Delta will introduce complimentary economy-class meals on 12 transcontinental routes this spring, the carrier announced Thursday.
With the move, Delta will be the first U.S. carrier to offer complimentary meals with any economy-class tickets since Continental did away with that service as it merged with United in 2010.
Delta will phase in the new meal service beginning March 1 on flights between New York JFK and San Francisco and between JFK and Los Angeles.
On April 24, Delta will expand the service to 10 more routes; Boston-San Francisco, Boston-Los Angeles, Boston-Seattle, Washington Reagan-Los Angeles, JFK-Portland, JFK-San Diego, JFK -Seattle, Seattle-Fort Lauderdale, Seattle-Orlando and Seattle-Raleigh-Durham.
Delta's decision to begin the new meal service comes on the heels of a test it ran on JFK-Los Angeles flights between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15. The carrier monitored customer satisfaction scores during the test and said that the meal service led to a marked increase.
Customers on the economy-class meal service flights will choose between breakfast offerings of a honey maple sandwich, a fruit and cheese plate or a healthy breakfast medley.
Fliers during the day will select among a mesquite-smoked turkey combo, a Mediterranean veggie wrap and a fruit and cheese plate. On overnight flights, customers will be offered a breakfast bar prior to arrival.
In addition, Delta will have enhanced offerings for Comfort Plus customers. Along with the meal, they will receive a pre-arrival snack basket on the 12 routes as well complimentary beer, wine and spirits. On flights between JFK and San Francisco and JFK and Los Angeles, Delta will also offer Comfort Plus customers a mid-flight frozen yogurt bar.