Delta Airlines recently received backlash over failing to provide ample snacks during tarmac delays. The USA Today article “DOT: Delta fined $90,000 for lack of snacks during tarmac delays” highlights the incident. The amount of money they have to pay is staggering, but the incident happened more than once last July. Four planes leaving out of New York and Atlanta were stated to be at fault. USA Today explains that water was provided on each of the four delays, but snacks were not distributed for the almost three hours the plane remained on the tarmac.
In the event of a PR crisis, big or small, it seems required theses days to release a statement. Delta released a statement following the fine announcement stating that they “regret about how snacks were distributed, but said the airline strives to provide food and water during delays.” This is interesting because the article explains that only one of the four planes gave passengers snacks while the door of the plane was still open. The other three didn’t receive anything other than water.
Delta also released a four-page consent order following the investigation. This consent stated that none of the delays lasted longer than three hours without allowing passengers to get off the plane. This was important to include because had they not done this, they would have violated the law.
Their public statement ended by saying “We strive to provide food and water during extended delays because that’s the level of excellent customer service we are known for and not simply because it is required by regulation.” This is funny because while they like to think they have great customer service, they are known for some of the worst in the industry. Of course they would never admit that so it was good to include this in their public statement.
This particular article caught my eye because the story generated so much attention and Delta was force to pay a decently large fine over snacks. Airline delays cause passengers to be extremely unhappy and upset so it is obvious that airlines should do whatever they can to keep them happy. It definitely generates poor attention for the company that they were so stingy over passing out a bag of pretzels. Delta’s statement was a customary and good PR practice. Moving forward, Delta will likely pass out pretzels to save $90,000 and another small PR crisis.