International passengers on Delta Airlines will be thrilled to hear that the airline is testing out a new meal service - and it's one that has more in common with fine dining than with standard airplane food. For the most part, the perks of Economy class tickets have been decreasing in recent years, as airlines try to slash prices - long gone are the days of free checked bags, meals and entertainment! And of course, when it comes to airline meals, the quality of food has long been something of a running joke - even before carriers were focused on offering the lowest possible fares.
This week, BizJournal revealed that Delta will be testing out a new meal service in Economy class for international flights, which includes complimentary sparkling wine and a three course meal. The meal starts with a mimosa or sparkling water (called 'welcome bubbles'), and each of the three courses are served separately. Delta has also revamped the presentation of the meals, with sleek plates and (plastic) cutlery, as well as a printed menu for passengers to choose their meals from.
Delta is already known for having some of the better food available in the air, with plenty of options for multiple dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan, kosher, gluten-free and kids meals. They also partner with well-known chefs, and rotate their menus on a seasonal basis, keeping the focus on fresh and healthy fare. International flights already include complimentary beer, wine and a meal as well.
This latest move by Delta simply ups the standard of their Economy Class meal service a little further, and continues to enhance the flight experience for passengers who choose not to purchase one of the premium tickets. At the moment, the new service will be tested on one route only, between Portland, Oregon and Tokyo, Japan. Assuming that all goes well with the test route, Delta will then be rolling out the service across all their long haul routes, although there is no confirmed timeline for that to happen as yet. There is also the possibility that the airline will decide that the test is not successful, and choose to scrap the plan - however, that's a very unlikely scenario.
This decision may also prompt other airlines to take a look at the kind of perks that they are offering in Economy Class, and potentially start to make changes of their own to improve the long-haul experience. It's unlikely that this will have much of an impact on shorter flights, of course, and the truly budget airlines (like Swoop or JetBlue) will continue to put their focus on cost, rather than experience. However, Delta passengers can look forward to even better food on the way - even at the lowest prices the airline offers.