We've all learned that rage is useless when it comes to airline delays. We can wail all we want about being stuck in a crowded plane parked on the tarmac for hours on end, but all that gets us is a visit from the Sky Marshal.
As such mind-deadening delays increase, our ability to fight them decreases. Passengers develop Stockholm Syndrome, meekly begging our captors for an extra pack of peanuts to help our broken bodies pull through the remaining four hours before takeoff.
Airlines can't fix this, so they do the next best thing: exploit it for their PR benefit. And cheaply!
As Little League coaches know, buying the adoration of a large group of people is as easy as ordering a few pizzas. On August 17, two Delta flights diverted to and stranded in the forlorn Syracuse airport put that knowledge to work, ordering pizzas for passengers to eat while they waited.
And oh my, was their loyalty easily bought. "I couldn't believe how well I was being treated," a passenger told The New York Times (pizza buying is now Times-worthy).
"The flight attendants kept saying...we're all in this together," another gushed.
Except flight attendants get paid to be there, while the customers do the opposite. But as long as a large pepperoni is less expensive than a new air traffic control system, the pizza pacification strategy will surely persist.
PR Play Rating
3. On the right track