As someone who's on a plane at least every other week, flying can be a quite mundane experience. Walking through airport security (even with pre-check), sitting at the gate for hours, and of course, the actual flight are some of the more tedious parts of traveling for me. And though I've gotten the occasional upgrade to premium economy on international flights and business class, I usually fly in coach. But Delta's new main cabin service for international flights is coming so coach passengers can feel like they're flying in first class, too.
Starting in Nov. 2019, Delta is launching a new main cabin experience for international flights to give all passengers the royal treatment. According to Delta's press release, they are categorizing international flights as flights that are "scheduled for 6.5 hours or longer, plus select shorter international flights where Delta One or Delta Premium Select is offered."
Customers will receive free "Welcome Aboard" cocktails, hot towel service, premium appetizers, and bigger entrees, according to the press release. Allison Ausband, Delta's Senior Vice President, is quoted in a statement saying, "This is about investing in every single customer who chooses Delta, no matter where they sit on the plane."
According to the press release, Delta has been testing out this main cabin experience over the past year. Flight attendants were called in to be part of the experience's design process because they are the ones regularly interacting with passengers and hearing about their needs first-hand. The press release also states Delta took a wide number of customer surveys to find out which parts of the experience were working and which weren't.
"With this service, at the end of the flight I know I’ve made a difference in the customer’s journey. I know I’ve had the opportunity to not only offer an exceptional onboard experience, but also to engage with customers and create special moments for them," said Michael Miller, a New York-based flight attendant and member of the design team, in an official statement.
Not only is Delta offering these incredible new amenities like the free cocktails and hot towel service, but flight attendants are also now playing an even more crucial role in the customer service experience. Delta recently updated the Purser position — lead flight attendant — to take charge on all international flights and make each customer feel more valued and recognized by greeting passengers at the door and ensuring a seamless flight.
These new additions to the main cabin experience are part of a long list of improvements that Delta has made to their service over the past few years. Everything — from free mobile messaging to free main cabin meals on some domestic coast-to-coast routes — has been introduced to enrich the customer experience even from an economy seat.
I've been a loyal Delta customer for years now, and would have continued flying with them even if they hadn't introduced these incredible amenities. But knowing that I'll be able to fully relax the next time I get on one of their international flights — a Bellini and hot towel will totally do that for me — makes me actually look forward to my next trip in their main cabin.