It appears as though Delta Airlines is finally listening to frequent flyers and Delta Skyclub members. Delta is finally making some much needed enhancements to the Delta SkyClub food and beverage offering. Over the last few years we’ve seen the introduction of the premium Delta Skybar and with the introduction came a former bar tender at most clubs, resulting in self-served beverages disappeaing from most clubs. Even soda machines have vanished, to be replaced with an overworked man with a bar gun. Slowing down the time it takes to refill your soda, and in the end saving Delta Airlines pennies.
Over the last few years, Delta has removed the Absolute Vodka and Bacardi Rum and replaced it with lesser quality Godons and kept their snack and food options at par. The Delta offerings has been of higher quality than what is found at US Airways and American clubs, on par with United Clubs, but still far below the best food at a club like the Virgin America Loft, or Alaska Airline Board Rooms. Yet today, Delta made an announcement that they are going to test some new food and drink offerings and expend their complimentary services!
Across ALL clubs, Vodka is being upgraded to the more refined Finlandia, which Delta says is based on our feedback! That’s right, Delta FINALLY listened to all those emails, phone calls, and tweets! In addition, at test locations, Delta will be trying an array of new food options throughout the day and upgraded amenities which will be dependent on customers feedback to help decide what will go system wide and what will be a limited time engagement. Per the media release the following upgrades are being tested out:
- More food options, including pancakes and upgraded bagels for breakfast, sandwiches and hot soups mid–day, and hors d’oeuvres, antipasti and dessert choices in the evening
- Nourishing snack choices, including energy bars, fresh fruit, popcorn, nuts and smoothies
- Select complimentary services, including shoe shines, manicures and relaxing chair massages — perfect for a busy day of travel
The test locations will be Atlanta (Gate A17 and Concourse F locations), Dallas–Fort Worth, Detroit (across from Gate A38), Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, New York–LaGuardia (Terminal D location), Raleigh–Durham and Seattle. These limited clubs will see the enhancements from Mid-February through April.
However, before you get too excited, notice that nowhere in the media release does it say that any of these new food options will be complimentary. Delta may be spinning the new food options as an enhancement, but may end up charging more for such services. After all, American Airline already charges for enhanced food offerings and even Delta has added a resturant to their NY JFK T4 SkyClub, requiring patrons to pay up for better options. Time will only tell, but for now I say buyer beware.
In the mean time, if you’re traveling Delta Airlines through any of these cities, be sure to stop by the club and check out the enhanced offerings. Many which appear to be complimentary for now. Then, if you like somthing be sure to take part in the variety of survey and research tools that Delta will be using which includes direct feedback from Sky Club customers gathered via comment cards, online surveys, and in-Club interviews. The items that receive the most positive customer reviews will be included as part of a product investment upgrade in Clubs this summer.
After all, if Delta is going to raise their SkyClub membership prices and restrict who can bring guests, they must make the clubs more exclusive and make the club a place where high end travelers actually want to be!