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Delta Air Lines Restoring Some Inflight Service

Virtually all major airlines have reduced service during the pandemic in order to minimize contact between flight attendants and passengers, and also to maximize the amount of time passengers spend with their masks on.


We’ve seen airlines continue to adjust service as time goes on, and it looks like we can expect some changes to the Delta inflight experience in the coming weeks.


Delta’s current inflight service details


Delta Air Lines has historically been known for providing some of the best service of any major US airline. During the pandemic the airline has cut back service more than its peers, all while blocking seats on flights.


For some context on the current state of Delta’s domestic inflight experience, here’s what the economy class experience is like:

  • For all flights, passengers are offered a snack bag with two snacks, a bottle of water, hand sanitizer, and a napkin

  • For flights of 1,500+ miles, passengers are offered an additional snack bag prior to landing

Then here’s what the first class experience is like:


  • For all flights, passengers are offered a snack bag with two snacks, a bottle of water, hand sanitizer, and a napkin

  • For flights of 500+ miles, passengers are offered beer or wine

  • For flights of 900+ miles, passengers are offered a snack box

  • For flights of 1,500+ miles, passengers are offered a second snack bag

There are a few interesting things that set Delta apart:

  • Delta offers economy passengers nothing but water, even on transcon flights (American serves economy passengers drinks on request on longer flights)

  • Delta doesn’t offer any coffee or tea, soft drinks, or liquor, even in first class (American offers all of those in first class on most flights)

  • Delta doesn’t offer a meal service in first class, even on transcon flights (American offers hot meals in first class on transcon flights)

While a lot of people have complained about how Delta is uncompetitive with its peers, I respect Delta in this regard:

  • The airline has made it clear that it’s not looking to its peers to decide what kind of service will be offered, but rather is taking its own approach based on safety

  • There is something to be said for minimizing service to maximize the amount of time people keep their masks on

  • I don’t think anyone can claim Delta is doing this just to be cheap, given that the airline is blocking seats, which is more costly than a 25 cent can of soda

  • That being said, I do recognize that Delta has at least been arbitrary with its service restrictions, like serving wine but not soft drinks in first class, for example

Delta’s modified inflight service as of April 14, 2021


As of April 14, 2021, Delta plans to bring back some additional inflight service. While the exact details haven’t yet been revealed, here’s what we can expect:

  • Delta will start serving coffee and tea in all cabins

  • Delta will restore soft drink service, with new 7.5 ounce mini cans of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Seagram’s Ginger Ale; these cans will be served unopened, and a cup of ice will be available upon request

  • Delta will bring back liquor in the form of canned cocktails from Tip Top Proper Cocktails

What we don’t know is:

  • On what length of flight this new service procedure will be introduced

  • If/when Delta will offer more substantial food in first class

  • If/when Delta will start serving the standard liquor selection, even just in first class

  • If/when Delta will start serving beer and wine in economy

Bottom line


It looks like Delta will be restoring some more inflight service as of April 14, 2021. In both first class and economy we can expect the return of coffee, tea, and pre-made cocktails, while in economy we can expect the return of soft drinks (since they’re already offered in first class).

We should learn more details about Delta’s new service soon.


What do you make of Delta’s inflight service adjustments?


This article originally appeared on One Mile At A Time

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