Advertised Meal Service AWOL

Old Sep 22, 17, 3:27 pm
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Advertised Meal Service AWOL

I've primarily run into this problem on NYC-MCO flights, but it's occasionally shown up elsewhere...

I'll often intentionally book a flight with a meal indicated (if nothing else, an included meal saving me a trip to an airport eatery represents a savings of $10-25 depending on the time of day and how horrid the airport's prices are; it also affects my "what do I do on my layover" planning, or indeed "do I need a longer layover to make sure I can get something": If I've got two long-ish flights with a tight connection, the result can easily be a rather long day). However, in spite of a given meal (breakfast, lunch, etc.) being indicated on the website, I've had a few cases where the meal wasn't present. As indicated, this has been most common on NYC-MCO flights (I think I've drawn the short straw on this route three times) but I also ran into a catering screwup ATL-ORD in February and I think there was another case thrown in. I was actually convinced that NYC-MCO wasn't a meal service city pair until Monday morning (when I actually got breakfast!) given my drought there.

Some of this is probably down to DL.com having its head somewhere it shouldn't be, but (1) how much of a "known" problem is this and (2) at what point would it be reasonable to kvetch to Customer Service on this? "Catering screw-up" is something I'm inclined to allow for once in a while; it's the persistent indications of one thing while getting another that bug me.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 3:44 pm
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What catering aside from peanuts/pretzels/biscoff cookies and drinks do you expect on a ~1hr and 15 min ATL-ORD? Though the website/app might have listed otherwise, common sense should have kicked in on that one, no?
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Old Sep 22, 17, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by FSUnole03 View Post
What catering aside from peanuts/pretzels/biscoff cookies and drinks do you expect on a ~1hr and 15 min ATL-ORD? Though the website/app might have listed otherwise, common sense should have kicked in on that one, no?
Common sense?? There are so many exceptions in the system that one could hardly apply anything close to common sense to figure out if a meal were being served. For example, a light meal (Luvo wrap) is served on LAX-SFO, a full dinner is served on the SAN-JFK redeye departing well outside of published meal times. The list goes on.
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Old Sep 23, 17, 6:33 am
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(1) ATL-DTW can draw a lunch service (or not, on occasion). It's timetabled at ten minutes less than ATL-ORD.
(2) On paper, JFK-MCO does as well. It's timetabled a bit longer than the above, but from what I can tell that is mainly because of room for traffic issues in the Northeast (my last flight on that route arrived a whopping 45 minutes early on a roughly three-hour timetable).
(3) More to the point, it's not "What do I expect on a flight of X length?" as much as it is "What is Delta telling me I will get on flight X?" And I hate to say it like this, but common sense isn't really a factor...this is the airline industry, after all, and a lot of things which are counterintuitive to common sense do seem to work (or in some cases, just sort-of happen). Trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of which flights get which service(s) is tricky to the casual observer (e.g. "Why is the LAX-ATL flight with lie-flats not one of the redeyes?"). Some of us can tease a lot of it out, but only after doing a lot of research.

Last edited by GrayAnderson; Sep 23, 17 at 6:48 am
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Old Sep 23, 17, 6:52 am
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It has nothing to do with how long the flight is listed in the timetable, it's based on flight distance -- 900 miles to be precise.

On flights ranging from 900-1,399 miles, enjoy a full chef-curated meal service. Find breakfast and lunch items on flights departing from 5 AM to 1:30 PM, dinner for departures from 4 PM to 8 PM and a hearty selection of snacks at most times in between.

ORD-ATL is 606 miles and DTW-MCO is 958 miles. Note the specific meal time requirements. Also, where are you pulling this 10 minute number from?? I looked in the timetables and there's generally about a 30 minute difference in flight duration (around 2 hours for ORD-ATL and 2.5 hours for DTW-MCO).
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Old Sep 23, 17, 6:57 am
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In addition to the distance based and time of day rules, DL tends to provide more generous meal service on certain routes, namely prime business routes for competitive reasons.
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Old Sep 23, 17, 7:08 am
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Here'za link to a post from last year, where, I was flying ORD/JFK, and the flight was supposed to get a lunch service, but the FAs didn't serve it. When I inquired as to why, I was told that they ASSUMED that the meals they had on board were for their next leg JFK/Florida, simply because that leg was longer. When I showed the lead FA the amenities of both flights shown on DL.com, they served the lunches. No meal service was showing on the Florida leg.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...l#post27123608
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Old Sep 23, 17, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Common sense?? There are so many exceptions in the system that one could hardly apply anything close to common sense to figure out if a meal were being served. For example, a light meal (Luvo wrap) is served on LAX-SFO, a full dinner is served on the SAN-JFK redeye departing well outside of published meal times. The list goes on.
LAX-SFO I'll give you, though they've been advertising Luvo meals on it for a few years now. SAN-JFK should be very obvious. Delta has been promoting this since this past winter - http://news.delta.com/delta-debuts-f...als-12-markets
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Old Sep 23, 17, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by FSUnole03 View Post
LAX-SFO I'll give you, though they've been advertising Luvo meals on it for a few years now. SAN-JFK should be very obvious. Delta has been promoting this since this past winter - http://news.delta.com/delta-debuts-f...als-12-markets
Sorry, but that announcement is only for main cabin meal service, and gives a passenger looking for information absolutely nothing about first class service on those routes. Furthermore, for late night flights (such as the SAN-JFK example I offered) on these 12 domestic routes it claims that there will only be a pre-arrival snack, even though there actually is dinner service in first class/D1 on these select routes for late night departures:

"For overnight flights, customers will be offered a breakfast bar during the pre-arrival beverage service."

Furthermore, there are other exceptions, such as LGA-ATL even though it is under 900 miles, and shuttler service LGA-ORD, also under 900 miles. And full dinner service MSP-ANC on the 10pm redeye. And for a while there was no free meal service offered in coach on MSP-KEF, even though it was TATL, and it's anyone's guess what will happen on a flight to HNL.

So, my point stands that there is really nothing common sensical about any of this (as you incorrectly claim) and that one really does need to rely on the information offered by DL to understand what will be offered.
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Old Sep 23, 17, 12:35 pm
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If the meal service icon/hyperlink is present at time of booking and you don't receive a meal, complain. If DL ignores its published 'meals at meal time' guidelines and you don't get a meal, complain.

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...rst-class.html

If there's a force majeur event - oh, like the DTW flight kitchen burning to the ground six hours before my DTW-departing flight - I'll cut them some slack.
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Old Sep 23, 17, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by davetravels View Post
Here'za link to a post from last year, where, I was flying ORD/JFK, and the flight was supposed to get a lunch service, but the FAs didn't serve it. When I inquired as to why, I was told that they ASSUMED that the meals they had on board were for their next leg JFK/Florida, simply because that leg was longer. When I showed the lead FA the amenities of both flights shown on DL.com, they served the lunches. No meal service was showing on the Florida leg.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...l#post27123608
Strange if only because their paperwork should show a meal. Also the carts would've been labeled for that flight. Even when loading a meal cart for return flight, the carts for return get labeled for the return.
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Old Sep 25, 17, 4:12 am
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Data Point

I fly SJC LAX -SJC8which is 45 minutes in the air in Comfort+ and I am happy to get the Biscoff or Pretzles with my Woodford. I go to the [email protected] or LAX SkyClub for food.

In the 45 minutes in the air the Flight attendant has offered me seconds on drinks and snack and I take them up on their offer.

So from JFK MCO do you expect a large meal?

Now from SJC to MSP and on to TPA in First Class I expect a hot meal during meal times.On a 900 mile flight a sandwich or Tapas Fuel BOB is fine.
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Old Sep 25, 17, 4:18 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Strange if only because their paperwork should show a meal. Also the carts would've been labeled for that flight. Even when loading a meal cart for return flight, the carts for return get labeled for the return.
My Delta Comfort+ SJC LAX SJC showes Light Refreshments in all cabins and when you click the link it tells you samples of wat could be served. Yes there may be a mral coding error but common sense would indicate othetwise unless its a Delta Shuttle flight and even then its a sandwich.

Lesson to OP eat before any flight even if its in First Clas as mrals takes time to be serves even if its some trail mix before the flight.
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Old Sep 25, 17, 11:48 am
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non-hub to hub issues

I completely understand the distance and times that they publish. It is usually followed and not much of an issue. Where I have had issues is where they 'pre-cater' a plane from a hub for a later segment. Last Friday I flew IAH-MSP. APP and website say, "DINNER". I did not eat at the airport for that reason.

We are airborne and we get the snack basket - which actually was for C+ (my colleague there received the usual coach treats only). Upon inquiry, the plane was catered in DTW. The Skywest FAs fed OUR meal to the DTW-IAH pax which was not a meal flight per the guidelines listed above.
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Old Sep 25, 17, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by orr333 View Post
I completely understand the distance and times that they publish. It is usually followed and not much of an issue. Where I have had issues is where they 'pre-cater' a plane from a hub for a later segment. Last Friday I flew IAH-MSP. APP and website say, "DINNER". I did not eat at the airport for that reason.

We are airborne and we get the snack basket - which actually was for C+ (my colleague there received the usual coach treats only). Upon inquiry, the plane was catered in DTW. The Skywest FAs fed OUR meal to the DTW-IAH pax which was not a meal flight per the guidelines listed above.
Hopefully reported it. I've found if you dont report it yourself, the crew never will.

BTW what was the FAs response when you pointed out their error?
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