A couple of months ago I provided the first blog report of Delta’s testing of complimentary inflight meals in economy on some premium New York – West Coast flights.
Then last week I wrote that effectiveg March 1 Delta will offer a choice of 3 meals in economy on these flights, and even accommodate special meal requests, replacing ‘buy on board’.
Now it turns out they’re expanding free meals in coach beyond just premium New York – West Coast flights.
Starting April 24, Delta is adding 10 more markets which will offer free meals in economy:
- Boston – San Francisco and Seattle
- Washington National – Los Angeles
- New York JFK – Portland, San Diego, and Seattle
- Seattle – Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Raleigh (in addition to previously mentioned New York JFK and Boston).
Here’s what the meal service is expected to be:
In the morning, customers will have the option to choose between a Honey Maple Breakfast Sandwich, Luvo Breakfast Medley or fruit and cheese plate. During the day, customers will be able to select from a Mesquite-Smoked Turkey Combo, Luvo Mediterranean Whole Grain Veggie Wrap, or fruit and cheese plate. For overnight flights, customers will be offered a breakfast bar during the pre-arrival beverage service.
Delta introduced new snack choices in coach last month, inflight experience alongside reliability are key strategies for the airline. (Sadly Delta SkyMiles is not a contributor to the revenue premium that they earn over their competitors.)
Offering meals while others don’t doesn’t seem to drive purchasing behavior on its own. It didn’t work for Continental, which was the last airline to cut meals in coach to begin with.
Investment in product has to be a part of an integrated strategy at developing a more premium brand, and each offering needs to be carefully tested with customers to understand what they value and what effect it has. But inflight product and customer experience does matter for running a profitable enterprise.
Right now they’ve been making more and better investments in their base clubs, and experimenting with surprise and delight. So while I take issue with their mileage program and with Delta’s government relations department, the core product they’re offering has been improving.