all transcons.

  21. Michael Felock Guest

    For nearly 23 years I worked for Dobbs House which was one of the largest in-flight food catering companys in the world. What your article describes is a far far cry from my days working there. I doubt if it will ever return to what it once was

  22. Jason Guest

    Hm. So on my 8hr 10min flight from JFK-ANC mid-July, I will only get chips and beef jerky in lie-flat first class? Definitely seems worth canceling and flying economy on whatever airline is cheapest!

    1. Steven L. Platinum

      Situation as described is a poor deal, but at the same time I would think that it’s a lot easier to bring your own food than your own lie-flat…

    2. Alaska Rick Guest

      @Jason I've been able to pre-order food on my Alaska flights but my ANC-ORD flight on American and my EWR-ANC flight on United were nothing but cookies & pretzels.

      Hope you enjoy your time up here :)

  23. tiffany Guest

    No since paying almost double for first when you get nothing for it. Not flying first again, till there is actually first class service.

  24. Kathy Guest

    On May 22 my husband and I flew First class on Delta from Atlanta to San Francisco. The snack box was a package of beef jerky and a snack bar. From this announcement it looks like it will be a while before we will fly First on Delta again.

  25. Frederik Guest

    I love how American carriers have no international first now (except American on a few aircraft I think), yet have kept it branded for domestic in a big way.

    I wonder if when Euro carriers finally get better business seats for business class, will they then rename it first like in America?

  26. dave Guest

    They are going to damage their brand if they don't re-introduce items like first class service and blue blankets. Those planes get so cold and that was one of the huge reasons I flew Delta.

  27. Sean Guest

    I think it's worth pointing out that last year, they cut their catering services dramatically and it takes a while to get that ramped up. There are shortages across the country now both in terms of goods and people. It's not representing the whole story without at least acknowledging that the deepest cuts also mean that they need the most training to get people up to speed. Every company will be dealing with shortages until the inflated unemployment checks end.

    1. Steve Gold

      Its all an excuse, they wont bring back full catering because they dont make money on it and they will use the "for your safety" excuse for everything now.

    2. That Guy Guest

      Many things have changed since the pandemic, but it’s good to know that the Delta sycophants are alive and well on OMAAT!

    3. Ed Gold

      Or how about maybe a business should be able to weather an economic downturn without gutting its workforce? It's not the inflated unemployment checks, it's that these companies tossed their workforce. Its not the workers fault for holding out for a better job.

      Your premise seems to assume that these deep cuts were justified in the first place.

  28. Greg Guest

    Thank you for calling them out.

    More vaporware from Delta.

    UNITED is rising

  29. Happy Flyer New Member

    Delta just needs to reinstate everything.

  30. Endre Guest

    Although 90% of my flights are in First class cabin (paid ticket only, no points tricks), I must confess I have never tried First Class on any American carrier. Judging by the food and the subpar lounges, I think I will stick with JAL, Cathay Pacific or AF....

    1. That Guy Guest

      Endre, I applaud your consistency.

      Making the same irrelevant non-sequitur comment again and again demonstrates something...

    2. Synn Guest

      So tell us, are you expecting a cookie or a pat on the head?

  31. Bgriff Diamond

    It's pretty pathetic that they're not even offering meals on all "Delta One" services -- JFK-LAS for example still has flights marketed as Delta One that won't have meal service.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

That Guy Guest

Endre, I applaud your consistency. Making the same irrelevant non-sequitur comment again and again demonstrates something...

2
Ed Gold

Or how about maybe a business should be able to weather an economic downturn without gutting its workforce? It's not the inflated unemployment checks, it's that these companies tossed their workforce. Its not the workers fault for holding out for a better job. Your premise seems to assume that these deep cuts were justified in the first place.

1
zoe Guest

Many of the cross-country flights that I take and my family takes do not include any warm meals dining service still in FC, it’s plastic and it’s packaged meals, I believe people are getting tired of this, it has nothing to do with Covid Clean when it all comes down to it, it’s poss budget cuts, I have heard that many people feel it should be back and that it’s not even worth being in first class then coupled with grumpy in flight service from Atlanta, without that once amazing dining service,? I believe they have a point.

0
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