Delta’s customer service reputation took another knock this week when the internet blew up over… a napkin? While it’s common for airlines to use branded napkins because, well, money, the new Diet Coke napkins Delta has been handing out on flights in the US are a little different.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 6, 2019
The napkins encourage mile high flirtation, with a message on one side which reads:
“Because you’re on a plane full of interesting people and hey… you never know.”
On the other side, there’s dedicated space to write down your name and number, accompanied by another message reading:
“Be a little old school. Write down your number & give it to your plane crush. You never know…”
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, some would say this is kinda sweet and a little bit funny. But, as expected, there are some who find the notion behind the napkins just plain creepy.
This latest faux pas comes just days after Delta were accused of discrimination by a deaf couple travelling on the airline.
Although not many passengers were that keen to hand out their numbers (probably none at all), many failed to see the funny side of the promotion.
A torrent of complaints have rained down on social, with users branding them ‘creepy AF’.
Hey @Delta and @CocaCola These napkins are creepy AF. Pretty sure no one appreciated unsolicited phone numbers in the ‘good old days’ and they sure as heck don’t want the number of someone who has been gawking at them on a plane for hours today. Not a good look. pic.twitter.com/PJAiurFRMh
— ducksauz (@ducksauz) January 21, 2019
— Mike J (@MJJoe) February 1, 2019
However, a whole lot of people did find it funny, claiming the complainers were just babies who would get up in arms about literally anything.
— Ben Starling III (@benstarling3) February 1, 2019
The death of humor.
Born in 10,000 BC, died in 2018. It was a good run!
— PK (@pjk01141969) February 6, 2019
God forbid people actually talk to each other! Put an end to it immediately!
— Rikard Rodin (@zevendesign) February 7, 2019
Lord people are babies. God forbid anyone attempt to meet someone new, or attempt humor.
— Josh Condo (@J_Condo) February 7, 2019
Some even pointed out that our usual methods of meeting new people are far creepier in comparison:
I’m lost. What is creepy about giving your crush your #? Perhaps they are interested. Using an online dating service is 10X creepier.
— To Pimp a Nation (@topimpanation) February 7, 2019
Delta and Coke apologise for causing offence
Since the deluge of complaints have emerged, both Delta and Coke have apologised for any offence being caused.
“We rotate Coke products regularly as part of our brand partnership, but missed the mark with this one,” Delta Air Lines said in the statement to USA TODAY. https://t.co/tlBPN67tGR
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 7, 2019
“We rotate Coke products regularly as part of our brand partnership, but missed the mark with this one. We are sorry for that and began removing the napkins from our aircraft in January.”
Coca Cola shared similar sentiments, releasing a statement which read:
“We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended. We worked with our partners at Delta to begin removing the napkins last month and are replacing them with other designs.”
Both companies have said they intend to replace the offending napkins with plain old Diet Coke branded versions, as would normally be found on Delta flights.
However, not everyone thinks an apology was even necessary:
Delta – You approved the idea so, stand up stay committed!
Grow some hair…
— Mike Nelson (@Mike1313) February 7, 2019
#delta #coke The napkins are fine. I’m 57 years old and don’t understand why your perfectly appropriate attempt to get people to actually interact with each other outside of their phones is viewed by #snowflakes as #creepynapkins Explaining is great but please don’t apologize.
— Todd Bernstein (@toddbernstein) February 7, 2019
It’s great that Delta are responding fast to the criticism, but Simple Flying can’t help feeling this is all a bit of a storm in a teacup (or Coke can maybe). Come on people, it’s a napkin for goodness sake.
What do you make of the social media rage brought on by the Delta napkins? Tell us in the comments!