Delta brings back free meals in coach

Restoring an amenity eliminated by virtually all U.S. airlines nearly two decades ago, Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines will once again be offering complimentary meals to many of its main cabin passengers.

Starting March 1, Delta (NYSE:DAL) will return to offering complimentary meals to main cabin passengers on some of its longest domestic flights, including transcontinental routes between New York’s John F. Kennedy International (JFK) and Los Angeles International (LAX), and between JFK and San Francisco International (SFO).

Mesquite-smoked turkey combo

Beginning Apr. 24, the airline will expand complimentary meals to 10 other major domestic markets, including flights connecting Boston’s Logan International (BOS) and SFO, BOS-LAX, BOS-Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA), Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA)-LAX, JFK-Portland (Oregon) International (PDX), JFK-San Diego International (SAN), JFK-SEA, SEA-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL), SEA-Orlando International (MCO) and SEA-Raleigh-Durham International (RDU).

According to a New York Times article, most major U.S. carriers announced “sharp reductions” in all categories of in-flight meal service in late 2001 and noted that, in coach, “hot meals were going the way of the dodo.” While many airlines offer food for purchase in the main cabin, complimentary meals, whether hot or cold, have indeed become all but extinct.

The resumption of included meals in coach will make the airline the only U.S. carrier to offer complimentary fresh meals from nose to tail on select coast-to-coast routes, Delta said in a news release announcing the move.

Fruit and cheese plate

Delta’s new meal program will provide customers with a variety of options depending on the time of day of their flight. In the morning, customers will be able to choose between a honey maple breakfast sandwich, breakfast medley or fruit and cheese plate.

During the day, customers will be able to select from a mesquite-smoked turkey combo, Mediterranean whole grain veggie wrap, or fruit and cheese plate. For overnight flights, customers will be offered a breakfast bar during the pre-arrival beverage service.

The enhancement is part of Delta’s ongoing multi-million dollar investment in the on-board customer experience that includes upgraded Main Cabin snacks, enhanced blankets, refreshed Flight Fuel food-for-purchase options and free in-flight entertainment. Main Cabin customers on long-haul international flights are also treated to complimentary beer, wine and spirits; and sleep kits.

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Photos provided by Delta Air Lines
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