Delta Now Serves Free Cocktails to International Economy Cabins & We Tested It Out

Hopping on long international flights almost always requires a pre-flight and onboard cocktail (or two). Luckily for us, many airlines provide free in-flight booze. Not all, however, offer complimentary cocktails to coach passengers; but Delta is changing that. Now, the airline offers free, “Welcome Aboard” cocktails on its international flights for those in coach, among other notable Main Cabin service upgrades.


Delta announced recently that the new Main Cabin experience will include the aforementioned free cocktails (Bellinis made with sparkling wine and infused with peach puree), as well as hot towel service, mix-and-match options from its “bistro-style” menu for premium appetizers (think harissa shrimp) and larger entrées. 

I was lucky enough to try out this service on a flight to London last weekend and trust me. It’s as good as it sounds.

Here’s what my peach bellini looked like.

Image: Kenzie Mastroe/SheKnows.

I’ve tasted plenty of airline cocktails and let me tell you — they are not all created equal. This one, however, was quite delicious.

Flight attendants serve the meals on custom-designed dinnerware along with upgraded, Alessi-designed cutlery, all neatly placed atop a placemat.

Image: Kenzie Mastroe/SheKnows.

I especially liked how the plates leave room for you to place your beverage on the little beverage holder to avoid spills.

Image: Courtesy of Delta Airlines.

When choosing your meal, you get to choose an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Dessert is served separately and paired with passengers’ choice of coffee, tea, water or — the best part — complimentary wine. During the descent, the Delta flight crew will then treat passengers to complimentary chocolates.

I was so hungry by the time I got on the plane that I scarfed down my food before I could take pictures. I ordered the Caprese salad as an appetizer and the chicken marsala as the entrée. Both were outstanding but the Caprese salad wildly exceeded my expectations. It was definitely a restaurant-quality appetizer.  

Image: Delta Airlines.

“This is about investing in every single customer who chooses Delta, no matter where they sit on the plane,” says Allison Ausband, Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight service, in a press release. “The thoughtful touches we’re investing in throughout the new Main Cabin experience were designed by flight attendants with one goal in mind — delivering an exceptional experience that our customers will rave about and one that our team, the best in the business, is proud to deliver.” 

Delta’s new international Main Cabin service is part of the airline’s multi-billion dollar investment in the overall customer experience. Delta began testing the experience more than one year ago, and since, the airline has carefully reviewed passengers’ feedback and satisfaction scores to perfect the experience. 

I will say, it was definitely my best main cabin flight to date. Sure, some comfier seats and more legroom would be great but these additions to Delta’s main cabin service absolutely made the long flight from New York to London far more enjoyable than any other long haul flight I have been on. So what are you waiting for? Go book that vaca you’ve been planning already.

A version of this article was originally published July 2019.  

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