Delta Airlines is investing billions in the customer experience in-flight and on the ground, with enhancements that include a new modern and stylish collection of service products and tableware by Alessi, the renowned Italian design firm.
Delta Airlines’ upgrade to the customer experience includes a cabin modernization program featuring new seats, seatback entertainment systems with free entertainment, high-capacity overhead bins, access to Wi-Fi on nearly all flights, complimentary meals in the Main Cabin on select flights, upgraded free Main Cabin snacks, chef-curated meals in Delta One and a seasonal wine program.
Delta has also made significant investments in the customer experience on the ground, in addition to plans to add nearly 250 new aircraft to its fleet in coming years. These include new Delta Sky Club locations in Denver, Atlanta, and Seattle, and Club renovations in Nashville, Dallas, Newark, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, airport enhancement programs in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Salt Lake City, and the testing and implementation of an enhanced boarding process in Atlanta.
Alessi’s one-of-a-kind pieces will be seen in Delta’s premium cabins, including Delta One, First Class and, in late 2017, Delta Premium Select. This marks the first time the design company, known for innovative and unique designs, has appeared in flight with a major airline with such a comprehensive program.
“The Alessi for Delta collection is part of our continued investment in delivering a world class, global culinary experience that will elevate our customer inflight dining experience to new heights,” says Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President of In-Flight Service. “At Delta we know that every aspect and detail of the travel experience matters, and partnering with Alessi allows us to bring an uncompromising level of elegance and service to the on-board experience.”
The Alessi for Delta products include flatware, crystal glassware, new bone china, stainless steel serving pieces, tabletop accessories such as napkin rings and salt and pepper shakers and trays. The collection is based on popular items created and inspired by six of the 300 renowned designers for Alessi. Alessi, founded in 1921, created some of the most well-known cult objects of the 20th and 21st century that are featured in museums around the world, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
“With nearly a hundred years of experience crafting innovative objects for serving food and drinks, Alessi was a natural choice for Delta,” says Alberto Alessi, President of Alessi. “At Alessi we have worked with some of the most exciting designers in our international network to create the most innovative and advanced in-flight collection in the contemporary design scene.”
The Alessi partnership was two years in the making as the new service items—there are 86 unique service pieces in collection—were designed and tested in flight, while Delta actively solicited feedback from both customers and flight attendants to ensure that every design aspect of the pieces had a purpose. Delta Airlines also worked with its culinary partners to ensure the new service products and the overall meal experience are designed in parallel.
“I admire Delta’s decision to continue to redesign and elevate the on-board experience and I’m proud that Alessi is part of this enhancement,” says Matteo Alessi, Alessi’s Chief Commercial Officer Europe and North America.
Carrie Coolidge is a Pursuitist contributor based in Manhattan. From 2009 to 2011, Carrie served as Co-Editor of Luxist, the luxury lifestyle website at AOL where she ran the Luxist Awards, a program that honored the very best in fine living. From 1996 to 2009, Carrie was a Staff Writer at Forbes magazine, where she covered real estate, personal finance and the insurance industry, among other areas. Carrie is also the author of six books, including "The Business of America is Business". Follow her on Twitter: @carriecoolidge