I was yesterday years old when I learned something interesting about Delta Air Lines’ A321neo aircraft.
It’s something trivial but apparently can cause some inconveniences during First Class meal service.
Not Enough Oven Space?
First, let’s get up to speed on the term “FEBO.” This is slang for “Front Even, Back Odd.” That is how Delta flight attendants are supposed to record (or verify, I guess, for pre-orders) First Class passengers’ meal orders on flights. (I believe this is only for narrow-body aircraft. Perhaps a Delta employee can jump in the Comments section and verify this.)
The flight attendants start with passengers in the front rows and work toward the back of the cabin during even-numbered flights.
On odd-numbered flights, the passengers sitting in the back of the cabin should get the first crack.
Redditor “_AmeliaPond_” says she’s a Delta flight attendant. (For clarity, let’s assume Amelia is a she.) She wrote in this post that when you fly a Delta A321ceo, “you can preselect your meal, but if it’s a 321neo you can’t, so with an even flight number you want to sit towards the front of (First Class).”
Now, I haven’t ridden a Delta A321neo since its inaugural flight on May 20, 2022. But I could pre-order my (delicious) meal a week ahead of time.
Maybe something changed since then? Perhaps pre-ordering availability depends on city pairings and which stations have catering?
But here’s where the “inside baseball” got interesting.
For reference, the A321neo’s First Class cabin seats 20 people.
“Now, the problem with the 321neo is that the oven just cannot accommodate hot meals for all FC pax,” Ms. Pond explains. “There is only enough room for 16 hot meals. So, catering is supposed to provide only enough hot meals to fit the oven. (So dumb!) A typical oven will fit three hot meal plates per rack, but the 321neo oven can only accommodate 2 hot meal plates per rack…
“I have had a situation where catering delivered more hot meals than could fit the oven, but luckily a couple wanted to eat their meal later. But it would have been very awkward to have to complete a meal service in two steps.”
I wonder, then, if it’s helpful to volunteer to eat later when flying the A321neo — hunger level providing? 🙂
Also, what if you’re like me (read: picky)?
“If you are able to preorder, please do because there is no guarantee that we will have your preferred meal choice,” she reminds passengers. “Also, if you have dietary restrictions, either request a special meal or bring your own food.”
This, of course, assumes pre-ordering works.
Delta A321neos apparently lack sufficient oven space for enough meals for all First Class meals to be heated simultaneously. (Yes, what a wonderful #FirstWorldProblem we’re discussing!)
But if you can pre-order your meal, that’s the way to go. Barring that, be aware of FEBO — and bon appetit!
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