I will be the first to admit (and I have) that I am a coffee addict. So to surprise no one, I am talking about something close to my heart, and my stomach. Coffee on-board a flight (or while waiting for one) is a big thing, not only to me, but to so many other travelers.
Airlines are not known to have the world’s best coffee. Heck, some might even call it plain awful. An airline’s choice of coffee can be an important one, not only to keep the passengers happy but also for their budgets. More and more airlines are taking their choice of coffee quite seriously and I decided to hold the cream and sugar and dive on in.
Starting this February, Delta Air Lines is serving Starbucks’ iconic Pike Place Roast (which is their standard roast served throughout the US) on all of its flights.
If you drink decaf, fret not; Delta will also be serving their Via (code for instant) Italian Roast Decaf onboard. Previously Delta had only served Starbucks on the west coast shuttle flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco (which began in 2013) and will now make its appearance network-wide.
The new coffee service will be replacing a contract that had only begun about three years prior, with Seattle’s Best Coffee. You might be wondering why they would do that? Well for one, Starbucks owns Seattle’s Best and many Seattle’s Best outlets seem to be closing or turning into Starbucks anyway. So really they aren’t getting rid of Seattle’s Best – I think Starbucks was phasing out the branding anyway.
Delta isn’t the only airline serving Starbucks; Alaska Airlines does as well. Again this might seem that Delta and Alaska are going at it for the Seattle Market, but I don’t believe that is the case in this situation.
Alaska promotes that they proudly serve Starbucks Coffee. But then Alaska is the airline that also serves local craft beers and liquor from the Pacific Northwest. Delta, on the other hand, has tried to pick up local beers and other items in some areas, but is really looking at this from the international perspective.
When a passenger flies Delta internationally, many might want a “bit of home” on their flight. Just like when I get on a Qantas or Virgin Australia flight, I want to be able to get a little piece of my Aussie roots.
Some vegemite and some bundy (Bundaberg Rum) are always a welcomed site — they instantly bring me back to my time in Australia.
Delta is not the only airline to try and make sure that they have a specialist coffee provider. Southwest Airlines has their own brand of onboard java: Lift.
It is a custom dark roast from South & Central American Arabica beans. These special beans can only be found onboard a Southwest flight – no where else!
Southwest has even offered flavored creamers during the year (Hazelnut has been a seasonal offering). What is one thing that Southwest does that the others don’t? Donate to a charity for every cup of coffee consumed. Make it three (okay fine – six, maybe seven – don’t judge) cups for me! I am doing it for charity, right?
The final big-name coffee brand in the air today is with an airline based on the east coast. JetBlue serves an iconic brand; Dunkin Donuts.
I am sure that most in the US know the brand, but there is very little presence on the west coast. I know that I do enjoy a good cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee and being able to have some in the air makes me think of New York, which is where JetBlue is based.
I tend to drink a lot of coffee, on the ground and in the air. I have been known to order three or four cups at a time onboard (because I am saving the flight attendants the hassle of coming back continuously.. right?).
I am extremely happy to hear that Delta is improving their coffee service on all of their flights, but the one thing I hope they do is… change out those tiny tiny cups! Please Delta, tell me you won’t use them ever again? Pretty please?