Delta is preparing for increased competition from JetBlue on international flights by offering a new international main cabin service.
JetBlue is planning to expand service to Europe in 2021 and JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes has already promised to take on what he calls “obscene” transcontinental fares for premium service. It’s not uncommon for a first-class Delta One seat to cost $5,000 or more between the U.S. and Europe.
Delta started offering features similar to first-class service in its main cabin international service last month. The new service is part of the airline’s "multibillion-dollar investment in the overall customer experience."
Perhaps in response to JetBlue’s “The Pantry,” an always available inflight snack bar, Delta is offering an “anytime snack basket” available for guests after meal service that includes a rotating variety of sweet and savory snacks, including Tilamook cheese.
Delta’s design team includes more than 20 flight attendants who tested and refined the service on more than 1,200 flights, making it the longest-tested service in Delta’s history, the company says.
The first-class cabin still gets its cocktails before leaving the ground, but now after reaching cruising altitude, main cabin customers will be presented with a welcome cocktail.During meal service, main cabin customers can now select their choice of upgraded appetizers and larger entrees, mixing and matching much as they would while dining out. Standard meal trays have been replaced with more elegant, custom-designed serviceware made with 30% bio-based materials, featuring upgraded cutlery.
After the meal, new "turn-down service" features improved pillows and blankets.
The new main cabin experience has already received positive feedback from customers, with increased customer satisfaction scores on the routes it’s been tested on over the past year, according to the airline.