I did something yesterday that I've never done before: I flew out of SLC on a Saturday. I usually fly out on Sunday mornings, but I had a 6-day class this week and had to head out a day early. I'd never seen the Salt Lake airport so full. It was worse than the last Saturday I spent at the Atlanta airport (which was only a week before, coincidentally). The plane was also packed full, and I found myself sitting in the exit row halfway though coach class.
The first thing I noticed was a menu. I knew that Delta had started passing out menus in coach class recently, but I hadn't seen one yet. This was likely because Delta seems to prefer that I fly on Skywest jets, and because the meals are only served on some Delta flights going east from the west coast (not from east to west). The food offered in the menu was not complimentary, of course. But it was nice to have something to choose from other than cheese and crackers, cookies, peanuts and granola bars.
The menu looked impressive. In addition to a fruit and cheese plate, Kashi cereal with fresh fruit, and a cinnamon raisin bagel, they also had "Todd English Selections" including a cheddar, turkey bacon and apple butter croissant, a chicken parmesan sandwich, a chicken bistro salad and hummus with veggies. I decided to try out the fruit and cheese plate, knowing in my mind that it would never be as fabulous and fresh and the beautiful photo in the menu.
Much to my surprise, when the flight attendant handed it to me, it was exactly the same as in the photo, except for being in a plastic container instead of on a pretty, white ceramic plate. It came with fresh grapes, dried apricots, pecan halves, crackers, and wedges of brie (still in the obligatory white mold rind), smoked gouda and what tasted like a medium cheddar. Each wedge of cheese was huge, at least in comparison to what I expected, and when I ran out of fruits, nuts and crackers, I still had cheese left. Fortunately, I still had half a bag of dried apricots left over from my previous trip, and it went nicely with the remainder of the cheese. All in all, it was well worth the $6 and more. I almost asked the flight attendant if I could buy another one.
Is this what we can come to expect in the future? It was a good little snack plate. In fact, I've had worse meals in first class. Perhaps Delta is finally stepping up the quality of their food to match the price of their airline tickets. It's a direction that I certainly hope Delta and other airlines continue in.