Around the start of the pandemic we saw a vast majority of airlines greatly scale back inflight service in order to minimize contact between people and maximize the amount of time people have their masks on. Since then we’ve seen airlines gradually resume inflight service, though there have also been some setbacks due to coronavirus variants.
Delta has greatly cut back domestic first class service during the pandemic. A few weeks back we learned that Delta planned to bring back hot meals on more flights as of March, and we now have more details of what that will look like.
Delta first class hot meals as of March 2022
Delta plans to resume hot plated meal service in domestic first class:
- Hot meals will be rolled out as of March 1, 2022, and all eligible flights should have them within a week of that date
- Hot meals will be available on flights of over 900 miles, including domestic flights, as well as international flights to & from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
- Flights under 900 miles will continue to feature complimentary drinks and a choice of snacks
As Delta describes it, these warm meals will include “local ingredients and favorite items.” Menu highlights will include ginger beer-braised osso bucco, wild mushroom ravioli, chicken cacciatore, and French bread pizza.
Furthermore, customers will be served barbecue beef short ribs from Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q on select flights departing Atlanta. Dessert options will include ricotta cheesecake, frozen Greek yogurt with cherry syrup, and a strawberry, rhubarb, and pretzel tart.
What’s Delta first class service currently like?
What’s service currently like in Delta first class, before we see the return of hot plated meals?
- Since June 2021, Delta has been serving hot meals on eligible premium transcontinental routes, particularly those out of Boston and New York
- On other domestic routes of over 900 miles, Delta has been serving fresh meals in pre-packaged boxes
- On shorter domestic flights, Delta has been serving drinks and light snacks
How does Delta compare to the competition?
How do US airlines currently compare when it comes to inflight service in first class?
- Alaska Airlines is leading the way, as the airline has more or less restored its pre-pandemic inflight service
- United Airlines is serving hot meals on select domestic flights, but don’t get too excited about what’s being served
- American Airlines just recently brought back hot meals on flights of 3.5+ hours, and as of later in February, the airline will bring back hot meals on flights of 2.5-3.5 hours; in the meantime, don’t get excited about American’s current cold meals on shorter flights
As of March 2022, Delta will be restoring hot meals in first class on flights of over 900 miles. This has been a long time coming, as Delta made the deepest inflight service cuts during the pandemic, and is finally restoring service.
Delta is the last of the major US airlines to restore hot meals on shorter domestic flights, so it’s great to see this development. Of course that doesn’t mean that the quality of the food will be great — just because food is hot doesn’t make it good. Quite to the contrary, a lot of these dishes sound overly complex to me, given the very limited catering budgets airlines are working with.
What do you make of Delta resuming hot meal service in first class?