Dear American Airlines:
I’m writing in hopes that you will mail me the super tiny little bag of peanuts that I did not receive on my recent flight from Texas to North Carolina. I realize these are hard times with your 2014 net profit of $942 million, but can I please have my super tiny little bag of peanuts? I’m not a mathematician, but here are some numbers I’d like to share and crunch with you:
124—the number of seats on the Airbus A319. All occupied.
410—the cost in U.S. dollars of my ticket.
8—the number of ice cubes served in my orange juice.
.5—the weight in ounces of a super tiny little bag of peanuts.
If all the passengers paid my ticket price, then American Airlines pocketed a healthy $50,840. Are you telling me that within that amount, you can’t afford to serve us even one super tiny little bag of peanuts per passenger? How much can these peanuts really cost? 10 cents tops? And if that expense is really breaking you at the bank, then charge us a dime so you can at least break even. You could get really sneaky and hide the 10 cents in our ticket price. (Your flight to North Carolina will be $410.10)
Could it be your peanut expenses are so exorbitant because you buy premium peanuts that are exclusively grown atop some mountain in some remote region of the planet that it costs an arm and a leg to have them harvested and transported by exotic alpacas to a heavily, security-patrolled packaging and distribution center? Or can you not afford to serve super tiny little bags of peanuts because of their massive payload?
More math: 124 bags of peanuts (1 per passenger) = 62 ounces. Whoa!! Talk about messing with an aircraft’s fuel economy! And the stress those super tiny little bags must put on the food & beverage trucks that deliver the peanuts to the planes. Just imagining that will blow your mind! Think about the wear and tear that the tires of those trucks must endure. No doubt, I’m sure all food truck operators are highly trained to detect low tire pressure and signs of impending tire failure.
I can certainly sympathize with your payload concerns. My orange juice had eight ice cubes. A weight of at least four times that of a super tiny little bag of peanuts. Multiply those ice cubes by the number of drinks served and we are looking at some pretty serious combined weight. An argument alone that puts to rest any discussion regarding whether or not American Airlines can handle peanut payload. The ice cubes have maxed out all complimentary food and beverage weight allowances.
A month before my flight to North Carolina, I flew from Texas to Michigan on Delta Airlines on a very similar sized airplane. And guess what? We ate like complimentary kings!
My conversation with the female flight attendant went pretty much like this:
FA: Sir, would you like a snack?
Me: Well, sure! What’s cookin’?
FA: We have cookies, pretzels, and America’s favorite: super tiny little bags of peanuts.
Me: Wow! A smorgasbord! I’ll take a super tiny little bag of peanuts.
FA: Would you like more than one bag? Like two or three?
She had golden hair cascading like warm sunshine onto her shoulders. Her eyes were as blue as the waters of Grand Cayman. And she had a smile as happy as Christmas morning.
Me: Please, shower me with super tiny little bags of peanuts!!
The reality is that while Delta Airlines is successfully acquiring customer satisfaction, American is gambling on the hopes that their strategy of offering only complimentary drinks and ice cubes will appease its passengers.
To that, all I can say is: American Airlines, your head is truly stuck in the clouds. It’s time to get grounded and reacquaint yourself with your passengers. You are merely one tiny little bag away from seeing the big picture.
Copyright Ros Hill 2015