Refreshing, even at thirty thousand feet…
Perhaps battling the perception of sub-standard service by western airlines, Delta has bolstered it’s fine wine selection when you fly on their long haul flights in Business Elite (their version of first class). I had a chance to travel on the airline when traveling from Bangkok to Atlanta, through a series of connecting flights which included stops in Tokyo and Portland.
I do have to say that Delta’s Business Elite seating, amenities, and service has been pretty good in my experience. However, they have a pretty uphill battle to improve to the ranks of the higher end middle eastern and asian airlines known for their superior service (i.e. Emirates, Eva, Singapore Airlines, and etc).
The food and beverage strategy thus far seems to be better communicating the quality of their chef recommended menu items and wine list created by Delta’s expert sommelier. While looking at the menu everything sounds great, often the delivery of the dishes can be hit or miss. I’d have great meals on a long flight, for instance Tokyo to Portland, but on shorter flights have pretty mediocre meals. In one instance, I sent back an overly dry chicken breast and had it replaced with a the tastier fish item on the menu.
Forget movies, fine wine is my favorite form of in flight entertainment…
While the food quality is still turbulent, I thought the selection of wines were great and loved having them available with fruit, cheese, and dried fruit as a post meal option in loo of dessert. The Delta Master Sommelier has selected high quality reds (which after a glass of bubbly I skipped right to) and both of their dessert wines were also superb!
My biggest complaint? If you ever fly Business Elite and for whatever reason end up in economy on a Delta flight, you can’t even purchase a nice wine! So on one end I’m delighted with the wine options catering to the fruity palate and pairing well with the food, on the other hand I’m offended such shit is served to the rest of the plane. Anyway, if you do end up on Delta and in Business Elite, whip out the wine menu and make your well down the list, it certainly helps one conquer the torment of a 14 hour flight!