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Economy passengers can rejoice in the fact that meals are slowly returning to select coach flights. Delta Air Lines announced the updates last week.

What to Know Now

Free food is officially coming back to the economy cabin, though it’s only going to be on select Delta transcontinental flights for now. The changes come as airlines ratchet up competition on cross-country flights and start to finally compete once more on service and soft product.

Already the industry has seen broad improvements to in-flight and airport lounge catering while some airlines have gone so far as to hire celebrity chefs and wine gurus to guide their menus. As tastes and standards improve, the next battleground is apparently in the back of the plane — as long as it’s not in basic economy.

New food options start rolling out on March 1 and will primarily be served on routes between New York and California. Later in the year, Delta plans to open up free meals to a broader spectrum of coastal cities and American and United will, no doubt, quickly follow suit.


I would guess that the other major carriers will follow suit on competitive routes. I’m not sure that DL will have a competitive advantage for long.

– formeraa @ Flyertalk


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Your Turn

Abbie Kozolchyk has a new book out called The World’s Most Romantic Destinations. Find it published by National Geographic here.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo credit: Delta is bringing free food back on some U.S. domestic flights. Delta Air Lines

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