Experiencing Delta’s Reinvented International Main Cabin Service

For the past several years, Delta has been my carrier of choice for the majority of my travels. Sure, I’ve occasionally flown Allegiant thanks to some of the better direct routes from Springfield — but other than that, it’s been Delta. Thus, I was excited to hear that the airline was rolling out an upgraded Main Cabin service for several of their international routes. As luck would have it, my wife and I got to officially experience this “reinvented” service for ourselves on a recent trip to Paris.

First of all, I say “officially” because I feel like some of the elements Delta is touting as new have actually been previously implemented. Of course, that makes sense as they note they’ve been experimenting with them for a while in a bid to perfect them. In any case, this was our first time getting the full rundown.

To start things off, Delta now offers a complimentary “welcome cocktail” that flight attendants pass out shortly after takeoff. Specifically, this cocktail is a Peach Bellini, with the chosen fruit flavor of course serving as a reference to Delta’s home state of Georgia. In case you were wondering, yes, this is an alcoholic drink, so only those 21 and over were offered the drinks (despite the fact that we were leaving France where the drinking age is only 18). As someone who doesn’t drink, I didn’t partake in this part of the experience, but my wife said the beverage wasn’t bad. Also of note, while it may be a nice touch, Delta offers a variety of complimentary alcoholic beverages throughout their international flights, so this doesn’t seem like too big of a deal.

Next comes what Delta is calling “bistro-style dining.” According to the airline, this includes “upgraded appetizers and larger entrees – mixing and matching much like they would while dining out.” However, with our meal service featuring breakfast, I don’t think that this aspect came through as much. That said, one element we definitely did notice was the improved serviceware that not only included a unique and dare I say “inviting” plate but also flatware wrapped in what doubled as a placemat. Personally, I also truly appreciated that they handed out water bottles at this time, which came in handy during the 10-hour flight home.

Fast-forwarding past the delicious warm cookies, “on-demand snacks,” and pre-landing mini-meal, another aspect of the airline’s updated service I enjoy is their farewell candy. This is one addition I’ve experienced a few times now, with the specific candy varying each time — be it a Ghirardelli caramel square, a small Toblerone, or a Lindt truffle. Yet, this time around, my candy came with a little something extra: a “thank you” for being a Silver Medallion. Okay, so these things didn’t actually happen at the exact same time but, not long after our chocolates were distributed, one of the flight attendants came through the cabin checking off customers on her list and thanking them for their loyalty. Admittedly, it was a nice touch that made me feel surprisingly appreciated.

Overall, I can definitely see where Delta has stepped things up with their latest service additions. Although it might not feel like you’ve suddenly been transported to one of their lovely Delta One suites, it’s certainly pleasing that they remember the people on the rest of the plane as well. To be sure, this isn’t exactly the major overhaul or upgrade that Delta probably wants you to think it is but it’s nice nonetheless. Ultimately, this is a big reason why Delta has become my go-to domestic airline and, as it turns out, my international one as well.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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