Delta Airlines Elevated Main Cabin International Experience

Delta Airlines Elevated Main Cabin International Experience. What does that mean, I wonder? Thankfully for me, I didn’t have long to wait before I found out. Delta’s Elevated Main Cabin Experience started in early November, my flight below is just a week later. I get to be one of the early users of this new service.

List of Changes

Delta Airlines video promotion gives some information about the Elevated experience. Unfortunately, I don’t have any recent apples to apples comparisons. My most recent Delta comparable is a 2012 trip to Paris.

elevated main cabin experience delta airlines
Delta Airlines promotional video for the new international main cabin upgrades.

Gluten Free Meals

If you are new here, any food discussion starts with my requirement for gluten free food. As a lifelong celiac, I am intolerant to gluten. I’ve had good luck with Delta’s gluten free food, and other than being repetitive, I have no other problems with their meals.

Delta gluten free chicken salad
Delta Minneapolis Gluten Free Lunch in First Class

I’ve found flying in first class that their gluten free meals tend to repeat and be tied to the departure airport. For example, flying through Minneapolis, the gluten free lunch/dinner is regularly a cold chicken salad. A good lunch once and a while, but after 10 editions it gets old. An improved gluten free meal is welcome! Only Vegan special meals on the menu below, however. I order the gluten free meal with flights, but no details are given, so the question is: What do I get?

Main Cabin Menu

The offerings for the normal eaters, or norms as I like to call them, look good. The welcome cocktail, a Peach Bellini is very yummy. I’ll take another, please! Unfortunately, a second Peach Bellini was not on offer.

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Meal service

As in first class, meal service begins with a “hot towel”. I quote “hot towel” since this is a disposable wet paper towel, not a hot hand cloth like typical first class. An elevation over my last main cabin experience, but not something I necessarily care for.

delta airlines economy upgrades hot towel service
Delta’s Main Cabin upgrades include a “hot towel” – more of a warm paper towel

Following the hot towel service, flight attendants distribute menus, placemats, and water bottles. Passengers select one of two appetizers and one of three mains, a clear elevation over “would you like chicken or fish?” on my past flight.

delta airlines dining upgrades
Delta Airlines upgrades include a menu, placemat, and bottle of water

On international flights, meal service typically begins with delivery of the special meals, like my gluten free meal. The meal is dropped on my tray table rather abruptly, but at least it is on a plate? I immediately see that it is not chicken salad, and there is much rejoicing! Upon unwrap of the foil, I can’t say the rejoicing continued, at least initially. Sweet potato puree in this presentation is not appealing to me.

delta airlines gluten free meal
My gluten free herbed chicken and sweet potato puree. It was great!

Thankfully, the meal was delicious, even the sweet potato puree. I would take this meal again!


I do think Delta has achieved an elevated main cabin international experience, but I’m not sure most passengers will know that it really is elevated. Only a small fraction of people fly internationally regularly, so who will know it is better?

An elevated main cabin experience is a clear marketing win over the U.S. based United and American Airlines. Both still appear to discount the importance of their passengers and who can blame them! They are profitable despite all the negatives related to their passengers and the poor press they receive. If you are looking for a better economy flight experience and are flying internationally, Delta is a good choice with these upgrades.

Before heading to Amsterdam, I flew Singapore Airlines, you can watch and read that comparison here, although Delta Comfort Plus is not equal to Singapore Airlines Premium Economy.

flying sunrise airplane engine
Sunrise over the North Sea

Changes in the Main Cabin (since my 2012 flight)

  • Travel kit
  • Hot towel service
  • Menu
  • Placement
  • Bottle of water
  • Peach Bellini
  • Improved gluten free meal
  • Ice cream
  • Goodbye chocolate

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