Delta Is Getting Rid of This on Flights, Starting March 1
Frequent flyers might notice this change on their next trip with the air carrier.
Whether it's something as small as being handed a sanitizing wipe as you board or entire flights being turned around because a passenger is refusing to wear a mask, you don't have to be a frequent flyer to notice that air travel has changed significantly over the last two years. Slowly, however, flights are transitioning back to look more like what they did before 2020. Middle seats have not been blocked off since May 2021, and almost all major U.S. airlines have resumed selling alcohol on flights as of Feb. 2022. Now, Delta Air Lines is gearing up to make another change to one of its COVID-related restrictions next month. Read on to find out what you can expect the next time you fly with this carrier.
Delta Air Lines is getting rid of its ban on hot meals on flights.
Frequent Delta flyers will be excited to learn about a new change the airline is planning to make next month. The Atlanta-based carrier confirmed to The Points Guy that it will end its ban on hot meals on flights, starting March 1. Like most airlines, Delta stopped most of its onboard service in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, meaning passengers have been without hot meals on board for nearly two years. But those on eligible premium-cabin routes can expect to be greeted with the service again next month.
Delta is also planning to add new choices to its menu when it brings back hot meals. According to The Points Guy, flyers will have access to new entree options that include ginger beer-braised osso bucco, wild mushroom ravioli, chicken cacciatore and French bread pizza, as well as an enhanced dessert selection that will range from ricotta cheesecake to frozen Greek yogurt with cherry syrup to a strawberry rhubarb and pretzel tart.
The airline will be rolling out this service in phases.
Delta will introduce hot meals back to flights in phases, according to The Points Guy. At the start of March, the carrier will starting rolling out the service to routes that are 1,500 miles or greater, and then flights longer than 900 miles will follow shortly after. All domestic premium cabins, as well as those flying to and from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean will experience the change.
Meanwhile, passengers on flights that are less than 900 miles will not notice anything different. These premium flyers will still experience what is currently being offered on Delta flights: a complimentary beverage service and a choice of snacks.
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But Delta could end up changing plans for the rollout.
Don't be disappointed if your next Delta flight doesn't have hot meals yet. According to The Points Guy, Delta Air Lines is no longer committing to a firm timeline of when its rollout of this service will be completed—although the plan is to begin on March 1. When the carrier first confirmed to the news outlet in Jan. 2022 that it was ending its ban on hot meals, it had indicated plans to complete the rollout systemwide in just a one-week timeline.
That is no longer likely to be the case. While Delta is not sharing a solid timeframe for bring back hot meals, its latest plan indicates that first-class passengers on all routes 900 miles and longer should be able to enjoy these meal options onboard by the end of April 2022.
"It's possible that the timeline is still subject to change depending on the supply chain and staffing at each catering station," The Points Guy warned. "As such, if you're flying with Delta in the coming weeks, don't necessarily expect a hot meal upfront."
Other airlines have already brought back this service.
Delta is not the first airline to bring back hot meals. In fact, it's actually one of the last big U.S. carriers to do so. According to The Points Guy, both United and American have already resumed serving hot food to first-class passengers. United Airlines bought back hot plated meals in June 2021, according to Live and Let's Fly. And it also expanded its pre-order option in Jan. 2022 so flyers can reserve their preferred entree before their flight, per The Points Guy.
American Airlines, on the other hand, started bringing this service back to flights on Feb. 16, beginning with premium cabins on domestic, Canada, and Puerto Rico flights longer than 1,500 miles. And later this month, it's expected that new first-class meals will start being served on American's U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico routes between 900 and 1,499 miles long, according to The Points Guy.