An Upgrade to the Meal Tray

Back in August, I had one of the best domestic flight experiences in all my years of flying on Delta, however, not only was the flight experience top notch due to the above and beyond service given by the airlines, I also took notice to new or different meal try concept presented by Delta Airlines, and I must say I really liked it!

Flying often, it is rare that the meal try stands out to me. I feel like most domestic business/first food comes out on standard cafeteria-style trays that are covered "fancied up” by a cloth napkin in an effort to make the tray look classier. Although I do not have any pictures of meal trays from recent travel on Delta, below I have pictures of meal trays from Korean Air, Alaska, and American all taken in the last 6 months. Notice that each one contains the same standard tray, a cloth napkin covers the tray, and white china.

 Korean Airtrip-report-ke-icn-jfk-a380-20

Alaska Air


American Airtrip-report-lax-jfk-on-aa-business-class-11


Now observe what I experienced last week on Delta’s transcontinental flight from Atlanta to San Diego


Although the food was still served on the typical airline white china, notice the more modern wooden trays below. Gone are the napkins covering up cheap high school styled plastic meal trays, and in with the modern chic décor! The trays were ridgeless on the longer sides and had a slight curved lip on the two shorter sides. This could cause for some issues as plates may slide off the sides, but the risk is worth the added flair these new trays bring!

As far as the meal goes, breakfast was good. The omlette was cheese and vegetables with a side of Southwestern potatoes and fresh fruit. Then shortly after breakfast was served warm bagels or croissants were offered. The breakfast was perfect size for a 3.5-hour flight and overall pretty good for a domestic flight, however, more importantly, I love the stylish new trays! I hope Delta rolls these out on all domestic flights! Way to be hip & modern Delta!


DL has used these trays for a while now. They have that mystery tacky property that precludes an accidental slip off of the long side.

It avoids the cost of the table placemat ... And frankly looks a bit nicer.

Qf has something similar in J, but with a full circumference lip.

I had this on a ATL-BDA trip back in Feb. I like these a lot.

BR September 3, 2012 at 04:55 pm

I first saw those trays on a Delta flight to Paris back in 2010. I like them a lot.

Brad September 3, 2012 at 06:07 pm

Agreed Rocky, these Delta trays are nice.

I think they are used for all meal flights now. Still plastic, but they look like wood, and are a big improvement on the previous way they served meals with a paper placemat, then the tray on top.

A photo of the old format from summer 2011 shown here:

nikos September 4, 2012 at 10:10 am

aren't they made of bamboo? I am not 100% sure though. I heard they spent a lot of time with the catering supplier designing all the new trays for pax...Looks great!

Mark September 28, 2012 at 05:05 pm

Definitely plastic, and not bamboo.

Angie May 29, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Does anyone know who manufactures these trays or what the "mystery tacky substance" is that keeps items from sliding? Thanks!

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