Cookie Monsters: an open letter to The Delta Gourmet Center

Following is my actual message to Delta Airlines:

“Dear Delta Culinary Gurus,
Recently flying on a Northwest flight to Wisconsin, I was pleased to not only receive some food in coach – these days on domestic airlines, that gets an audible “wow!” – but to get two tiny morsels of sustenance from the kind and gracious hand of Delta.
The peanuts were, well, peanuts – an airline staple. But this other little red pack of “Biscoff” looked like it might actually provide some pleasure to my tastebuds. After all, it was labelled as being from the Delta “Gourmet Center” -a title which is surely reviewed and bestowed by Michelin. (Forgive me – I jest. Let me get to my point.)
Anyway, having just returned from summer vacation with no tan, and five extra pounds, the anal little killjoy in my head suggested I had best check the calorie, fat and sugar information on these delicious smelling little morsels (I had copped a whiff from the guy next to me by now). But there is not a nutritional tidbit to be found. Instead, on the side
of the pack it tells me “Call or write for nutritional information”.

How, pray, tell, should I do that from seat 3D in a CRJ over Lake Michigan?

By aviation rules I am not permitted to email or make a call, so are you telling me that the nuts are for on board, but I am meant to wait to eat the biscuits until we land, and I can wait for an email back?

I notice you have found room on the package to show the words Delta, SkyMiles or your logo 8 times – perhaps thats a bit redundant given I am on your plane, being served by your staff, reading your magazine and have a Delta napkin as a coaster. At this point, your brand is painfully obvious to me. Painfully!! You even to try to sell me more biscuits with a special SkyMiles offer taking up half the back of the pack. I dont think the airline industry’s finances are going to
be turned around on cookie sales alone, so maybe you could give up some of that space to show, oh I don’t know, the calorie count for example?
Or here is a suggestion if you really need all those logos and offers on the pack: take a few column inches of space and add the info to the fine print in the back of your “Sky” magazine. At least I could access that at the time I can consume the cookies.
I look forward to receiving the nutritional information to find out how much damage I did that day, and also to your comments on my suggestions for remedying this embarrassing packaging guffaw.

Frequent Delta/NorthWest Flyer and Waistline Watcher”


So I could leave off here, but the response was even funnier. I received the bizarre response that they needed my flight date, flight number, ticket number — in order to respond to a request about cookie packaging???? WTF?!?!?

But I obliged, and at this point it got really weird! Because of the “unsatisfactory quality of my meal” they sent me a $50 travel voucher. But I never said the meal was unsatisfactory! Just their packaging!! I will not accept payment for my silence… so I had to reply:

> Hi Jenny,
> Let me just say firstly, thankyou for the ticket voucher, which was
> not at all required. Very kind of you.
> However, I am entirely dissatisfied by this response.
> Your message apologizes for the “unsatisfactory quality” of my meal.
> Firstly, you are using the term “meal” very loosely. But more
> importantly, the quality of my “meal” was fine. The information about it
> was the problem. I very clearly asked for some information in my
> response: the nutritional info for the Biscoff biscuits that you
> provide on your flights.
> So, voucher or no voucher, I consider this response entirely
> unsatisfactory as you don’t seem to have read my initial request very
> well at all. I am left wondering if Jenny M James is even a real
> person or if this is some computer algorithm looking for certain text
> and responding automatically. Very dissapointing.

Finally, after this email (my fifth back to them), I got a simple, reasonable answer, with the nutrutional info I wanted. It’s a sign of the times that now you have to call into question the humanity of your customer service agent to get a proper answer.

But at least now I know that I can happily eat those cookies when I book a flight with that voucher!! Only 120 calories – nice.


One Response to “Cookie Monsters: an open letter to The Delta Gourmet Center”

  1. Thank you,
    very interesting article

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