PHOTO: Delta Air Lines/Alessi dining items. (photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)
Elegant dining 30,000 feet above the ground is now a reality.
Delta just announced it has partnered with Italian design company Alessi to introduce a banquet of flatware options from crystal glassware, bone china and stainless steel as well as tabletop accessories including napkin rings, salt and pepper shakers and trays.
These will appear in-flight starting April 1 and is part of the brand’s multi-million dollar efforts to improve the in-flight customer service experience.
Over the past year, Delta has included Vosges chocolates for Valentine’s Day, partnered with Westin to introduce the heavenly blanket, provided complimentary meals in the main cabin on select flights, unveiled a seasonal wine program and partnered with Union Square Hospitality Group to offer meals in premium and business class.
The partnership with Alberto Alessi is about bringing elegant design to everyone: “The real purpose of design has always been not to be only understood by a few people, or a niche of design aficionados, but the real goal has always been to be understood by a mass of people,” the designer says.
And with that in mind, the partnership will bring some 86 serviceware pieces as part of the first airline collaboration for the design firm. The announcement happened in late 2015, and it comes to fruition this summer in conjunction with the rollout of Delta Premium Select during late 2017.
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The idea is to inspire flyers to find something beautiful in everyday items: hence, beautifully-proportioned plates and silverware that look like something out of a museum.
The concept of presenting elegant flatware in the air is not new: airlines have been engraving their logos on the stems of cutlery since the days of PanAm, (which was the first airline to debut the economy class of service called “The Rainbow” in the 1950’s).
At that time, they served meals on plastic trays with branded cups and plastic cutlery.
We’ve come a long way, baby.
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The Alessi partnership brings a level of accessible refinement to the friendly skies: the collection is based on popular items created by six of the 300 designers Alessi employs in his factory.
The pieces not only have good design, but function. They have been tested in flight, with Delta soliciting feedback from customers and flight attendants to ensure every piece has a purpose while being both stylish and beautiful. Think: Frank Gehry meets Crate & Barrel.
It’s yet another step in the right direction for the brand, which is wisely working to ensure flying can once again be a heavenly experience.