I was going to write about all the things that I missed covering while I was away on vacation and not about how rumors get started on the internet. All that said, here we are with a post on rumors and the internet. Granted, it is at least tacitly related to something that was announced while I was away. My interest was piqued Sunday afternoon when a FlyerTalk thread caught my eye: “Changes to BE (new “Delta One”) meal service” complete with thumbs down symbol. The gist of the thread is that a poster was on a Business Elite flight and found the meal service reduced.
“Apparently (from direct recent experience and so told by FAs and purser) BE – new “Delta One” – meals are being changed to remove the soup/appetizer, remove most of the Japanese meal small dishes, and reduce portion sizes, so all can be served at once on one tray, and there are just two choices now (in addition to the greatly reduced Japanese meal). Dessert is now just ice cream (much lower quality than the earlier one) with no toppings and no other choice whatsoever.
I just experienced that first hand. The FAs told me that it’s being gradually implemented as of this month. The FAs confessed that that they don’t understand this service downgrade and said that when they first saw it, they checked how much DL charges for BE tickets and that they don’t see why DL is doing this massive service downgrade, that is putting DL at a distinctly lower service level compared to all other airlines. They said they’ve had a lot of unhappy BE customers (who’ve experienced this new “Delta One” service level) and that they are telling everyone to complain to DL about it (paying for business yet getting premium economy food), as DL doesn’t listen to them and never responds when they write it up or submit complaints or suggestions. The FAs told me (their opinion) that passengers have the right to be deeply unhappy and to feel cheated by Delta by this service downgrade, esp. as there isn’t a corresponding price reduction (in fact, just the opposite as of Jan 1, as we all know).”
Things went on with a lot of speculation about Delta’s plans to make “Delta One” something less than other airlines’ business class, etc. I won’t even get into the idea of flight attendants checking flight prices in sympathy for their customers now that they have less work to do. After some general back and forth someone finally pointed out a little tidbit from Delta’s press release announcing the new Delta One product, it doesn’t actually start until March 1, 2015. Further, I can’t find any reference to meal service changes in the press release. As I noted in my post from sea about the announcement, it’s basically new seat covers and product names.
Even on a Sunday, I couldn’t help but reach out to Delta about this apparent product downgrade. Delta responded by noting that onboard service is not changing as a result of the rebrand to Delta One, and that the change to Delta One is not effective until March 1. Go figure. I’d be a bit surprised to learn that Delta is going through a re-branding exercise to convert “Delta One” into something less than business class, but I digress. If anything, I’ve seen nothing but additional amenities and services from Delta for premium customers of late. (Image courtesy of Delta Air Lines)
Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell exactly what route the poster was flying based on the post, though there is speculation the route is HNL-NRT. The thread is a prime example of how things can just get thrown out there to see if they stick. Keep an open mind and stay informed. And if anyone reading this happens to be flying a Delta BE flight to Japan at the moment, could you let us know if the menu has changed?
-MJ, December 22, 2014