I remember the days when we used to get free meals on long flights. International flights still always get the free meals, but we used to get free meals if we were traveling from San Francisco to Boston, New York to Hawaii, or something along that length.
However, when the economy got bad in the 2000s, airlines stopped providing those free meals and everything became extra. Nobody wanted to eat the airplane food, so people usually got stuff in a food court in the airport or just waited it out until they arrived at their destination.
Now, with profitability going back up for airlines, some have considered bringing back free meals on their longer domestic flights. Delta just decided to go all in on that.
CNBC reported that Delta will begin rolling out free meals to a dozen different cross-country routes on March 1st. It will begin with two routes: from New York to either Los Angeles or San Francisco. On April 24, the free meals will then expand to include the following routes:
- New York to Seattle, San Diego, or Phoenix.
- Boston to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.
- Washington, D.C., to LA.
- Seattle to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Anyone on these flights, including economy-class passengers, will be able to get one of the free meals, which includes veggie wraps, turkey sandwich combos, and breakfast sandwiches.
The new program comes after a test program in flights between New York and California. Those flights had much higher customer satisfaction scores, leading Delta to decide to implement the program over a wide range of long flights.
According to the same article, American and United Airlines will also consider implementing their own free meal programs for longer flights as well, leaving you with a choice of airlines when it comes to the food. If you fly cross-country with those airlines, you no longer have to spend extra money just to be able to eat on the trip.
If it means saving some extra money, I’m all for it.