I am sure you have seen the news as the Delta PR machine is really good at pushing “news” when they have something new that can make them a bunch of money. The glossy photo above provided to press and bloggers to promote the new onboard sales is great for a summer picnic but a little less attractive when shoved into a tiny plastic box and you have to consume it in a tiny coach seat with very low quality coach wines.
So, when I got the marketing e-mail from Catherine Sirna from Delta I decided to ask some real food questions to the Delta rep and to my surprise she answered. Well, mostly answered. Let’s look at them one by one and then my thoughts on each.
Q) What kind of quantity will be onboard. That is, should those in the back expect the supplies to run out so where you sit matters (like FEBO in 1st class that is sorta followed if the FA feels like it).
A) We have increased provisioning quantities across the board to support the new product launch as we expect increased demand for the new offerings. Though we can’t predict demand perfectly on every flight, we analyze sales data and flight attendant feedback using many variables, including market, length of haul, time of day, day of week, etc., in an effort to meet demand.
I really appreciate this answer. They are really going to, it seems, make an attempt to not run out of food if you are stuck way in the back in C- seats. To me the standard cheese “plate” is one of the best things on the old EATS menu and happy it has remained (just much more expensive on the longer flights).
Q) If the 1st class meal choices are gone, that is, your choice, is there any plan to offer something off the new menu to 1st class passengers?
A) The items offered are available for purchase to customers in all cabins. We review our first class meal ratios and adjust as needed to do our best to provide customers their first choice of meal. As you know, we are working on a solution to allow customers to pre-select their meals so we can decrease the chances of running out of first choices. We do not plan to offer Flight Fuel products complimentary to FC passengers if their first choice of complimentary meal is not available.
Yes, RenesPoints readers know that soon it will be their responsibility to be happy with our choice of 1st class meal choices. I like this very much. But when things go wonkie it would be nice to “officially” be allowed a choice off the Flight Fuel menu. I say officially as there are times a FA who is, IMO, “Striving for Five” will offer you something else. But did you notice one of the most popular items off the old EATS menu is gone – the sliders? Kinda sad.
Q) Since C+ seats are really just a “SideGrade” not a true upgrade is there any plan for free snack choices for C+ folks?
A) Though there no immediate plans to offer Flight Fuel complimentary in Comfort+, we conduct research on our snack basket items to give customers control over their options, and provide a variety of options through continuous refreshes.
So, no. Too bad. For just about anyone who flies the middle seat is the worst thing they can dream of. An upgrade to a C+ middle seat is no upgrade. But, to me anyway, offer free food for this and it would make it a bit more of an acceptable choice. You tell me, would you take a middle seat and not gripe if you got a free choice off the Flight Fuel menu? (think about it Delta)!
Q) Since C+ upgrades often mean middle seats for even Diamonds are there any plans to offer a free snack to elites stuck in main cabin coach like other airlines offer for elites?
A) We are always assessing our policies and product offerings, but there are no immediate changes planned.
Again, no! I think this is a real failing for Delta. We know from the GST that an FA can clearly see who is a convicted criminal on a flight (ooopsseee) as well as who is a top elite like a Diamond or Platinum Medallion. How hard would it be when they have chosen NOT to accept a “SideGrade” to middle seat coach to offer them a free snack in the exit row they have chosen to stick with (and clearly did not upgrade to 1st class since you are selling the seats cheap day by day).
Q) Are there any plans to allow HOOU coupons to be used for a snack again, like there were in the past, since so many elites do not drink alcohol?
A) There are no immediate policy changes planned.
Too bad. I think this is the one thing readers are most upset about who do not enjoy an adult beverage from their annual medallion HOOU coupons. But to me this simple and firm answer is very telling. They are making too much money off things other than drinks to think about giving a simple snack away to a loyal elite. Sad.
Q) Importantly when will Delta offer on so many flights a better snack basket in 1st class than just nuts, cookies and pretzels. This is shameful and embarrassing.
A) We are in the process of assessing options to refresh our current snack offerings. As you know, meal flights offer peanut, pretzel and Biscoff cookies, served with the pre-meal beverage. Flights over 250 miles without a meal have a premium snack basket offering a variety of healthful and indulgent snacks that rotate every quarter. Some of the recent snacks include Nourish Snack granola, breakfast cookies from Dancing Deer, Kind Bars, Bananas, Brownie Brittle, flight Antioxidant Trail Mix and Sanders Sea Salt Caramels.
Yes, we all know what is in the snack basket as we see it week after week and are just as disappointed each time we see few choices and especially so when it is only nuts, pretzels and cookies. I guess there are no plans to fix this coach service snack basket that EVERYONE who flies Delta 1st class is disappointed with. Delta, wake up, this is not a 1st class offering even on short flights or flights with meals. Fix this.
So there you are. A tiny bit of gleaned info but mostly fluff and a number of “NO” answers. I really appreciate that Catherine took the time to try to answer my questions but what really would impress me would be addressing simple concerns that will only expand as more and more elites are stuck in back (think 1JUNE when upgrades will, IMO, get even HARDER to get).
Lastly I am personally not a fan of the Luvo products. I find them bland and mostly boring. They may be a California thing but as a Midwest flyer I am mostly MEH over them. Maybe I am in the minority and Delta knows what they are doing here. You tell me, are you impressed with the new EATS menu now called Flight Fuel? – René