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…
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.
- This oddly worded Delta napkin is confusing and worrying passengers (Travel & Leisure)
- These confusingly worded Delta napkins are creeping people out (Thrillist)
- Delta freaked out its passengers with oddly-worded napkins that appeared to have a dark message (Business Insider)
- Delta napkin with ‘strange wording’ prompts confusion on Twitter: ‘Who let this get past draft stages?’ (Fox News)
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:
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