Review: Delta Air Lines Premium Select Experience – Meals, Drinks, Entertainment & more!

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Let me start out quickly touching on the IFE or in flight entertainment to get that out of the way. As I mentioned in post two in this series, the screens are simply stunning. In addition to that, the selection Delta offers is plentiful and the controls are simple to use and work very well. Even in the front row (as you see above) the fold out screen is really large. My only mega gripe is there is no USB power anymore in the screen and the headphone jack is now dual plug (and hard to get to left of your hip) vs. a standard single jack like on mainline jets (in coach they are the old type single plug fyi).

Most of this Delta Premium Select (PS) post will focus on the meal / food service and I really think it deserves this much attention and a post almost exclusively devoted to it as you will see. So much of this is a clone of Delta One that you almost feel like you are in domestic business class and I was told by much of the A350 staff that this was in fact the feeling they were trying to match. And to that end Champagne was provided, after we had boarded, in a plastic cocktail type glass but better than the normal plastic cups from domestic flights.

After the safety demo and takeoff it was time to get started with the first of many meal services.

Why am I showing a “hot towel”? Because it was heavy and thick like the one from Delta One not thin like domestic first class. Now the menu

It was nice being handed a heavy stock menu. Maybe not as nice as Delta One but much better than the one that is and will be in coach. Time for 1st drink service.

Unlike the Delta One carts that are covered in black fabric PS gets a standard cart. The wines, while better than the ones provided in 1.5 liter plastic bottles in coach, are the same sad and pathetically horrid choices provided on domestic flights. If Delta want PS to be better than coach they need to offer at least one of the same wines as in Delta One. At least we are using real glass not plastic at this point.

Unlike Delta One that gets hot nuts (once again – they were gone for a while) PS gets a packet with their drink (no drink bottles yet but water in glass was also offered).

I will not run down the description of each meal as you can read that in the menus above. What I want to highlight is what is being served. The bread, appetizer, and even the main course are the EXACT SAME as what was offered in Delta One Suites. The only differences are this:

  • The service is all on one tray (vs. course by course)
  • The main course service dish is different
  • The salad is smaller (and no soup)
  • The dessert is clearly not Delta One and no cheese plate choice

The food was good but not amazing. It was interesting having all the choices offered at once and I think this was a bit of mistake as you can see there is not quite room for everything nor is the tray table big enough nor is the arm rest between the two passengers large enough for you to put both a water glass (or bottle) and anther drink there. I think the appetizer should come first then do the rest.

About half way to Japan came the only real major disappointment of the meal service. From the cavernous back coach galley came carts loaded with nasty mushroom flat bread. Up to this point the entire experience had been feeling very business class “like”. Now, welcome back to coach. Even the FAs seemed to be in “coach mode” if you will, that is, efficiency vs. the warm and patient service all those in PS had offered so far. This was a mistake.

Here is what Delta should do to fix this – offer a fruit and cheese plate option similar to Delta One. It would be simple, elegant like the rest of the flight, and could not cost much more than what was presented. They could even offer something like the fruit and cheese plate already on domestic flights if they wanted to just put it on real plates?

On to the last service. Breakfast was an option and I selected that on the way home but the chicken and noodles on the way to Japan. Again, not bad but not amazing. Overall the service was a huge premium over the coach Delta experience (thus maybe the PS name vs. Premium Economy maybe). If Delta makes a few changes to this it will be just about perfect and a solid choice anytime over coach.

While I am not a coffee drinker the espresso machine (in D1S and PS) was not used. I was told they were only using the D1S unit for now.

As far as the PaxEx or passenger experience goes let me touch on one more thing that I did not hit yesterday, that is, the power plug in PS. The two seats have one shared and I was told by another reader that the plug they used kept falling out due to the angle the plug goes in. This is scary since this is a brand new jet – after a few thousands ins and outs I think this will become an issue. At least it is not in the seat like in the front row.

Also the blankets are much like the ones in domestic business class but the pillow is larger (but not mega sized like in D1S) and honestly I would love this size in D1S as those to me are too large. Lastly a major failing of this cabin, and just about any Delta cabin including D1S is there is little storage anywhere. This issue is a glaring oversight in this new “flagship” jet.

I have much more to share about all of this in my final post as well as some interesting info on how good this service will be months from now. Stay tuned for that post later on this coming week! – Rene

 

 

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5 comments

  1. Too bad those seats still look more cramped than domestic first. For daytime flight I don’t necessarily need flat bed. But I want to feel as comfortable as domestic first. I think PS should match domestic first in seat pitch and leg room as well as in FB services.

  2. I experienced the meal choices in both cabins (PS going to NRT and D1 back to DTW) on this inaugural flight and was amazed that at no time was any of the bread/rolls/ croissant served warm. Is that too much to expect?

    Also on the D1 return trip it took 53 minutes to be offered a beverage. I did get a beverage at 45 minutes because I got up and walked to the FAs in PS galley and they gladly dropped everything to serve me.

  3. “While I am not a coffee drinker the espresso machine (in D1S and PS) was not used. I was told they were only using the D1S unit for now.”

    does this mean ps will get espresso based drinks? it wasnt listed on the menu

  4. @Rene – Thanks for the PS details! I’m flying coach with the boys this month (exit row seats) but will hopefully do the Premium Select at some point in the future.

    I will wholehearted agree the mushroom flatbread is nasty. And not just because I’m not a mushroom fan.

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