Delta Air Lines To Bring Back Meal Service On Tuesday

Meal service is coming back onboard Delta Air Lines’ domestic flights. Currently reserved for long-haul international routes, Delta…

Delta Air Lines To Bring Back Meal Service On Tuesday

Meal service is coming back onboard Delta Air Lines’ domestic flights. Currently reserved for long-haul international routes, Delta is bringing back food on select transcontinental routes as of June 15th. More meal service will come back later this summer, though the airline will be improving its snack offerings.

Delta is bringing back meals this summer. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Delta brings back service on key transcontinental routes

After suspending its meal service in 2020 due to the pandemic, Delta is finally bringing back hot meals to transcontinental flights in the premium cabin. Starting on June 15th, five routes will see meal service return.

Routes from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will see meal service return.

DL one 767
Delta is bringing back meal services first on its most prestigious routes. Photo: Jay Singh | Simple Flying

Passengers flying any of the five routes in operation (Delta is not currently flying between Boston and San Francisco) will see hot meals return in premium cabins. In addition, on nonstop flights, whether it is branded as domestic first class or the premium Delta One cabin, Delta will offer a meal service.

Details of the meal service

Passengers will be able to indulge in the return of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items like lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry thyme syrup, a smoked salmon plate with bagel chips, and beef short ribs with whipped potatoes.

Delta Meal Service
Delta will bring back hot meal service on select transcontinental routes. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Beyond traditional items, Delta is also upgrading its bread service. That service will now feature locally sourced sourdough bread and batch-churned slow-cultured butter from Atlanta-based Banner Butter.

Passengers departing Los Angeles are also in for a treat. Partnering with chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the airline will offer Italian-American fare on the routes. This includes meals like marinara-braised meatballs and juicy chicken parmesan. Delta has worked with these chefs since 2017.

Expanding later this year

Later this summer, passengers flying in Delta One or domestic first class on routes over 1,500 miles (~2,400 km) within North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America will be able to indulge in artisan sandwiches, salads, and bowls.

The new meals include coconut chia oatmeal, a superfood grain bowl, a strawberry salad with seared chicken, Italian prosciutto and fresh mozzarella sandwich, and more.

Delta Air Lines Boeing 737
Other domestic meal services will resume later this summer. Photo: Getty Images.

There is currently no date for such meal service coming back, though it will likely be July and August when Delta brings back that inflight service.

Upgrades for snacks and beverages

Passengers flying in Delta One, first class, or Comfort + (extra-legroom economy) on long-haul domestic flights will see an upgraded snack offering. This includes things like Kind Energy bars, potato chips, cookies, and more. This service will come from a snack basket.

For passengers flying in economy, Delta will bring back its Flight Fuel snack boxes. These boxes, which were previously offered in domestic first class over the last few months, include protein bars, beef jerky, chips, and chocolates. Flight Fuel boxes are available for purchase in economy.

Delta flight fuel
Delta Flight Fuel boxes will be available for sale in economy. Photo: Jay Singh | Simple Flying

Finally bringing back service

Delta has been conservative with returning service. While long-haul international flights have continued to see hot meal service in the Delta One cabin, domestic premium routes have not been so lucky. While its competitors have brought back meal service, Delta has held out.

The return of meal service was expected, as Delta had announced at the end of March that it hoped to bring back meals in early June on transcontinental routes and add more service in July onwards.

DL Service
Meals may not look exactly as they were before the crisis hit, but it is good to see Delta start to bring something back. Photo: Jay Singh | Simple Flying

There are some routes with Delta One where the airline is not reintroducing premium cabin service. This includes the route to JFK from San Diego International Airport (SAN).

Nevertheless, this is a net positive to start to see meal service return on Delta’s domestic flights. It will be a few more weeks longer before meal service resumes on more routes, but Delta is bringing back food.

For now, it appears the airline is bringing back most of what it had before the crisis. There may be some changes to continue to mitigate the potential for viral spread between crew and customers, though increasing vaccinations will help counter that and drive the return of some more service. This is counter to what one of Delta’s competitors is planning to do on domestic meal services post-crisis on non-premium routes.

Are you glad to see Delta bring back meal service? Let us know in the comments!

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Some Air New Zealand Crew Have Spent Up To 100 Days In Self Isolation

Air New Zealand flight crew working flights to and from the United States are doing time in hotel…

Some Air New Zealand Crew Have Spent Up To 100 Days In Self Isolation

Air New Zealand flight crew working flights to and from the United States are doing time in hotel quarantine at taxpayer’s expense. Some crews have also spent more than 100 days self-isolating. Now, New Zealand media reports are questioning the logic and expense of the quarantine rule for flight crews.

Some Air New Zealand flight crews have spent more than 100 days in quarantine. Photo: Boeing

New Zealand Air Line Pilots Association questions quarantine requirement

According to a report by George Block in online news site Stuff, Air New Zealand flight crews coming off flights from the United States are required to quarantine in Auckland. Flight crews are completing this quarantine requirement at an upscale Auckland hotel.

In addition to scaled back passenger flight schedules, including twice-weekly Boeing 787-9 services to Los Angeles, Air New Zealand operates dedicated freighter flights to North America and around the Pacific Rim. With vaccination rates increasing on both sides of the Pacific, questions are now being asked why flight crews fresh off flights from North America have to quarantine in hotels rather than isolate at home.

Andrew Ridling, president of the New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association and an Air New Zealand 787-9 captain, told Stuff the requirement was ridiculous. He said some flight crews had clocked up more than 100 days in quarantine, albeit not in one block.

Ridling points to the high vaccination levels now seen in the United States. Most of Air New Zealand’s flight crews were vaccinated in March. The Air New Zealand pilot says there is no reason flight crew cannot self-isolate at home, given the low risk they present.

Presently, even after a negative test result, flight crews must remain at the Auckland hotel for some time.

air-new-zealand-self-isolation
Some question why vaccinated Air New Zealand flight crews have to go into quarantine. Photo: Boeing

New Zealand Government picking up the bill for flight crew quarantine

In March, health officials formally recommended the New Zealand Government dropped the quarantine requirement for flight crews off North American flights. Several months later, the Government is yet to decide on this recommendation.

Also raising eyebrows is the cost of quarantining Air New Zealand flight crews. Since late January, all returning flight crews from high-risk countries have been whisked to the Auckland hotel that’s solely dedicated to quarantining Air New Zealand flight crews. That is costing a reputed US$357,200 per month. The New Zealand Government is picking up the tab. The New Zealand Government owns over half of Air New Zealand.

However, the Government is set to stop paying the hotel bill at the end of June, handing the expense over to Air New Zealand. That may see a fresh focus on the quarantine requirement at Air New Zealand’s HQ and some concerted lobbying to end the requirement.

air-new-zealand-self-isolation-getty
After June, Air New Zealand will have to pick up the hotel quarantine tab. Photo: Getty Images

Air New Zealand keeps flying amid shifting quarantine regimes

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand has gone to some lengths to work around New Zealand’s tough hotel quarantine requirements in the last 12 months. For a while, North America-bound flights were touching down in Honolulu. There, Air New Zealand had temporarily based flight crews. The Honolulu-based crews would fly the final leg to mainland North America while the Auckland-based crews operated flights back to New Zealand. The Honolulu base has since been discontinued.

Last week, Air New Zealand announced they would start basing crews in Brisbane. Those crews would operate Air New Zealand’s resuming flights between the Australian mainland and Norfolk Island. While flight crews operating flights between New Zealand and Australia are not subject to quarantine requirements, Air New Zealand knows circumstances can change quickly and is proactively working to avoid potential disruptions on this route.

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