Home Airlines Delta’s Meal Reservation Program Is Fine, But It’s Sure Not Like “Book The Cook”

Delta’s Meal Reservation Program Is Fine, But It’s Sure Not Like “Book The Cook”

by joeheg

Maybe I was spoiled by my first experience getting to choose my meal on a plane. For our flight from New York JFK to Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines, we were able to use their “Book The Cook” service. The ability to pick from 16 different dishes for our meal was rather daunting.

Imagine my surprise when Sharon received an email from Delta asking her to pick out meals for the flight from Frankfurt-JFK and for JFK-MCO

I didn’t know Delta even offered this service, but since February 2019, Delta’s international and US domestic first-class passengers have the option to pre-order meals up to 24 hours before the flight.

Well, that is, IF you receive the email. (Or know that you’re able to do so anyway)

When I clicked on the link from the email (which I thought I saved, but it’s no longer on my phone, laptop, desktop or iPad. BAD BLOGGER!!!) I was brought to a webpage to select the meals for Sharon’s flight. This email had a person-specific link, which meant I couldn’t go and enter my information to pick my own meals. Only the ones for Sharon.

I wasn’t going to leave it at that, so I went to Twitter. I wrote to @Delta and asked

My wife and I are scheduled on flights this Sunday from FRA-JFK-MCO. She received by email a link to pick her meals but I did not. Is there any way for me to select my meal?

After supplying our names, the confirmation number and email address, we were provided a list of meals to choose from.

  • 1. MUSHROOM STUFFED CHICKEN THIGH – served over tagliatelle with onions, bacon, mushrooms, chanterelles and garlic in a honey balsamic jus **contains pork
  • 2. FRESH MOZZARELLA AND SPINACH PANCIOTTI – with roasted Romanesco and zucchini *vegetarian selection
  • 3. GRILLED BEEF TENDERLOIN – with bearnaise sauce, served with potato dauphinoise, green beans and carrots
  • 4. ROASTED SALMON – with potato leek fondue, charred cherry tomatoes, and port wine sauce

I replied back that Sharon would have the chicken and I’d have the beef. The Twitter rep noticed that Sharon had already picked her meal but put my choice on file.

When I looked into it a bit more, the only reason I can figure that I didn’t receive an email to pick my meals is that since I booked the flights through Flying Blue, my KLM number was on my reservation, not my SkyMiles number and only SkyMiles members get an email to select meals.

When we boarded the flight, we were provided menus. Notice anything familiar with those meal choices?


That’s right, they were the same ones we had to choose from ahead of time. You’re not getting to pick a special entree; instead, you’re getting to select from the meals they’re already loading onto the flight.

After we were seated, the purser introduced himself and confirmed our meal choices. He made a point to say that letting people pick their own meals ahead of time is one of the most popular things Delta’s done in a while.

I wonder if they load extra meals of one type depending on what people preorder or not? The people behind us picked the vegetarian option and were told there were no more left by the time the service got to their seats. Oops!

The meals weren’t bad. Just nothing great to write about. But here I am writing about them. Forget that last part, here’s a picture of a steak.


The filet looked tasty and the sauce gave some additional flavor to what was mainly an overcooked steak. Some potatoes, green beans, and carrots rounded out the dish.

Final Thoughts

Getting to pick your meal ahead of time instead of having to settle for what’s left when the flight attendant gets to your seat is a vast improvement. Some airlines, such as Singapore, let you pick from a wide variety of dishes. On the other hand, Delta only gives you the choices already on the plane and (hopefully) sets one of those aside for you.

While Delta touts its Delta One service as one the best in the sky, you’ll only believe it if you’ve never gotten to fly with one of their international competitors.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

tjp74 January 11, 2020 - 9:36 am

Another data point. On our recent flight SEA-PEK on delta one, just a few days prior to our flight I notice the “select meal” option appeared on my Delta app. I am 100% confident this option wasn’t there prior and I don’t remember receiving any email about the meal selection. Also no such option on delta.com. So if you are on a delta one and possibly first class on some routes, check your Delta app few days prior (view ‘my trip’)


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