Delta Air Lines is ramping up service in international main cabins with free welcome cocktails, hot towel service and bigger meals designed to make customers feel more appreciated.
The new service, which starts in November and is being touted as the first of its kind, has been tested on 700 flights between Portland and Tokyo-Narita over the past year.
The airline says the service aims to add a “wow” factor to its main cabin and has met with high marks from customers.
One veteran traveler even thought he was in the wrong cabin.
The new service starts with the free “welcome aboard” cocktails which initially will feature Bellinis made from sparkling wine and infused peach puree.
There will also be a hot towel service.
A new “bistro-style’ meal service will offer upgraded appetizers and main meals that can be mixed and matched.
Customer will be able to select their meals from a refreshed menu and meals come with new dinnerware and upgraded cutlery.
The larger main meals will feature new recipes and desserts will be served separately on most flights along with a choice of coffee, tea, complimentary wine or water.
There will then be a second hot towel service and chocolates during descent.
“This is about investing in every single customer who chooses Delta, no matter where they sit on the plane,” said Delta senior vice president inflight service Allison Ausband.
“The thoughtful touches we’re investing in throughout the new main cabin experience were designed by flight attendants with one goal in mind — delivering an exceptional experience that our customers will rave about and one that our team, the best in the business, is proud to deliver.”
The airline says the concept evolved over 14,000 hours of flight time using information from 1800 customer surveys and “robust feedback” from a design team of 24 flight attendants.
“With this service, at the end of the flight I know I’ve made a difference in the customer’s journey,” said one of the design team, New-York-based flight attendant Michael Miller.
Delta over recent months has also provided upgraded training to its pursers, the lead flight attendants on international flights, to include pre-flight introductions in the gate house and personal greetings as customers board.
It has also recently refreshed its amenity kits for its main cabin and premium customers and says more enhancements such as new earbuds and headsets are on their way.
The new international main cabin service is part of a multi-billion-dollar investment in overall customer service that has also seen improvements in the main cabin on domestic routes.
It will be available on international flights longer than six and a half hours and on select shorter flights.