The old adage that airplane food is bland and unexciting is no longer true, especially aboard Delta now that the airline has made significant investment in partnerships with celebrity chefs and well-known brands. We take a look at some of the latest choices available on board the airline.
Delta is known for making some exciting decisions when it comes to dining choices whether it is in airport lounges or onboard the aircraft. The airline serves 45 million meals, 235 million packs of pretzels, peanuts or cookies, and 82 million cups of coffee to passengers each year.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to the Delta Sky Club or decide to purchase a membership, the lounge network offers a growing buffet of choices including the option between two soups (one vegetarian), fresh salad, pasta and chicken salads, and crudites with various dips like hummus and pimiento cheese, cookies, Smart Choice popcorn, and snack mix.
What’s more, the airline does a nice job with specializing the food choices of many of its club locations based upon the local cuisine. Hot dogs with all the toppings are often served in Chicago, and pan-Asian cuisine in partnership with local Vietnamese restaurant Lemon Grass in San Francisco includes hearty pho soup and Thai chicken flat bread.
Like Delta flights, lounges serve Starbucks coffee including the option for freshly made espresso and cappuccino. Another nice perk is that Delta makes nutritional information from its SkyClub menu items available online and also in the lounge itself.
On domestic flights
Delta has long been known for Biscoff cookies served in all cabins, but it has introduced new brand partnerships including Starbucks coffee and Luvo fresh meals. The latter is available for sale on flights of a certain length and includes Flight Fuel options like the southwest or sesame-flavored grilled chicken wrap.
Luvo snacks are offered for free on Delta Shuttle flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco in both first and economy classes. Luvo also partners with Delta to handle the first class catering on many of Delta’s west coast routes.
Traveling on one of Delta’s transcon flights between New York JFK and Los Angeles or San Francisco? Comfort+ passengers are treated to Luvo sandwiches and snacks for free.
For sale are new cocktails from Jack Daniel’s and craft beer options including SweetWater Brewery and Lagunitas Brewery Company.
First class passengers can enjoy local Georgia Honeysuckle Gelato and on Delta One transcontinental flights from JFK to the west coast, premium cabin passengers enjoy meals crafted from North End Grill’s Chef Eric Korsh. How about pink sea trout with turnips or short rib cannelloni with port when winging across the country? This all results from a partnership with New York restaurateur Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group.
Delta does fun partnerships with brands, too, like the time it served Shake Shack burgers on select transcontinental flights in Delta One on National Cheeseburger Day. Passengers flying in first class from Seattle/Tacoma can enjoy regionally caught fish from Pike Place Fish Market or cuisine from regional providers like Pappardelle’s Pasta and Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. On National Beer Day, Delta rolled out dozens of local craft beers in its Sky Clubs, but it already serves local brews based upon the location of many of its clubs.
Even if you’re sitting in economy class on a long-haul flight, Delta offers three choices for the first meal, which is quite impressive. But, the tastiest cuisine is in front of the curtain with menus curated to the origin or destination on several routes.
Chef Korsh is also handling menus on Delta One flights from New York JFK to cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, and Paris among others. Dishes include braised chicken leg with chestnut spaetzli and broccoli and gruyere quiche with cured duck-fennel sausage. There is even the option for cold-pressed juice at breakfast. Rotating chef-paired menus operate on a seasonal basis on Delta One cabins.
Taking off from Atlanta, Chef Linton Hopkins inspires premium cabin diners through southern flavors that include dishes like local charcuterie plates and Carolina rice and grits. Using regionally sourced ingredients means that only a select number of routes can offer these dishes. From Atlanta, these include Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London and Paris.
Heading to Mexico and South America, there is another unique set of flavors on offer including dishes from Michelle Bernstein, a Miami chef with a penchant for a variety of Latin flavors. Like Hopkins and Korsh, she adjusts menus regionally to provide lighter fare in summer and richer, heartier flavors in colder winter months.
Asia-bound travelers enjoy meals prepared by Chef Masatoshi Ishimoto who prepares unique Japanese flavors. But, China-bound and Korea-bound flights always have a regional menu.
Tipplers can enjoy craft cocktails and beer plus specially selected wines chosen by long-time Delta Sommelier Andrea Robinson. There’s no question that Delta tops the charts when it comes to the investment made in the onboard product of any other North American airline. While SkyMiles might not be as generous, you are sure to eat and drink well