Which Would You Prefer When Delayed: Pizza or a Meal Voucher?

How do you feel about Delta Air Lines serving pizza to passengers at an airport gate during irregular operations? Better yet, how do you feel about me using a photograph of a pizza which has nothing to do with this article but I felt like featuring a photograph by a fellow FlyerTalk member? Photograph by FlyerTalk member teflon. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by teflon.

In recent months, there have been reports of delayed passengers of Delta Air Lines being served pizza at the gate at airports within the United States.

At first, FlyerTalk members were lauding Delta Air Lines pertaining to this new policy — but it was apparently at the expense of meal vouchers during irregular operations. Those meal vouchers — typically good for ten dollars or so worth of food at certain vendors within the airport — have reportedly since been eliminated

…but then FlyerTalk members started reporting the disadvantages of this new policy. What if you are in a Sky Club airport lounge which is located far away from the gate where the pizza is being served? Do you only get one slice? Two slices? Should the class of service in which you are assigned a seat aboard the aircraft make a difference as to whether or not you get to eat the pizza first? What if you do not like to eat pizza? Even worse is what if you cannot eat pizza due to dietary restrictions?

If it is true that “most everybody loves a convivial pizza, even under unfortunate circumstances”, then count me out, as I am among the minority.

Do not get me wrong — despite the fact that I do not like cheese, I absolutely enjoy a great pizza. I know this sounds cheesy; but being originally from Brooklyn, I am a self-proclaimed upper-crust pizza “snob” who is ultra-particular about the pizza I eat, so I expect you to slice into me with your comments. There are few pizzas outside of Brooklyn that can compare, in my opinion. That is not to say that I am a pizza expert — I am simply picky about the pizza which I choose to eat.

If it is pizza from some chain of restaurants, I will most likely pass.

It is difficult to explain my rationale; so please allow me to use the following two videos to illustrate.

In the first video — here is a link to it in case you cannot see it below — notice what brand of pizza reporter Bill Liss of WXIA-TV in Atlanta is eating 14 seconds into the video:

…and then watch this video with Jon Stewart of The Daily Show — again, here is a link to the video in case you cannot see it below — with his hilarious commentary on how to eat pizza like a true New Yorker and watch what brand of pizza appears starting at the 1:02 point into the video:

 

Although I never watch The Daily Show, I can absolutely relate with the commentary by Jon Stewart about eating pizza in New York as a New Yorker. The slice of pizza from which he took a bite looked pretty darn good to me, too. I just wonder how he avoided having the oil dripping from the slice of pizza after he folded it. Perhaps it congealed after sitting under his desk for too long a period of time?

“Works great for the people who are lactose intolerant or with other food allergies and get no choice in the matter”, posted FlyerTalk member RacingJunkie. “Just give out the damn vouchers and let people deal with it themselves.”

Perhaps FlyerTalk member readywhenyouare is predicting the future with this comment: “I’m betting a year from now the gate agents will just give each passenger a two pack of crackers, a packet of ketchup, and a packet of imitation Parmesan cheese. Delta can spin it off as a ‘Create Your Own Pizza’ party during delays.”

If I had a choice, I would prefer the meal voucher instead of pizza. While the amount for each meal voucher was usually not exactly enough to gorge on a banquet for irregular operations of a domestic flight within the United States, it sufficed for me. Most importantly to me was that at least I had a choice of what to eat — and from where.

I know, I know: if I really want a choice, skip the pizza and just go buy whatever food I want at the airport. I can hear someone saying that now. Or, perhaps I should be happy that an airline even offers anything to eat at all when irregular operations occur, as suggested by FlyerTalk member SRQRoadWarrior: “Geez…people complain about everything. I would be thrilled if they gave me Pizza during an IROP. I am not picky. Unless I am missing something, is DL required to do anything during an IROP?” I know — it is my fault for being so picky and particular about pizza. Fine. I will accept that responsibility…

…and I do get the fact that if each pizza cost 15 dollars to feed four passengers — assuming each passengers consumes two slices — it is less costly than handing out vouchers good for ten dollars in food for a total of $40.00. Multiply that by 20, 30 or even 50 times per flight and the cost differential can really add up — that is, if the airline actually pays retail price for the food…

…which I doubt but do not know for certain — but is “this kind of cheapness and poor treatment from a very profitable company is going to lead to EU-style regulations for mechanical delays” as according to FlyerTalk member us2? Is Delta Air Lines “being penny-wise and pound foolish here”?

Anyway, those are simply my opinions. Now it is your turn to express your thoughts.

Which would you prefer: pizza or a meal voucher whenever you experience irregular operations as a passenger of an airline — and why? Should the policy be different for international flights than for domestic flights within the United States? What do you believe the procedure should be for passengers assigned to a seat in the premium class cabin versus those assigned to a seat in the economy class cabin?

Comments (Showing 3 of 3)

  • TaipeiWang at 10:05pm May 27, 2014

    article is way too long

  • ANC at 5:05pm May 29, 2014

    Alaska Airlines been known to give out free pizza. Obviously thats why DL started to do it

  • RSSrsvp at 5:23am May 30, 2014

    If someone was lactose intolerant that would rather have the meal voucher.

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