Delta Unveils More Sustainable Onboard Amenities

Delta Unveils More Sustainable Onboard Amenities

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Airlines are increasingly focused on sustainability, and Delta Air Lines has just announced a series of initiatives on that front that impact the inflight experience.

Delta refreshes onboard experience

Delta is refreshing its onboard products with two main focuses — more sustainable amenities, and more products from minority and women-run businesses. In the coming weeks, Delta will be introducing new artisan-made amenity kits, recycled bedding, reusable and biodegradable service ware, and premium canned wines.

These changes are expected to reduce onboard single-use plastic consumption by approximately 4.9 million pounds per year, which is roughly the weight of 15 Airbus A350 aircraft.

Let’s go over the details of these changes.

Delta’s new amenity kits

Delta One passengers will soon get new amenity kits from Mexican apparel brand Someone Somewhere, featuring skincare products from Grown Alchemist. The new amenity kits eliminate five single-use plastic items, such as zippers and packaging, reducing plastic use by up to 90,000 pounds annually. The kits also utilize regenerated cotton.

Delta’s new amenity kits

Delta’s new bedding

Delta One passengers have already started seeing new bedding made from recycled materials. Each bedding set is made of over 100 recycled plastic bottles, using 25 million bottles annually. Delta is also among the first airlines to use 100% recycled polyester bedding. When you add it all up, Delta is reducing plastic use by up to 260,000 pounds per year.

Delta’s new bedding

Delta’s new service ware & cutlery

Delta is overhauling its service ware by replacing plastic products with those made from natural and recycled materials. This move is expected to reduce Delta’s use of plastic by up to 4.3 million pounds.

Delta is now offering bamboo cutlery for packaged meals in domestic first class and on select international flights. Starting later this year, all international economy customers will also see new dishware made from biodegradable materials, bamboo cutlery, and a new premium paper placemat.

Delta’s new cutlery

Delta’s new canned wine

Delta will start serving two new aluminum-canned wines from Imagery Wine Estate, a Sonoma based winery. Delta will serve a Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This will start being served on select transcontinental flights shortly, and should be served on other domestic flights as of later this year. This is expected to reduce annual plastic use by up to 250,000 pounds.

Delta’s new canned wine

Bottom line

Delta is rolling out more sustainable inflight amenities, in an effort to remove nearly five million pounds of single-use plastics annually. This includes the introduction of new amenity kits, bedding, cutlery, and canned wine.

While a focus on sustainability and supporting smaller businesses is good, it’s definitely a different direction than we’ve historically seen airlines take. In the past airlines have largely partnered with large high-end brands for amenity kits and bedding. I’m curious to experience these service items myself.

What do you make of Delta’s inflight service updates?

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  1. Steven A Guest

    So much whining negativity from so many self-proclaimed know-it-alls. I certainly hope I'm not seating next to one of you on my next Delta premium flight.

  2. No wood please Guest

    For someone like me the 'wooden' utensils (already had to deal with this) are a big no! I never liked popsicles because of the sticks. I can't deal with wood in my mouth. I cringe at the thought. When I opened my first pack with these I didn't even want to touch them. I held the utensil with a napkin and tried to not touch the wood while pulling the food off the fork or...

    For someone like me the 'wooden' utensils (already had to deal with this) are a big no! I never liked popsicles because of the sticks. I can't deal with wood in my mouth. I cringe at the thought. When I opened my first pack with these I didn't even want to touch them. I held the utensil with a napkin and tried to not touch the wood while pulling the food off the fork or spoon. Didn't finish my meal. I'm all for not polluting, but be reasonable. I would rather carry a metal folding spork to use, if they would let me through security with it.

  3. Gabo New Member

    Sadly, I’ve had the displeasure of having to use the bamboo utensils a few times already. Bad eating experience as they get “stuck” to your tongue. Also, worried of a potential splinter in my mouth due to poor manufacturing or handling.

    In my opinion, they are garbage figuratively and most likely literally as well. Unless Delta is removing the bamboo utensils from the waste bins that I have seen them thrown in by the...

    Sadly, I’ve had the displeasure of having to use the bamboo utensils a few times already. Bad eating experience as they get “stuck” to your tongue. Also, worried of a potential splinter in my mouth due to poor manufacturing or handling.

    In my opinion, they are garbage figuratively and most likely literally as well. Unless Delta is removing the bamboo utensils from the waste bins that I have seen them thrown in by the flight attendants, then they are still going to an anaerobic landfill. Depending on the material composition, don’t expect the utensils to quickly biodegrade.

    Why not bring back metal cutlery, which can be washed and reused, and recycled later on if need be? For those wondering about water usage, there are numerous water cleaning and recycling systems already in use in the market that the facilities used by Delta could instal or may already have in place.

  4. Thrawn Guest

    Wow. Another cost cutting measure in the cloak of environment protection.
    That's as bad as the change of room amenities at many brands and definetely a reason to never fly Delta in business.

  5. Jkjkjk Guest

    The Le Labo is barely even mainstream. They were out way before pandemic (in theory) but in practice they made it’s way only during pandemic and I barely got them. There are mix of le labo and malin&goetz for some time.

    From tumi hard case to flimsy bags. Sigh

  6. Matt Kaiser Guest

    I've flown several transcons with the new bedding now and I actually like it. The pillow is fluffy and the blanket is substantial--I prefer both to the Westin "heavenly" bedding. The better question will be how well it holds up over time. Will the 100 plastic bottles still yield a comfy pillow in 3 months, 6 months, 9 months? We'll see. While this is definitely just a big marketing push (query whether it's largely because...

    I've flown several transcons with the new bedding now and I actually like it. The pillow is fluffy and the blanket is substantial--I prefer both to the Westin "heavenly" bedding. The better question will be how well it holds up over time. Will the 100 plastic bottles still yield a comfy pillow in 3 months, 6 months, 9 months? We'll see. While this is definitely just a big marketing push (query whether it's largely because Delta has alienated the far right so much with -- totally appropriate -- Covid-19 protocols that it needs to really embrace the left), this seems a few steps above pure green washing and I hope it does help reduce unnecessary waste. I'll be skipping the canned wine and hope never to have to use the wooden utensils in economy (in my experience, unsurprisingly, wood utensils taste a lot like wood).

  7. Eric Guest

    The new products don't look very premium. I think the main reason for Deltas change is to cut costs and sustainability is just their marketing tool.

  8. Daniel Z Guest

    The new amenity kit does not elevated to me. It looks like it was a targeted Instagram add for a middle aged mom that's really into yoga retreats. This does not say sleek or sexy to me. The Tumi kits were fantastic. It was the one way Delta excelled compared to their partner Air France.

    You know what would save plastic? Real metal and real glass!

    The grey blankets look sort of sad.

  9. Endre Guest

    Textbook greenwashing. Because there is a coating impregnated in the inside of the paper packaging for the bamboo cutlery, it isn't exactly eco-friendly. Therefore, due to regulations, it cannot be thrown into paper bins and must be incinerated.

  10. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    It's pretty sad when Aeromexico is kicking Delta's butt.

  11. Santastico Guest

    That amenity kit is nothing that I would keep with me after an international travel in Delta One. I don't really care for the content of the amenity kit but love the TUMI bags and use them all the time to carry medicine, electronic chargers, cables, etc... I am so glad I just travelled with my family of 4 a round trip in international Delta One so we have 8 brand new Tumi bags to...

    That amenity kit is nothing that I would keep with me after an international travel in Delta One. I don't really care for the content of the amenity kit but love the TUMI bags and use them all the time to carry medicine, electronic chargers, cables, etc... I am so glad I just travelled with my family of 4 a round trip in international Delta One so we have 8 brand new Tumi bags to enjoy. Very sad to seem them being replaced by something that looks very cheap.

    As for the wine, have you seen any high end wine being sold in aluminum cans? Yes, that is your answer.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Purely for bag reusableness and looks, I actually liked the original TUMI kits (first one and the non engraved hard case), not these later ones.

      I do like the current purple Premium Select kits, not too big not too small and unique color.

      As for wine, you'll be surprised at what rich people do, especially Millennials and YouTubers. Those aluminum canned 2022 vintage Romanee-Conti is just not available to the public, yet.

  12. Jerry Diamond

    Any change to Delta’s wine is positive. It was absolutely disgusting before.

  13. Evan Guest

    IMO:

    Pillow and blanket: It doesn't matter to me if the pillow and blanket are Westin Heavenly bedding, Saks or Gucci. If they are comfortable, I'm all for it. I'll take comfort over brand name any day of the week.

    Amenity kit: Other than removing the Tumi bag, it looks as if the kit will contain the same items. Frankly, I like the small name brands. Often they are better than the big brands.

    Cutlery...

    IMO:

    Pillow and blanket: It doesn't matter to me if the pillow and blanket are Westin Heavenly bedding, Saks or Gucci. If they are comfortable, I'm all for it. I'll take comfort over brand name any day of the week.

    Amenity kit: Other than removing the Tumi bag, it looks as if the kit will contain the same items. Frankly, I like the small name brands. Often they are better than the big brands.

    Cutlery and wine: The way I read it, the change is for economy (and maybe FC on domestic). Plastic vs bamboo and can vs mini bottle sounds like abs even trade in economy...in FC, I hope they go back to silverware and bottled wine.

  14. Justin Guest

    I’ve tried this bedding on an AMS-SLC leg in December and didn’t have any issues with it. May not be Westin anymore but was still plenty comfortable. Actually preferred the pillow also. Amenity kits though… not sure what to think about those.

  15. James Guest

    Hahah. This is hilarious. Good ole Delta leading the charge of virtue signalers everywhere! Did you all forget how much plastic Delta generated during the peak of paranoia from the covid cultists? Their SkyClubs were a shrine of plastic with all the idiotic individual packaging. On board it was plastic everywhere. Plastic bags holding plastic water bottles. Heck, they're STILL wasting plastic by refusing to use reusable glassware in FC.

    1. GBOAC Diamond

      @James: I so agree.
      And I bet that a bean counter somewhere determined that Delta will also save a pretty penny by doing this.

    2. JS Guest

      AA's Admirals Clubs were the exact same way - everything in individual plastic containers. I commented everytime I went into an Admiral's Club that the amount of plastic being used was ridiculous. On top of that, it causes trash cans to fill up very quickly and overflow.

  16. TM Gold

    Those amenity kits look pretty sad I'll reserve judgement on the bedding until I actually try it.

    Canned wine is fine for domestic service but without real glassware and cutlery in first class, this is all a joke.

  17. Corbett Guest

    I had the chance to experience the bamboo cutlery on domestic first class breakfast this past November. I enjoyed it. I decided to bring the cutlery home with me and found it slightly less durable than plastic for repeated use but the environmental benefits are quite significant, which I strongly favor.

  18. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Why is Delta creating jobs in Mexico instead of hiring minority workers in the US to produce amenity kits?

    1. Corbett Guest

      Great point! I'd like to learn the answer from Corporate, too.

    2. James W Guest

      Maybe because a program that sets out to hire specifically "minority" workers would be creepy and possibly illegal? The law forbids companies from hiring (or not hiring) people solely on race or ethnicity.

      Also, a firm in Mexico is surely a lot cheaper than anything in the US.

    3. Jake212 Guest

      @James W -

      Did you miss the first sentence of the first main paragraph -

      “Delta is refreshing its onboard products with two main focuses — more sustainable amenities, and more products from minority and women-run businesses.”

      So you may want to inform Delta of the law.

    4. Eskimo Guest

      Uhh, I don't think minority workers in the US was ever part of the supply chain.

      Good news is, it went from China to Mexico. So that's progress. But I don't think it will ever reach US unless angry white men are willing to sew amenity kits for $0.20 an hour rather then go burning up DC.

  19. rww New Member

    Regarding the canned wine, it seems this is to replace the single use plastic wine bottles that are in economy class, or does Delta also serve wine out of plastic single use bottles in premium cabins?

    I find it funny they're showing a picture of a canned wine aimed to reduce the amount of plastic in a picture along with single use plastic cups. (Unless those cups are made of compostable materials?)

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Since the pandemic, Delta serves single-use, plastic bottles of wine in Delta One domestic and first-class domestic. Delta One domestic has glassware and plates. Domestic first-class had plastic cups and cold meals in cardboard boxes.

  20. Jan Guest

    Glad I got a Tumi bag before they discontinued it.

    Would like to get the new ones here, though.

  21. Sel, D. Guest

    In the first paragraph you state they’re using more minority and woman owned businesses, then in your closing you state small businesses. FYI Imagery is owned by the #1 exporter of California wines and is NOT a small biz. The cab is definitely drinkable though.

  22. Mark Guest

    It's certainly a start. They can do more -- plastic in domestic coach. But I imagine supply chain will limit some of that.

  23. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Also, I assume Marriott stopped paying Delta for the Westin bedding. Marriott, after all, has a relationship with United.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      It was the nice relic of SPG partnership before the world got Bonvoyed. I'm actually surprised it lasted this long given Marriott's relationship with United. (But I thought Delta paid Westin not the other way?)

  24. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    It looks like metal silverware is permanently gone in domestic first-class. It's disappointing that Delta hasn't announced a return of hot meals. The bamboo silverware has been used for a while now in the cold snack boxes that range from god awful to barely edible.

    The switch to can wine is confusing. Before the pandemic, Delta served wine in domestic first-class from glass full-size bottles. Some of the wine brands were actually quite good. Wente...

    It looks like metal silverware is permanently gone in domestic first-class. It's disappointing that Delta hasn't announced a return of hot meals. The bamboo silverware has been used for a while now in the cold snack boxes that range from god awful to barely edible.

    The switch to can wine is confusing. Before the pandemic, Delta served wine in domestic first-class from glass full-size bottles. Some of the wine brands were actually quite good. Wente chardonnay was pretty common. I don't know how serving wine from a can is better than full-size glass bottles. Especially if Delta is pouring canned wine in plastic glasses. Delta still hasn't brought back real glassware or even coffee mugs in domestic first-class.

  25. Jeff Guest

    Canned wine? People will just request a cup, just like now with canned beer. A lot of times the FA gives a cup even if not requested with the beer.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Exactly. So I'm supposed to pay $1500 to fly domestic first-class and drink from canned wine?

    2. Corbett Guest

      So much for having a corporate sommelier who is among the best!

    3. TM Gold

      They're not expecting anyone to drink the wine from the can. They are replacing the single serving plastic wine bottles that have become the standard on domestic flights. From a catering standpoint this makes sense since cans stack better so they take up less space. Of course, if they are serious about reducing plastic, they need to bring back real glassware in domestic F.

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.

James Guest

Hahah. This is hilarious. Good ole Delta leading the charge of virtue signalers everywhere! Did you all forget how much plastic Delta generated during the peak of paranoia from the covid cultists? Their SkyClubs were a shrine of plastic with all the idiotic individual packaging. On board it was plastic everywhere. Plastic bags holding plastic water bottles. Heck, they're STILL wasting plastic by refusing to use reusable glassware in FC.

4
Eric Guest

The new products don't look very premium. I think the main reason for Deltas change is to cut costs and sustainability is just their marketing tool.

3
Endre Guest

Textbook greenwashing. Because there is a coating impregnated in the inside of the paper packaging for the bamboo cutlery, it isn't exactly eco-friendly. Therefore, due to regulations, it cannot be thrown into paper bins and must be incinerated.

3
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