After decades of the standard operating procedure for all airlines being "leave passengers on the runway until they contemplate cannibalism," Delta finally asked the question "what if we tried doing the absolute bare minimum?"
We are sitting on a runway stuck on a @Delta flight because of weather. So they're throwing us a pizza party! pic.twitter.com/QO0ntZvs4I
— Riley Vasquez (@RileyVasquez) May 26, 2015
Due to severe weather, a Delta flight from Philadelphia to Atlanta had to make a landing in Knoxville, TN and wait for several hours before continuing. That's when something unusual happened: the crew ordered pizza for the passengers. These are the moments brands are built from. That moment when you establish yourself as being slightly less of an inhuman monster than your competitors. That moment when you say, "We here at Delta may not have our shit together in terms of getting flights out on time, keeping track of your luggage, or having the (paid) snacks and wi-fi we promised, but we'll do what we can to prevent mass murder from happening on our stranded planes. And what we can do is order pizza."
Delta continues with class. Stuck due to weather and the crew ordered everyone pizza. #deltaairlines pic.twitter.com/yMeBCFF0qL
— Bill Wittenmyer (@BillyTheKidWitt) May 26, 2015
That's not actually what they said, of course. A spokesperson spoke to CNN about the pizza party: "It's part of an effort company-wide when weather disrupts our operation to get food and beverages to delayed customers." Frankly, the way I phrased it was clearer.
Well my @Delta pizza party pic is going viral right now. Here's a couple more shots of our #deltapizzaparty pic.twitter.com/2T9MxLrpN7
— Riley Vasquez (@RileyVasquez) May 27, 2015
Clearly, both from the passengers' perspective and that of Delta's brand image, this has been a smashing success. The images have gone viral (as opposed to, say, an angry passenger live-tweeting the delay), all for the cost of a stack of pizzas.
@RileyVasquez That is AWESOME! We're so excited we were able to turn your unexpected stop into a party. Enjoy the inflight entertainment!— Delta (@Delta) May 27, 2015
Way to go, Delta. This in no way improves the fundamental aspects of your business, but the next time I need to fly and I'm not in a hurry, I'll pick you guys and hope for a thunderstorm. One question: this pizza "party" (really stretching the term) was due to weather. If the delay is due to scheduling or maintenance problems, do passengers still get pizza or would that be admitting too much responsibility?