Categories
Travel Industry Travel News

Delta Partially Returning Complimentary Meals

Delta does it again.  While most airlines are cutting out snacks and even beverages from their service, Delta announced they are reinstating complimentary meals.  Starting with economy class, Delta began offering free meals late last year for a trial period. Testing out ways to improve customer satisfaction, most fliers were surprised to see the once commonplace amenity again.

Beginning in March, they will offer meals on long-haul domestic flights between JFK and Los Angeles and San Francisco. Later this Spring, complimentary meal service will be added to 10 other major domestic markets including: Boston to San Francisco; Los Angeles and Seattle; Washington National to Los Angeles; JFK to San Diego, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon; and Seattle to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Raleigh-Durham.

Are in-flight amenities, like complimentary meals returning?

After merges and cutbacks, complimentary meals and even drinks from airlines seemed to be a thing of the past. Now, in an effort to improve customer satisfaction, airlines are returning to these staples. Some have even surpassed the traditional in-flight meal to offer higher value products.

  • United, Delta and American have dramatically improved their airport lounge catering services, offering healthier and fresher options
  • United’s Polaris Class offers locally sourced and seasonal fare
  • Delta’s Intercontinental One Suite also provides a five course meal based on seasonality.
  • JetBlue and American are vying for best in-flight products and service among the legacy carriers.

Delta was the first airline to bring Wi-Fi to domestic flights.  Then in-seat power outlets.  Now meals.  What will be next?  Massage chairs in first class?  Spa services? Massage therapists available after the meal?  One can only dream…

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company. With more than 60 years of experience, we provide travel solutions with our custom technology and dedicated account management. Contact us to learn how we do it.

Categories
Travel Industry Travel News

United’s New Business Class Polaris Solves Business Traveler Discomforts

United Airlines is reinventing international business class with their latest creation, Polaris. We were fortunate enough to preview it last Thursday in downtown Denver. The event was held in the beautiful and historic Brown Palace Hotel and Spa and featured informative and interactive stations. It included their business class seats, as well as a virtual reality demonstration of the lounge and carrier.

United Polaris Business Class

This international business class overhaul encompasses lounges in their hub locations as well as on-board international flights. It is very apparent that significant time, thought and attention went into this development. The ideals of relaxation, comfort, exclusivity and excellence are very top of mind in every detail. I especially see the benefits for busy business travelers. Though there are many examples, I think my favorite is the ‘do not disturb’ button at every seat. Let’s say you eat a pre-boarding meal in their exclusive lounge (yes, that’s also a new addition), so when you board the plane you can simple go to sleep after take off. No issue of waiting until after dinner service to make it apparent that you don’t want to be disturbed. Continuing our example, let’s say that you wake up in the middle of the flight, completely parched. Well no need to flag down a flight attendant while everyone else is sleeping. You can simply use their walk-up bar station to grab water, drinks, or assorted snacks at your convenience. Every detail has been considered.

A few other amazing takeaways of the new Polaris Business Class:

  • All seats are designed to have aisle access and ample legroom. No walking over neighbors if you fly in the middle seat. There is no more middle seat on Polaris.
  • Ample outlet and technology placement. Each tray has a phone or tablet perch, to actively use your devices on the plane. Work can comfortably be done in these seats. 
  • Fold down seats with the length of 6’6’’.
  • Amenity bag including spa-quality Soho House & Co. Cowshed products, black out eye masks and headphones.
  • Elegant cuisine created by The Trotter Project, which will specialize in locally sourced and seasonal flavors. For example, if you are flying out of the Denver hub, you may be able to anticipate flank steak, mashed potatoes with a palisade peach cobbler for dessert. These are products local to Colorado and in season.
  • On-board linens provided by Saks Fifth Avenue. Enjoy two pillows, a sheet, and a duvet. If that is not enough, pajamas, a mattress pillow top and a cooling gel memory foam pillow is available upon request.

When to expect changes

The first United Polaris Class lounge will open on December 31, 2016 at the O’Hare Airport. Eight additional lounges will open at Houston Intercontinental, Los Angeles International, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Washington Dulles, Hong Kong, London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita. Specific dates are not yet known. Access to these lounges will only be to those with a business class ticket. General access or day passes are not allowed to this lounge.

Airplanes will be quickly renovated with this business class update. United will start with the Boeing 777-300 carriers in December 2016. They will be available in early 2017. Booking and reservations for Polaris has not yet been established.

Our hands-on guided look at United’s innovations got us pretty excited for the new advances. We could truly imagine ourselves in the new lounge and comfortably snoozing aboard. Overall, United’s Polaris Business Class is something we can’t wait to enjoy for ourselves. United’s website can keep you updated on latest news or explore it’s additional features.