Delta Air Lines has added an option for business class passengers to “Skip First Meal Service” as part of their pre-selections for on board service. Customers fying long haul in the ‘Delta One’ cabin might choose Trout, non-meat Meatballs, chicken breast or to skip the meal. That is described as having an environmental benefit, to “help[..] reduce food waste.”
The airline’s business class passengers, booking the least expensive business class ‘Z’ fare roundtrips on a route like Detroit to Seoul, are currently spending over $8000 roundtrip. And the airline is asking them to help save money on catering bills.
As Delta opens Delta One lounges starting next year, more passengers may eat in the airport before their flight and take them up on skipping the main meal. Even better would be a ‘dine anytime’ business class service that offers to save the main meal for later in the flight, or in place of a second meal (since the second meal is usually quite bad, especially when it’s breakfast on a transatlantic Eastbound).
If they want passengers to commit in advance not to eat – even if they wind up running late to the airport and not eating before their flight – so that the airline can save money by boarding less food, then Delta should consider incentivizing passengers to do so. Environmental guilt over food waste is surely less effective than offering devalued SkyMiles or an airport food and beverage credit. In other words, split the savings with the passenger and make it win-win, instead of
No one actually believes that the Atlanta-based airline, which owns an oil refinery and operates a fleet of older and less fuel efficient planes than competitors, is actually green – just like they don’t believe Frontier Airlines is the ‘greenest airline’ because its cabin interiors and aircraft paint jobs are green.
Delta made huge environmental claims before the pandemic saying they’d be carbon neutral in 2020. They got there mostly through buying carbon offsets which frequently don’t offset carbon at all and can even increase carbon emissions.
The carrier made a big deal of moving from plastic utensils in domestic first class to wood, framed as ‘getting rid of plastic’ when the real announcement was they didn’t plan to bring back reusable metal. They moved from bottled wine to cans, which are heavier and burn more fuel, and serving the wine in… plastic cups (so much for ditching plastic).
Once again as Delta makes cost cuts, they want customers to cheer them on ‘for the environment’. On the other hand, United Airlines saves money on business class catering by just not boarding enough food.