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Delta In-Flight Meal/Food Service: The Definitive Thread — 2022 Edition

Delta In-Flight Meal/Food Service: The Definitive Thread — 2022 Edition

Old Aug 24, 22, 3:49 am
  #1576  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Programs: DL, UA, AA (the airline)
Posts: 1,247
Originally Posted by NMHelt View Post
Anyone flown Delta One ATL to LHR (or FRA to ATL) recently? Seeing mostly domestic flights lately. Wondering what I’m looking at next month.
They'll send you a menu a week before.
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Goodoldflyer is offline  
Old Aug 24, 22, 8:17 am
  #1577  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,458
Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
Not every airport has a LGS or Gate Gourmet kitchen to cater flights. So in that case Delta (and the other airlines) will contract with a airport restaurant to do the catering. I don't know if most of you have noticed but pretty much every restaurant in the country is struggling to find employees. So the issue right now in the flight kitchen-less airports is the airlines are having a very hard time finding a restaurant willing (much less able) to take on a catering contract again.

Delta's theory, which i agree with, is that it is better for a flight like ATL-TUS to get sad boxes because TUS-ATL is going to get sad boxes. This does two things, it prevents pissed off passengers getting angry at FAs because "WELL! ON MY WAY FROM ATLANTA I GOT XYZ!!!!" and (I'm assuming here) it takes some of the heat off of the Atlanta flight kitchen that is also struggling to find employees. Every flight kitchen in the country is struggling to find people.
I am fine and totally understand all of this.


with that said, my issue is the quality of the sad boxes. Two things, one, just seems like overall they are cheap crap but two Delta (and the other airlines doing stuff like this) are trying way too hard on the meals. Simple sandwich with some chips and maybe some fruit if logistically possible. Simple salad with meat on the side and maybe some fruit if logistically possible. Thats all they have to do. Nothing super cute. Nothing that sounds like I comes from a 3 star restaurant but taste worse than something I can get at McDonald's. Just something simple and with some quality. If Publix can sell me a boars head sandwich, chips and a drink for 6-8 bucks, I'm pretty sure Delta could bump the quality in the name of the "fancy" aspect and serve something much better.

My advice to anyone who doesn't know, for the most part a simple google search can tell you if the station you are going to has a kitchen or not (Trust me, if they are they are probably hiring making said search easier). My policy for those stations haven't changed since COVID. Either stop and get a few snacks in the airport or most airports have some kind of sandwich/salad kiosk that has some decent food. Stop and get something. It sucks you have to do that but it keeps me fed and happy.
I get your point, but I would add that DELTA does not have to use the physical "sad box" they could double cater a plated cold meal, which is more appropriate in First Class. Instead of a boxed meal which just scream cheap.
If DELTA wanted to offer a premium product they could find a way to do so.

I understand the lack of a Flight Kitchen, but the sad boxes are not an acceptable alternative.
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Old Aug 24, 22, 8:57 am
  #1578  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
Not every airport has a LGS or Gate Gourmet kitchen to cater flights. So in that case Delta (and the other airlines) will contract with a airport restaurant to do the catering. I don't know if most of you have noticed but pretty much every restaurant in the country is struggling to find employees. So the issue right now in the flight kitchen-less airports is the airlines are having a very hard time finding a restaurant willing (much less able) to take on a catering contract again.
Absolutely with you on this... One of my "COVID gigs" was coordinating and handling international charters/ICE/repatriation flights (like 787s from Vietnam). Even at like a DFW, could not get any traditional kitchen to cater even a one-off flight. I actually ended up making a pretty neat deal there that benefited all around - I got the company that made and catered the food for the various non-AA lounges (like the Club at DFW) to handle. Worked out as they weren't exactly doing full menu in the clubs that were even open. Similar deals in other places. I had a standing order with Jason's Deli in one location for boxes for a couple weekly B767s.

It is manageable... but only to a certain scale. I don't blame Delta for going with the current arrangement versus enormously complicating their supply chain and procurement with hunting down and contracting one-offs everywhere that the flight kitchen is not yet open or cannot handle the volume.
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Old Aug 24, 22, 10:17 am
  #1579  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: NYC
Programs: DL PM, DL MM
Posts: 4,120
Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
Not every airport has a LGS or Gate Gourmet kitchen to cater flights. So in that case Delta (and the other airlines) will contract with a airport restaurant to do the catering. I don't know if most of you have noticed but pretty much every restaurant in the country is struggling to find employees. So the issue right now in the flight kitchen-less airports is the airlines are having a very hard time finding a restaurant willing (much less able) to take on a catering contract again.

Delta's theory, which i agree with, is that it is better for a flight like ATL-TUS to get sad boxes because TUS-ATL is going to get sad boxes. This does two things, it prevents pissed off passengers getting angry at FAs because "WELL! ON MY WAY FROM ATLANTA I GOT XYZ!!!!" and (I'm assuming here) it takes some of the heat off of the Atlanta flight kitchen that is also struggling to find employees. Every flight kitchen in the country is struggling to find people.
I am fine and totally understand all of this.


with that said, my issue is the quality of the sad boxes. Two things, one, just seems like overall they are cheap crap but two Delta (and the other airlines doing stuff like this) are trying way too hard on the meals. Simple sandwich with some chips and maybe some fruit if logistically possible. Simple salad with meat on the side and maybe some fruit if logistically possible. Thats all they have to do. Nothing super cute. Nothing that sounds like I comes from a 3 star restaurant but taste worse than something I can get at McDonald's. Just something simple and with some quality. If Publix can sell me a boars head sandwich, chips and a drink for 6-8 bucks, I'm pretty sure Delta could bump the quality in the name of the "fancy" aspect and serve something much better.

My advice to anyone who doesn't know, for the most part a simple google search can tell you if the station you are going to has a kitchen or not (Trust me, if they are they are probably hiring making said search easier). My policy for those stations haven't changed since COVID. Either stop and get a few snacks in the airport or most airports have some kind of sandwich/salad kiosk that has some decent food. Stop and get something. It sucks you have to do that but it keeps me fed and happy.
Sorry - that's a ridiculous excuse. The same way they double cater the sad boxes, they can double cater breakfast/lunches. They used to (and still do it) with special meals. At the very least it can be a cold meal.

As for the crappy quality - that I agree 100%. Even if you go the Covid box route...make it a little better and larger. There's more food in a snack box.

And aside from all that....DL should just be honest. If the meal is scheduled for a Covid Box - just put that on the itinerary. They don't want to do that, because they realize it is ridiculous that they're still serving it. But you cannot be writing DINNER as your meal and then deliver a 2" banana bread loaf in a box.
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Old Aug 24, 22, 10:37 am
  #1580  
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I agree very much with the plea for simple meals of high quality. Even in normal times, offering "creative" (strange) food when some people won't have a choice is a bad idea. A salad with meat served separately would work for vegetarians and anti-vegetarians. A nice cheese plate would work well too (but of course not for vegans unless it contains enough other food for them to eat). Even the early higher quality snack boxes weren't too bad and the presentation was reasonable too, although I'd like more of a meal on longer flights, while "premium" routes should certainly include fresh food.
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Old Aug 24, 22, 1:17 pm
  #1581  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Originally Posted by kmersh View Post
I get your point, but I would add that DELTA does not have to use the physical "sad box" they could double cater a plated cold meal, which is more appropriate in First Class. Instead of a boxed meal which just scream cheap.
If DELTA wanted to offer a premium product they could find a way to do so.

I understand the lack of a Flight Kitchen, but the sad boxes are not an acceptable alternative.
maybe they can, maybe they can't. You are getting into needed more staffing resources even for the cold plated meal part.

again, the hub flight kitchens are struggling just as bad and its pretty unlikely Delta could cater all ex ATL flights plus ex ATL and ex XXX double cater flights. Even if they want to (and much to the charging on most on here who think Ed Bastian sits at his condo in Florida thinking of ways he can piss off FFs) Delta wants too. They are well aware of the product short falls (thanks to hopefully every single person on FT getting a sad box complaining to Delta.......you guys do that right? RIGHT?) and are working towards fixing it. It takes time. It takes employees.
Originally Posted by JAXPax View Post
Absolutely with you on this... One of my "COVID gigs" was coordinating and handling international charters/ICE/repatriation flights (like 787s from Vietnam). Even at like a DFW, could not get any traditional kitchen to cater even a one-off flight. I actually ended up making a pretty neat deal there that benefited all around - I got the company that made and catered the food for the various non-AA lounges (like the Club at DFW) to handle. Worked out as they weren't exactly doing full menu in the clubs that were even open. Similar deals in other places. I had a standing order with Jason's Deli in one location for boxes for a couple weekly B767s.

It is manageable... but only to a certain scale. I don't blame Delta for going with the current arrangement versus enormously complicating their supply chain and procurement with hunting down and contracting one-offs everywhere that the flight kitchen is not yet open or cannot handle the volume.
And you bring up another good point.

Even if a station has a flight kitchen, it doesn't mean they have the staffing to work for everyone. This is an industry wide problem.
Originally Posted by FlyAO2 View Post
Sorry - that's a ridiculous excuse. The same way they double cater the sad boxes, they can double cater breakfast/lunches. They used to (and still do it) with special meals. At the very least it can be a cold meal.

As for the crappy quality - that I agree 100%. Even if you go the Covid box route...make it a little better and larger. There's more food in a snack box.

And aside from all that....DL should just be honest. If the meal is scheduled for a Covid Box - just put that on the itinerary. They don't want to do that, because they realize it is ridiculous that they're still serving it. But you cannot be writing DINNER as your meal and then deliver a 2" banana bread loaf in a box.
no its real life.
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Old Aug 24, 22, 1:59 pm
  #1582  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,696
Got upgraded and received preorder for upcoming flight. Olympia provisions charcuterie, cold fried chicken salad and three cheese tortellini with impossible bolognese. Leaning towards the cold fried chicken salad (looks like there was a previous post from mid-July with a picture of it), but would consider the tortellini if any strong opinions based on recent experience with these meals. Thoughts?
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Old Aug 24, 22, 2:14 pm
  #1583  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by seageg91 View Post
Agreed! Got stuck w/ the boxes on transcon ATL to GEG (spokane, wa) and went with the grain bowl. One of the most disgusting things I've ever eaten. Could barely get past a few bites.
For the purposes of airline amenities, "transcon" refers only to nonstop routes between large coastal business centers. Generally this only means NYC/BOS on the east coast and LAX/SFO/SEA on the west coast.
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Old Aug 24, 22, 2:51 pm
  #1584  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: NYC/ORD/LAX
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Originally Posted by The Situation View Post
Got upgraded and received preorder for upcoming flight. Olympia provisions charcuterie, cold fried chicken salad and three cheese tortellini with impossible bolognese. Leaning towards the cold fried chicken salad (looks like there was a previous post from mid-July with a picture of it), but would consider the tortellini if any strong opinions based on recent experience with these meals. Thoughts?
Woman next to me had the tortellini and looked really good. But both of them will be better than the charcuterie lol
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Old Aug 24, 22, 3:52 pm
  #1585  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Programs: DL DM MM
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Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
"Adjusting" by leaving Delta unless using a FF benefit that costs Delta money in theory.

Hm. Yeah. Sounds like the people Delta should try to cater to. Hell, maybe they should just offer FFs for Delta to pay for them to fly the other airlines.

and for what they should do. I'm going to trust the ones with the data (Delta) over someone who apparently bailed on Delta because of the food choice in F. (and laughably went to American. The worst product out of all the legacies)
Yes. when I don't have a RUC I buy an F ticket on another airline because the DL product is not worth paying F for. It's that simple. The reason I have RUCs is that I spend a lot of time (and money!) flying. My own money, yes, in case you're one of those critics of OPM (I don't care who is paying for it, they're a PAX). I hadn't flown AA much before this and I agree that DL does better in some areas, but I really hate the sad boxes. That's my deal breaker - you may not agree, and that's your right.
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Old Aug 25, 22, 3:24 pm
  #1586  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
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DEN-DTW
The "southwest" salad was bland and not great. The FA called it a chicken salad when confirming my request, and that felt more appropriate than any "southwest" claims. The beans and corn were nearly inedible, but the chicken salad and rice parts were good. I think the cookie was the best part, however. The person next to me had the impossible burger, and that looked pretty good. At least this flight continued my streak of PDBs.
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Old Aug 25, 22, 4:09 pm
  #1587  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Is that pineapple? I would love that meal if it were executed correctly.
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Old Aug 25, 22, 4:22 pm
  #1588  
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Is the chicken just pieces of roast chicken or is it a "chicken salad" preparation with mayo?
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Old Aug 25, 22, 4:50 pm
  #1589  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
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Originally Posted by NotHamSarnie View Post
Is that pineapple? I would love that meal if it were executed correctly.
Yes, this was indeed pineapple. If prepared properly, this would be a perfect meal. They just need to make it spicier and properly cook the corn and beans.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Is the chicken just pieces of roast chicken or is it a "chicken salad" preparation with mayo?
It was "chicken salad" style but with a light amount of mayo. Honestly, I really liked the chicken portion of the salad.

Not shown in the picture but worth noting is that there is a bed of arugula underneath this, which was fresh and tasty. It's really just the corn and beans that were questionable and brought down the rest of the salad.
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Old Aug 26, 22, 12:40 am
  #1590  
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Does anyone know why DL is so obsessed with packaged cookies? I guess they are just being cheap
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