Delta goes gourmet
For many a long-distance traveler, airline food is about as palatable as prison food. Rubbery chicken, cardboard-like fish or chewy beef – airline food has long been the scourge of the industry.
Now that airlines are struggling to remain profitable, many of the cheaper airlines made the ingenious decision to avoid serving bad food by not serving any, and the rest have upped their game. As MSNBC Travel Troubleshooter Chris Elliott reports, serving gourmet food on flights is becoming a real trend as airlines try to make flying more enjoyable, while also hoping to part passengers from their dollars.
Delta Air Lines recently brought on board celebrity chef Todd English to design its gourmet passenger meals. Passengers on Delta flights over 750 miles can now order smoked salmon and egg salad croissants, a Mediterranean salad with grilled shrimp or a roast beef Cobb sandwich. Meals run between $2 and $10.
Sound tempting? Don’t salivate yet, warns Elliott.
Those tempting Todd English sandwiches are available online on flights longer than four hours. On shorter hops, expect to be offered a choice between a package of dry roasted peanuts, Biscoff Cookies or honey peanut butter crackers.
And although some of the Todd English food selections are available to economy class, the good stuff is reserved for first- and business-class passengers and only on select transcontinental flights domestically.
Despite Delta’s efforts, Elliott points to the Zagat Airline Survey, in which Delta ranked 7 points out of a possible 20 – still an “F.” Writes Elliott:
So there you have it. Airlines only offer the fabulous in-flight fare on a handful of flights and make you pay for it when you’re sitting in the cheap seats. The rest of the food is pretty dreadful. If you’re worried about the quality, quantity or availability of food on your next flight, don’t believe the flashy announcements being made by the major air carriers. Bring your own food on board. Or at least, bring exact change.
So, what do you do on longer flights? Have you ever had a good airline meal?