How to Order A Special Meal On Delta

If there’s anything that has taken away from the joy of flying in the last two years, it’s my choice of being a pescotarian. Dietary restrictions at 30,000 feet are not the easiest to deal with and when you’re stuck in a metal tube far above the ground, options are not something you always have. Fortunately, if you’re flying Delta internationally or in first class domestically and you know there will be meal service, then be sure to let Delta know before flying of your restrictions so you won’t be at 30K feet with a rumbling belly!

To do this is super easy! At least 24 hour before your flight log, into your account and open up your reservation details. Scroll down to the section that reads passenger details. This is about ½ way down the page and after your flight details.


Choose Add/Edit under the section “special details”. A small popup window will open and you’ll have the option to add on a number of free special options. You would use this area to not only request a wheel chair but also to inform the airline if you are carrying an infant in arms or inform them that you’re deaf or hearing impaired. If you’re like me and have a dietary restriction you can order your meal here. First select the passenger (if there's more than one in your reservation), then under special service choose "special meal" then you can select from Vegetarian options to religious meal preferences to medical specific meals like diabetic or low sodium. Choose the meal that fits your needs and save. Voila! You now have selected a special meal and can enjoy a meal at 30k feet!


Now I will warn you, just because you made a meal selection, it doesn’t mean it will be honored. Recently when flying SAN-ATL I had my meal selection in my reservation details, however at meal time the only option was potato salad with a beef blue cheese salad. It was the only lunch option and sadly my meal request did not make it on board. I was able to eat the salad and the potatoes and just had the FA remove the beef. This was partly my fault though because I did not make the meal request until about 22 hours before the flight; then again, I made the meal request at the same time I got the notice from Delta that my upgrade cleared. So in this case, did Delta forget my meal, or was it my fault for not requesting it earlier (despite the fact I couldn’t’ request it any earlier)?

So book early and be flexible, if you have diet instructions let Delta know about them ASAP and always pack a protein bar, just in case!

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I've made a habit of doing special orders on Delta, too. I find the special meals to be of much better quality.

I also get a kick of the look of concern on the FA's face when she comes up to me (a 30-something caucasian male) to ask if I in fact ordered the Moslem meal. ;)

Kat May 21, 2013 at 03:49 am

Do you have to pay extra for the special meal?

OneLazySusan September 6, 2013 at 07:05 pm

Any idea what a vegetarian meal on an international Delta flight could consist of?

rocky September 7, 2013 at 02:14 am

@susan - in coach it tends to be vegetable curry type mix and rice. At least from my experience. Nothing fancy but not horrible either and better than the nasty grade B meat they serve

nadege August 2, 2014 at 10:55 am

A huge thank you for the tip ! Will fly in a week, will see if I get the veggie meal as requested...

Ally August 9, 2014 at 10:33 am

Thank you this was very helpful. I don't think I would have figured it out.

Ducktight March 2, 2015 at 06:14 pm

Hi, I have looked all over my Delta webpages (I am logged in) and nowhere can I find how to choose a special meal. Definitley no screen that looks like the one shown. Maybe they changed their website? I tried calling but the system mentions that it is a 4 hour (!) wait time and after 1/2 and hour I hung up..

Rocky March 2, 2015 at 06:35 pm

@Ducktight - I am sorry but this article is almot 3 years old now and has been updated since I wrote this article. I would look at your reservations and look for something that reads "special requests" or "Modify passenger details"

Do know that Special meals are typically only available on long haul international flights and not domestic flights

S.Patton July 23, 2015 at 05:58 am

Just for the Information on the Specialmeal that didnt make it on Board.

I work in Airline Catering and Delta happens to be our Customer in many Places. the 24 Hour limit is a restriction not from Delta, but from the Caterer. Our Caterings usually are prepared the Day before or morning of the Flight Departures. (depending on whether its an Early flight or an Evening Flight) When we get a SpecialMeal Order, our Customer Care Team has to find a Meal that suits the Request. which is easy if it just has to be Glutenfree for Example. but sometimes it has to be Glutenfree + Low Soduim +Low Cholesterol etc.. in this Case our Product Development Team may even have to create an entriely new Meal. once the Meal has been chosen, this Information will go to our Production. since the Entire Catering has to be delivered on Board early enough for everything to be put away nicely before the Passengers start Boarding. its sometimes difficult even in these 24 Hours to meet the Request. I hope you and others are able to better understand the reason behind the 24 Hour restriction. Summing up i want to say, your Meal wasn´t forgotten on this Day. the Caterer most likely declined the Request because it wasnt ordered early enough.

Dennis Michaels August 10, 2016 at 11:11 am

My Delta Sky Miles number is XXXXXXXXXX. I and my wife ordered a special meal on our July 29, 2016 flight , from JFK, to Venice, Italy. We want to remove these special meal requests from our Delta profile, and receive standard meals, but don't no how. Please send an email on how to remove the special meals from out profile, or instructions on how to remove special meals from our profile.

If not removed, do these special meal request stay on for future flights? Dr. Dennis Michaels

@Dennise you will have to call Delta and ask them to cancel your special meal request.

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