Home Airlines Delta: The Airline That Sees Your Point (But Doesn’t Do Anything About The Problem)

Delta: The Airline That Sees Your Point (But Doesn’t Do Anything About The Problem)

by SharonKurheg

We were flying home from Frankfurt to JFK, then from JFK to Orlando. Delta all the way. We had Delta One seats on the first leg, so we were relatively comfortable and taken care of. I don’t remember when during the flight it happened, but when I got some snack or drink, I also got this…

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As soon as I saw the napkin, it all came back to me. Delta started using these napkins last summer – July/August or so. And, well, not surprisingly, a lot of social media had a lot to say about it.

I totally understood peoples’ issues with the napkins. In fact, at first glance I totally saw “The World Is Better Without You In It,” which is a little jarring, coming from an airplane napkin. But after a second glance, I saw it as it was supposed to be seen and just took it as a, “you read it wrong, nitwit.” But frankly, I’d be concerned if someone with some mental health issues saw it “the wrong way,” you know?

Anyway, besides the articles over the summer about the napkins, some passengers took to Twitter at the time, to ask about the unusual saying on them. Delta did reply to at least one person:

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And that’s where I may or may not have my own issues with the napkins.

It’s been over 5 months since this brouhaha started. Delta has nearly 200 million passengers per year. Figure a minimum of 1 napkin per customer, for almost 6 months. To make things easy, let’s say they would have gone through 100,000,000 napkins by now.

How many of these napkins did they originally produce, that they’re still being given out?

Or did they order the same napkins since, despite their being “dark,” “confusing,” and “distressingly easy to misread”?

Now, I get it. In my adult life I’ve worked as a travel blogger, for a non-profit arts organization, in retail, and, for 23 years, as an occupational therapist, 11 of which were in a psychiatric ward. I know you can’t make everyone happy all of the time and you can’t bow to every whim.

That being said, continuing to have a napkin that many people misread as “The world is better without you in it” can potentially be taken the wrong way by passengers who have mental health issues, regardless of what Delta’s “hope” was, in terms of celebrating people going out and exploring the world. So why are they still using them???

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


chris January 3, 2020 - 6:22 pm

It’s not delta’s fault our kids now are failing at both Math and English.

Lance January 4, 2020 - 12:19 am

If a napkin triggers you, then there are bigger issues that Delta can’t help solve.

SharonKurheg January 4, 2020 - 10:50 am

You’re absolutely right. But as a company with a focus on service for people, you’d think they’d be a little more…people friendly. I’m not saying to offer a psychiatrist, a couch and some meds, but a napkin that can be viewed as a disturbingly negative comment certainly isn’t necessary and could easily be changed, just in the name of good will.

DeLynn January 4, 2020 - 7:50 am

Maybe people should learn to read with discretion-their lack thereof is not Delta’s fault. Once one reads it correctly it’s a wonderful message- and yes I had to read it several times to understand what the angst was about.

Brian Cohen January 4, 2020 - 2:22 pm

This has been going on for way more than 5 months, Sharon — more like 20 months.

I first reported about this napkin back on Wednesday, May 30, 2018:


SharonKurheg January 4, 2020 - 2:34 pm

OK. Even more of a pity that they haven’t fixed it.

Brian Cohen January 4, 2020 - 4:11 pm

My guess is that they printed a boatload of napkins and didn’t want them to go to waste, so…

SharonKurheg January 4, 2020 - 6:01 pm

(in my best Dr. Evil voice) “I want 100 MILLION napkins…..”

David Lockburn January 4, 2020 - 5:53 pm

It created hype. That’s the entire point. Delta’s ad agency I’m sure is extremely capable. Grammatically, the phrase is correct but perhaps awkward, making all of us reread it and, for some, overreact.

Glass is too big not half full or empty January 9, 2020 - 11:41 pm

I think we all need to stop worrying about what could be mis-read and actually read it for what it says. Anything can be easily mis-read or mis-interpreted by anyone. People focus too much on the negative side and not the positive now a days.


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