Pre-departure cocktails, warm towel, linen place mat, plated meal, after dinner coffee and dessert, and a pre-arrival chocolate. This sounds like the standard business class experience the lucky few in the pointy end have come to expect. Except it’s not business class. It’s not even premium economy.
Delta announced that starting in November, it will debut a completely revamped International Main Cabin experience on flights longer than six and a half hours. It promises that the new Main Cabin “Is carefully orchestrated to infuse hospitality throughout the flight.”
The airline has quietly been beta testing the new service for the last year on flights between Portland and Tokyo Narita. According to Delta’s July 2nd press release, the tests have received higher customer satisfaction scores.
What exactly can Main Cabin customers expect come November?
- Free “Welcome Aboard” cocktails, featuring Bellinis (sparkling wine and peach purée)
- Refreshing hot towel service
- “Bistro-style” meal service with upgraded mix and match appetizers and entrées
- Custom designed dinnerware and place mat
- Larger entrées
- Separate post-meal dessert and choice of coffee, tea, or complimentary wine
- Second hot towel service prior to arrival
- Farewell chocolates prior to arrival
This is a major game changer in a world where long-haul ultra-low-cost carriers are rapidly gaining market share. It also separates Delta from the pack of other legacy carriers, where there is currently very little differentiation. It will be interesting to see if other airlines quickly decide to follow suit, including JetBlue when it launches Trans-Atlantic service sometime in the next few years. Either way, as I’ve said before, I truly believe the passenger experience is better now than in decades.