PUBLISHED 24 SEPTEMBER 2019
Passengers flying in economy class over to LA on Delta’s daily Boeing 777-200LR service out of Sydney are set for a better in-cabin experience.
Delta says it is “wholly re-inventing their international main cabin experience” – which is a big call. In reality, economy passengers on international flights over 6 hours are set for improved food and amenity offerings from November 2019. And this is a good thing. While some passengers slide across the Pacific in the Delta One Suites, most passengers suffer in economy. Anything that makes 14 hours in 3-3-3 economy better is a good thing.
Starting November 2019, economy passengers on DL40 to Los Angeles and DL41 back to Sydney are set to enjoy welcome aboard cocktails, a hot towel service, a choice of entrees, a larger main meal, separate dessert, and chocolates on descent.
Delta is breaking their improvements in the economy cabin into three components – welcome aboard, dinner, and thanks for flying with us.
Economy class passengers will get a special welcome aboard from the senior flight attendant as well as a personal greeting at the aircraft’s door. Once in the air, welcome aboard bellinis will be served followed by hot towels.
When it comes to dinner, Delta is promising to really improve things (unlike the dreaded Qantas meal ‘enhancements’). They are offering upgraded entrees and mains which can be mixed and matched. Main courses will be larger and include popular courses that have filtered down from the Delta One meal offerings. Dinnerware and cutlery will be upgraded and will come with a placemat.
Dessert will generally be served seperately after the main meal service. Dessert will come with tea, coffee, wine or water.
Prior to descent a there will be a second round of hot towels and chocolates handed out. Delta calls this a thankyou gift.
All this sounds pretty good. Anything that makes flying economy more bearable is welcome. It’s also nice that economy is getting some love – mostly the product improvements are up the front.
These improvements have been driven by a focus group made up of Delta flight attendants, who arguably have far greater insight in what makes a nice flight than a bunch of suits back at airline HQ.
Delta has recently upgraded its economy class amenity kits and is looking to roll out improved headsets.
Delta has a reasonably low profile in Sydney – not much marketing and PR noise, but its seat utilisation rate on its Los Angeles-Sydney-Los Angeles flights is in the low to mid 90s percentile, which suggests it is doing something right.