There are a few times in the past few years I’ve been proud of the advancements in service levels across all cabins, and this is one of them. Delta seems to be bucking the trend of shredding any passenger comforts away and de-bundling the inflight experience. In one bold statement made today, the airline has announced it will be re-inventing the international economy (coach) service across its fleet, starting in November this year.
The service enhancements are two fold, but both are within the soft product. The first is the cabin crew interaction with all economy fliers, the second is in the food and beverage offering, both both are intrinsically linked.
The airline will debut a new industry-leading Main Cabin experience. Free “Welcome Aboard” cocktails featuring Bellinis to start, a hot towel service and mix-and-match options for premium appetisers and larger main courses are just a few of the ways Delta is differentiating its international Main Cabin service on flights over 6.5 hours.
“This is about investing in every single customer who chooses Delta, no matter where they sit on the plane,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President — In-Flight Service. “The thoughtful touches we’re investing in throughout the new Main Cabin experience were designed by flight attendants with one goal in mind — delivering an exceptional experience that our customers will rave about and one that our team, the best in the business, is proud to deliver.”
Gone are the usual tray tables, instead a paper napkin is rolled out for each guest, cleverly designed to feature a pocket which holds the cutlery and napkins. On which a serving plate is placed featuring a starter and main course. The serving plate and plating not dissimilar from the new economy service Etihad rolled out recently.
The new enhancements are clever. Twinned with a personalised boarding announcement from the purser at the gate and a turndown service, all these personalised elements have been designed to delight and create “wow” moments. The new service has been tested on no less than 700 flights over the past year, with Delta’s reinvented Main Cabin experience receiving high marks — with increased customer satisfaction scores on the Portland and Tokyo-NRT route over the past year where it was trialled.
But it is not just the personal greeting at the door or the goodbye chocolates served in descent that make the difference, it truly looks like Delta are investing in improving and adding to the passenger experience instead of taking away from it. In addition to recently upgraded amenity kits, more international onboard enhancements are coming soon, like refreshed ear buds and headsets, to further demonstrate the airline’s commitment to creating a best-in-class experience all customers can look forward to.