As Delta begins to welcome record numbers of customers back on board, the airline has already started to transform travel in order to meet evolving customer expectations. Below, Delta's E.V.P. and Chief Customer Experience Officer Allison Ausband outlines what's on the horizon in the months ahead.

Editor's note: This article originally published at 2:00 p.m. Feb. 17 and was updated at 9:00 a.m. March 4 with an additional question and answer.

Throughout an extraordinary and unpredictable two years, Delta has continued to innovate to meet evolving customer expectations. The upcoming holiday weekend marks the official start of the spring travel season, and we’re thrilled to be welcoming record numbers of customers back on board. Whether you never stopped traveling or you’re looking forward to snacking on Delta’s signature Biscoff cookies during your first flight back, you probably have questions about what you can expect on your next Delta trip.

We recently sat down with Allison Ausband, Delta’s E.V.P. and Chief Customer Experience Officer, to explain some of the ways Delta has already transformed travel and outline what’s on the horizon in the months ahead.

I’M SO READY TO TRAVEL OVERSEAS AGAIN. WHAT’S NEW WITH INTERNATIONAL DELTA ONE SERVICE?

Allison: Starting March 15, we’ll be enhancing service for select international and transoceanic Delta One customers. Customers will again enjoy our chef-curated meals via a multi-step, three-course service. Customers can also enjoy more options for their pre-departure beverages, like mimosas, and snack on new cocktail bites before meal service. And my personal favorite: customers can again indulge with more dessert options, choosing between one of our decadent plated desserts or an ice cream sundae with an array of topping options. 

These are only the latest steps we’re taking. We also recently launched new, artisan-made Delta One amenity kits through our partnership with Mexico-based brand Someone Somewhere. The kits include products such as a Someone Somewhere eye mask, Humble Co. bamboo toothbrush and toothpaste, and Grown Alchemist lip balm and lotion. We’ve also recently introduced soft, comfortable and premium bedding sets made with 100% recycled polyester (rPET).

As customers begin traveling internationally again, we’re excited to offer refreshed services and products for them to enjoy onboard as we continue elevating the Delta One experience for customers looking for luxury in the skies.

A man uses a mobile device and computer.
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Personalized requirements, full itinerary view, all-new design and easy-to-use features are now live for customers traveling internationally.

What’s available to eat and drink on board these days?

A: We’re continuing to bring back elements of the onboard experience we know our customers have missed. Starting in March, First Class customers on select flights 900 miles or greater will again enjoy hot meals featuring local ingredients and favorite items. Menu highlights include ginger beer-braised osso bucco, wild mushroom ravioli, chicken cacciatore and French bread pizza. Additionally, customers can enjoy barbecue beef short ribs from Atlanta favorite Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q on select flights departing Atlanta. Our desserts will also delight, with sweets like ricotta cheesecake, frozen Greek yogurt with cherry syrup, and a strawberry, rhubarb and pretzel tart (the tart is my favorite!).

An Impossible Burger is among Delta's newest menu offerings for Delta One and First Class customers.
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From the signature Impossible Burger to Black Sheep Foods’ plant-based lamb meatballs, Delta is introducing five new plant-based and vegetable-packed dishes for Delta One and First Class customers on select flights 900 miles and greater.

Because we know our customers love having more choices, we’re also bringing back four snack options to every flight starting this month. You’ll be able to choose among Biscoff cookies, almonds, Rold Gold pretzels and USDA-certified organic bars from Kate’s Real Food; we’re currently offering their dark chocolate cherry and almond bar.

This is the latest in a series of intentional steps we’ve been taking since April 2021 to reintroduce the service Delta is known for. We started with introducing new beverages and snacks, meals from top U.S. restaurants in Delta One on premium coast-to-coast routes, and fresh meals to First Class customers across our domestic system.

We’ve also introduced unique beverages on board from diverse and sustainable suppliers, including vodka from Du Nord Social Spirits, America’s first Black-owned distillery, and new, sustainable canned wine from the award-winning winemaker at Imagery Winery.

Our specially curated menus and beverage options will wow customers as we continue to create an onboard dining experience that builds on our premium service and culture of innovation. 

What do I need to know about the boarding process?

A: We’re always aiming to make your journey through the airport as easy as possible. Last fall, we brought back our boarding zones for a quicker and easier boarding process, and we’ve started bringing back our Sky Priority boarding lanes, which we know our SkyMiles Members have missed. Customers are invited to board according to boarding zones that correspond to their Medallion Status, Sky Priority, Delta SkyMiles American Express Card or cabin. We’ve also reinstated our popular virtual queuing for users of the Fly Delta app to help make this process even more seamless.

Thanks to Delta’s partnership with TSA, qualifying customers in Atlanta and Detroit can opt in to make use of new facial recognition technology that provides the ability to check bags, pass through security and board their flight completely hands-free through use of their digital identity (SkyMiles Member number, passport number and Known Traveler Number).

An exterior view of Delta's new terminal at its New York - LaGuardia hub.
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This year, Delta will unveil several major airport infrastructure milestones as part of its $12 billion, decade-long effort to modernize the customer experience on the ground. Here’s a look at improvements coming to our Seattle, Los Angeles and New York-LGA hubs, just in time for the summer travel season.

Is there reliable Wi-Fi on board so I can watch a movie or catch up on emails?

A: We know how important fast-streaming and reliable Wi-Fi is for our customers. More than half of our domestic mainline customers now have access to fast-streaming connectivity for only $5 per flight – no matter the duration – through our new partnership with Viasat. In fact, Delta’s onboard Wi-Fi is now up to two times faster than it was in 2020, a big step forward and just one way we are keeping you connected on board. And if you’d rather get comfortable with a new box office hit, favorite show, or meditative content through our seatback screens, there is something for everyone to discover through Delta Studio – we now have over 350 movies for customers to choose from.

I haven’t been traveling at my usual pace – what will happen to my Medallion Status?

A: We’ve got you covered. We proactively extended Medallion Status to Jan. 31, 2023, and rolled over all Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) for the second year in a row. We also extended Status earn on Award Travel with Delta for an extra year, which will give our loyal Members an even bigger head start to earn 2023 Medallion Status.

When do my eCredits expire?

A: We know that flexibility continues to be important right now. That’s why Delta is giving customers another unmatched, industry-leading eCredit extension through 2023. Customers will be able to rebook their ticket by Dec. 31, 2023, for travel throughout 2024.

What can customers expect in the months ahead?

A: Additional improvements to the overall customer experience will roll out in the months to come including introducing new, state-of-the-art aircraft into the Delta fleet family, opening the two largest Delta Sky Clubs in our network in LAX and LGA as we open ultramodern terminals at those airports, as well as ushering in a new era of onboard entertainment, just to name a few. You’ll also see more sustainable commitments come to life this month, starting with our new Delta One amenity kits, made by Mexican artisans, created especially for Delta. You can rest assured that Delta is hard at work to ensure we deliver an elevated experience that’s better for you, your journey and our world – with operational reliability that is unmatched in the industry. Safe travels, and let us know what you think after your next trip back.

Ed Bastian
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CEO Ed Bastian sent an email to customers on Thursday morning about what they can expect in 2022 and how Delta plans to deliver an elevated experience that's better for the customer, their journey and our world.
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