Do you care about Delta food when you fly?

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Airline food is never going to be as good as anything the Food Network’s “Iron Chef’s” could make (love that show btw). But airlines, Delta included, see food as a way to differentiate themselves from the other airlines. A recent NBC video showed what lengths United is going to.

Also, last month all the bloggers were talking about the news about how hard Delta Air Lines is working to make food taste good at altitude and is working with the vendors who ultimately deliver the product to the planes (aka Sky Chefs and others ).

For coach, I think, Delta should just stop serving the peanuts and pretzels. I mean who cares. It is much better to offer a-la-cart items like selling the snack boxes and other options on long transcontinental flights. These are good and make the airline money. Peanuts and pretzels don’t. Why? It costs a bunch and I would rather cut that than other frequent flyer benefits. Just how much does food cost? The DELTA 10-K  lumps food in with a ton of other billion in costs from last year, so it is hard to know just how much it does cost plus the fuel cost in added weight (I did ask about a breakout cost but none was available).

End of rant about nuts. But back to food. Having arguably had some of the best 1st class food, or so many say, on the Lufthansa flight this year, I again say I prefer what Delta offers on international flights. I like the soups, the breads, the main course, the deserts and cheese. The wine is fine and the service by Delta FA’s is pleasant and warm and just all around good!

Now moving down to trans-con, work needs to be done. There are some choices that are good and now and then you may get a meal not so good as pictured in this Flyer Talk post, but the choices could overall be better I think.

For example, cheese is not on sandwiches many times ( welcome to Europe? ) And the quality of ingredients could use a boost. I find it a strange comparison that international can be so good and trans-con not so much.

What do you think. Am I out in left field on today’s post or do you agree with me on all of the above. I would love your feedback – René


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  1. Rene,

    I think food changes was about the absolute worst thing that changed about the in flight experience when I was forced from NWA to Delta. I used to get great, good tasting meals during most long first class flights in the US. No, on Delta, I have yet to have anything “hot” on any intra-US flight. I think that is a poor way to treat a solid business customer like me.

    I also made the mistake of using my Delta credit card to buy one of those sandwiches on a transcon in coach. It was horrible.

    I have only flown Delta once overseas in economy comfort, and I also found the food to be very bad. However, this was a mileage run to IST, and they picked up some awesome Turkish beer I drank on the way back, so I will tip my hat to them on that.

  2. I must be strange as I prefer the domestic first class meals service over the international – the international meals are to fancy for me and not enjoyable.

  3. I’ve only had two decent meals on any flight last year – the hamburger and the Southwest soup. I don’t recall what I had on my SLC-HNL last summer, but I do remember it was barely edible. Thank goodness the mai-tais were flowing freely.

  4. The pretzels, biscoff, and peanuts are definitely one perk that sets Delta apart from other airlines. There have been a couple times where I barely made a connection, but hey…I got some pretzels and a drink. AA has even been known to RUN OUT of meals on international flights, along with regularly selling out of the food for purchase! On my Delta flight back from VCE on Sunday I had the most wonderful chicken with spinach risotto in economy. Who would have thought?! AND there were two other equally satisfying options, along with a HOT snack before landing of three cheese calzone! And the best part….Delta is basically the only American-based airline that still offers free wine and beer on international flights. I couldn’t even get a free kingfisher to wash down my ambien on United from EWR to DEL, and they ran out of non-veg meals. Remember when you were fed on every flight, no matter where you went? At least Delta does.

  5. The lack of first class meals on non-JFK transcons at night royally irks me. The lack of a hot breakfast on many morning flights also annoys me. Why be so cheap, Delta?

  6. I would recommend ridding of the salt ladem pretzels and peanuts. How about substituting with a piece of fruit or something else a bit healthier. A new campaign for Delta, we care about your health, or we are working on keeping you healthy in the air!

  7. Why is it so hard to offer a simple turkey and cheese sandwich with chips?

  8. I couldn’t disagree more with you about pretzels, etc. The selection of peanuts, pretzels, or cookies on Delta ain’t bad. Plus, on transcon they generally come by with snacks twice. People don’t like being prodded for extra money. Having extra snacks for purchase as an option? Great. But it’s also important to have a free option. There are a lot more customers who care about peanuts than there are customers that care about the 72-hour rule and other such minutiae.

  9. flights vary, sometimes I get a decent meal other times it’s dried out and not worth eating , I always bring something for heartburn

  10. I recently joined and this is my first time comments. So far I fly exclusively with Delta (NWA before) mostly on the international route. I’ve flown several times in business class using mileages with NWA, and Delta after the merger. But I think meals on NWA Business class were a lot better than the Delta’s. They were almost as good as restaurant meals with real plates and silverwares. I can see Delta is trying but I guess they are not as generous as NWA. I really miss NWA.

  11. Actually, being able to get those free biscoff cookies makes a huge difference to me on a flight — definitely makes me prefer Delta. Those little touches go a long way.

  12. I agree with CU, those Biscoff cookies are the highlight of my domestic coach trips. Conversely, the food up front is probably the worst in the industry.

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