Frontier Erases Last Midwest Airlines Remnant: No More Warm Cookies Onboard

Memories of the fragrant smell of chocolate chip cookies baked onboard Midwest Airlines flights, a practice continued by Frontier Airlines when they bought the Milwaukee-based company, are about to waft into the past for good. Frontier announced recently that the complimentary cookies are going bye-bye.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel bids farewell to the beloved treat, reporting on a memo from Frontier officials to company employees. Instead of free, warm, gooey chocolate goodness, Frontier will offer Pepperidge farm Goldfish Crackers or Barnum’s Animal Crackers. Business class passengers will get the snacks for free, whereas the rest of steerage will have to pay $1.

Of course, no one (except for me, perhaps) makes decisions on which airline to fly based on cookies, said Frontier, and the expense just didn’t pay off for the airline. And hey, animal crackers go along adorably well with the animals on Frontier’s planes!

“Frontier is the only domestic low-cost carrier offering a free perishable snack to all customers, which does not align with either the perception or financial reality of the ultra low-cost business model,” said Daniel Shurz, senior vice president. “Removing the complimentary cookie is another step in our continued effort to make Frontier a sustainably profitable airline,” he said in the statement.

The cookies will continue to live on only as long as the inventory holds out until about May, on flights after 10:30 a.m. — so if they’re offered to you, gobble them up while you can.

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  1. Cat says:

    “Removing the complimentary cookie is another step in our continued effort to make air travel profitable, yet intolerable,” said Daniel Shurz, senior vice president, as he adjusted his monocle and lit a cigar with a fresh $100 bill.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      And afterward, strolled into the library to enjoy a glass of cognac while the wives cleaned up the kitchen and retired into their knitting room.

  2. scoosdad says:

    Removing a free cookie contributes to their sustainability and profitability?

    Boy, these guys run their business on the edge if that’s true. Sad.

    • consumed says:

      I hope they go out of business.

    • benminer says:

      I don’t know if you are aware of this or not but “small expense * many customers = big savings”. It’s the same thing when a car company replaces a $2 part with a $1 part, say for example the quality of plastic used in a unseen and unfelt plastic part. It makes little difference in price to the average customer, but when you multiply by all the customers it’s a huge savings.

  3. rmorin says:

    You have to wonder what the cost of offering the cookies was in both materials and workers time. You would think that something with a strong sensory (smell, taste) experience would make a really positive impression on people, whether conciously or not, and may be valuable for the company.

    • Patriot says:

      It looks like it didn’t cost them any more than $1 a ticket and probably much less.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I’m guessing it’s one of many cost-cutting measures but is just the most visible from the consumer’s stand point.

    • Coffee says:

      I was listening to some economists talking about this phenomenon with airlines. Snacks aren’t all that expensive to provide when you’re buying them in bulk, and when you have some sort of ritual that the customers enjoy – like a warm cookie – it would probably be in your best interests to bump the cost of the ticket by 25 cents because it’s so incrementally small that it won’t really affect ticket sales. Also, this kind of details are what make people think, “All things being roughly equally, which airline so I enjoy flying more?”

      • MrEvil says:

        Actually, the cookies may cost a bit more than you’re estimating. They’re baking them on the aircraft, and if they’re baking while in flight that means that the baking oven is using electricity provided by the engines.

        Still though, they could up the ticket price $5 a head and keep the cookies. Nobody would notice the $5 increase probably.

  4. HowardRoarksTSquare says:

    Well considering we are about to have mandated health-care, I don’t want people eating cookies anymore.

    • NaOH says:

      Can you elaborate on this?

      • HowardRoarksTSquare says:

        Well if the government can force us to all have health-care insurance premiums are going to go up because all of these people unfit for insurance (Fat/Diabetic/pre-existing conditions) will be requiring constant treatment.

        If I’m going to have to be in the same pool as these genetic rejects the least we can do is reduce the fast food, cookies and cake they devour.

        • TheGhostshark says:

          Don’t fat/diabetic/pre-existing condition people already require constant care, and their lack of insurance causes hospitals to jack up prices, which cause our premiums to go up?

          • HowardRoarksTSquare says:

            They can and should pay out of pocket.

            • The Porkchop Express says:

              should? yeah Can? not always.

              Everytime a “fat” person has a heart attack and goes the ER, they are treated prior to any payment being made, if there is no insurance, they may never pay. If they never pay, prices go up to cover those that don’t pay. If prices go up, insurance pays more. If insurance pays more, you pay more.

              This being the case, we are all going to pay more and more no matter what mandates are made. However, is it possible that if everybody has insurance and pays for it, some of the cost could actually go down or level out? I don’t know. probably not but hey, prices are going up anyway right?

        • FatLynn says:

          Sorry, but obese people actually cost LESS in healthcare over their entire lifespans, because they die earlier.

          • BorkBorkBork says:

            False:

            “Wasteful spending in the health system has been calculated at up to
            $1.2 trillion of the $2.2 trillion spent nationally, more than half of all
            health spending.

            The top three areas of wasted spending are defensive medicine ($210 •
            billion annually), inefficient claims processing (up to $210 billion annually),
            and care spent on preventable conditions related to obesity and
            overweight ($200 billion annually).”

            Source: The Price of Excess – PWC Health Research Institute (Note: 2008 Study, though Americans haven’t gotten any slimmer so I imagine the research is still relevant)

        • jrobie says:

          The one funny thing about the whole depressing health care debacle (Obama caving to Republican ideas, then having Republicans crucify him for implementing their ideas) is that mandating everyone buy from insurance companies is the first time in history Republicans have been opposed to a giveaway for giant corporations.

        • NaOH says:

          You people really are mad, aren’t you? Stark raving mad.

        • Conformist138 says:

          Actually, the mandate is to keep premiums lower by forcing healthy people who otherwise feel invincible (or have enough money that they don’t fear injury/illness as much) to . This is to offset the increases caused by people with preexisting conditions being covered.

          The idea is if we let in less healthy people because of the insane idea that letting people suffer and die or get buried in debt for medical expenses is pretty sick and wrong, but also make all the healthy uninsured also get covered, the overall impact is more even.

          However, it started as a conservative notion. Since we already have laws stating we don’t let people die during emergencies whether they can pay or have insurance or not, the idea is that these uninsured people are ultimately free-riders in the medical system. Making everyone get insurance is supposed to increase the number of people paying into the system and thus decreasing those getting something for free. It’s also a boon for private insurers, which isn’t something you’d usually consider very liberal. This is why Romney was fine with instituting a mandate in Massachusetts.

          It’s pretty interesting how the exact same idea can be made either radically left or radically right depending on how you spin it. It’s the same thing, but both liberals and conservatives have taken their turn suggesting a mandate and being angry about it.

          I don’t know how much I agree with it, to be honest, since I’m of the notion that insurance companies tend to add bloat and complications to our medical treatment while masking the true cost of care (the cost that the uninsured are expected to be able to pay), but the country is so scared of any kind of real public option that it will likely never happen.

        • ianmac47 says:

          Oh jesus fucking christ get over yourself. You pay for people’s emergency room visits through state funded charity care if they don’t have insurance but not if they don’t. Are you really that goddamn stupid? Do you really think there is some great government conspiracy working against you?

    • MeowMaximus says:

      More cookies for me!!

  5. Remarkable Melba Kramer says:

    Never flew their airline but did enjoy the warm cookies they would hand out at Royals games.

  6. j2.718ff says:

    I just bought a ticket to fly on Frontier… in June. What are my legal options? I want my cookie!

    • scoosdad says:

      From the press release:

      “Customers who purchased their tickets to fly on Frontier prior to today’s announcement will still receive their free delicious warm cookie on their flight. Customers purchasing tickets after today will have to put on their sad face as the flight attendant passes them by. Please note we will begin charging non-cookied customers for the privilege of inhaling the smell of our fresh-baked cookies on or about July 1st depending on the flight. Credit/debit cards only, no cash carried on board.”

  7. bender123 says:

    Midwest used to be the only airline I would fly…they were a little more expensive, but the service and perks far outweighed extra costs. Now I put Frontier somewhere near American and Unicycle as my least favorite ways to get from point a to point b.

    At some point, I hope these airlines realize all airlines are identical and the only differentiation is service and cost. Frontier meets neither of these.

    • binder34 says:

      Agreed completely. I have about a zillion frequent flyer miles left over from the Midwest days; I’d always go out of my way to fly Midwest, even if it cost a little more, because it really was worth it. Once the merger went through, there was a noticeable dropoff in quality, but I continued giving Frontier a chance for as long as possible. Then they discontinued service to the airport I flew into most frequently … and then, to the airport I flew into second-most frequently. Now, I’d have to go significantly out of my way to fly on a mediocre airline that’s still somehow generally more expensive than its competitors. Silly as it sounds, the cookies are the last straw; I won’t be giving them my business anymore.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      How DARE you disparage travel by unicycle in such an appalling manner!

    • majic2516 says:

      Those old days were great. I live in Milwaukee and Midwest’s direct routes to many of my destinations was awesome. I’m going to take a moment and reminisce.

    • TaraMisu says:

      I always used Midwest as I flew between CT and Milwaukee quite frequently. I so looked forward to my cookie but when Frontier took over I knew it was only a matter of time. RIP Midwest, you were a great airline.
      I have about 60K miles, can I sell them on eBay? /s

  8. penuspenuspenus says:

    Cool, was hoping this would come up. Midwest was really quite an airline, though I can understand how they were destined to fail. Huge leather seats (business class size) standard, fold down foot rests, and the cookie, all for a price that didn’t suck. There was no way they were going to make it.

    • jrobie says:

      I remember back when Midwest launched and it promised wide leather seats for all, fresh baked cookies and a free glass of champagne . . . sigh.

      • LoadStar says:

        Yup, a typical Midwest flight would have a nice meal served on real plates with real silverware wrapped in a real fabric napkin, with complimentary wine or champagne. One flight I had actual lobster served to me. And this wasn’t first class – it was the *only* class available. Even a non-meal flight would have a light snack like a decent sized fresh fruit plate, fresh bagels with cream cheese and lox, and the like.

        The fact that they’re even bothering to offer animal crackers or goldfish crackers is a joke… it’s a bigger joke that they’re positioning them as a replacement for the cookie, and an absolute laugh riot that they’re going to try to charge $1 for them.

        On behalf of everyone in Milwaukee, I say to Frontier: screw you too.

    • Jevia says:

      Their problem was lack of service to more areas. I would have flown on Frontier if they flew where I needed to go out of Philly.

  9. j2.718ff says:

    How much do the cookies really cost? If my flight is offered at similar prices by different airlines, I might just remember those cookies, and book with that one.

    These days, the only difference from one airline to the next is the color they paint their airplanes. I’m not saying a lost cookie is the end of the world, but it does remove one last bit of character that made one airline different from the rest.

  10. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Last straw, goddamn it. Time to revolt.

  11. ash says:

    I think this was a tremendous mistake. I remember the warm cookies on Midwest airlines since I was a child, same as many other fliers in the Midwest region. Those cookies are pretty much the only notable thing about Frontier. Airlines are trying to cut costs but this hurts their brand image more than it’s worth

  12. dourdan says:

    “Business class passengers will get the snacks for free, whereas the rest of steerage will have to pay $1″

    and credit cards only, right? because it’s for our convience.

    i used midwest airlines for 2 years and the cookies were a nice treat (offered on ALL flights even the 20 minute milwakee to madison flight) where i did not have to pull out a credit card and hand it over for just 1 snack.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      Absolutely for our convenience. Paying with cash is a colossal nuisance (making change, etc.). Much, MUCH faster to just swipe and move on.

  13. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    It’s an airplane, not a bakery. If you want a cookie, buy one at the airport, or on the way to the airport. All food-related apparatus should be removed from airplanes because it is all ridiculous. Bring your own sandwich.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      Just be sure not to put too much mayo on it, it it might be confiscated by the TSA for violating the restrictions on liquids.

      /s

    • j2.718ff says:

      It depends on the situation. There have been times that I figured the 2 hour layover would be more than enough time to find some food at the airport. But due to flight delays, I’m running at full speed to get from one plane to the next. I’m in the air, it’s dinner time, and I still haven’t had lunch.

    • Snoofin says:

      I agree. an airplane is a mode of transportation to get you from one place to another. Unless the flight is more than 5 hours or so, there should be no food offered. Flying is meant to be a form of transportation, not an adventure or night on the town. You dont see people being offered fresh baked cookies and hot meals on a bus or in a taxi.

      • jrobie says:

        Intercity buses in Turkey have two-man crews of uniformed stewards who bring you snacks, tea and cologne during the journey.

    • pamelad says:

      Pre-paid, pre-ordered meals should be offered on flights longer than two hours. I really think one reason so many passengers are grumpy and rude is that they’re hungry!

      Considering the time of getting to the airport and through security or changing planes, luggage checkout, etc. flight time can add to quite a few previous hours of no food. The flight itself should be a time to relax and enjoy the book, movie, work project, window views — and meal. But a lot of people like me will choose to fly hungry rather than adding an additional hassle to flying by carrying on food. (At least I try not to be grumpy and rude.)

      I believe an airline could distinguish itself by offering the option of decent, and I mean decent, meals and make a nice little profit as a bonus.

      I’ve never flown Frontier or Midwest, but sorry to see the cookies go. I know if I had in the past, and schedules and prices were somewhat equal, I’d remember the pleasant smell and taste of the cookie and choose Frontier over another airline. I wouldn’t pay $20 for a cookie, but I would gladly pay an extra $20 for a more pleasant experience.

    • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

      No. And fuck you.

  14. suez says:

    I used to fly with MidWest and then Frontier, but since they stopped servicing Green Bay, WI and Appleton, WI, they no longer make sense for me to use. The next nearest airports, Madison and Milwaukee, are a good 150 miles each way from where I need to go. This does not make me happy–I used to LOVE these guys!

  15. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Screw them. I always bring my own snacks. I can buy Barnum’s animal crackers or better yet, bring my own cookies.

    I was really glad I do that one time when I got stuck at B2 at DFW at night waiting for a crew to arrive so we could leave, with the closest food two miles down the concourse.

  16. RandomMutterings says:

    Nooooooo! That was the only thing nice about going to Omaha from DC.

  17. shinseiromeo says:

    scoosdad, did I read that right?! Credit cards/debit cards only?! So they’re eliminating free cookies to charge people $1 with the swipe of a credit card…

    So uh… who thought this through? What about the merchant fees to Visa/MC?

  18. Jason Litka says:

    Actually, I DID choose my airlines based on the overall experience. Yes, Midwest had better seats and more legroom, but they were also more expensive than everyone else. The reason I flew them was the attitude of their staff and the cookies.

    The first time my wife flew Midwest she completely flipped as they handed her a warm cookie. She said then that she always wanted to fly Midwest if she could.

    Frontier sucks! I want my cookies back!

  19. erratapage says:

    No way will I ever fly Frontier again. There is always another airline that is almost equal in price, and the last time I flew Frontier, it was a nightmare! I couldn’t get a seat assignment until I showed up at the airport, and then, when I did show up at the airport, I was told by the ticket agent that I would have to talk to a gate agent to get my seat assignment changed. Forget actually trying to sit next to my husband (something we don’t expect these days, actually)! I’d just had abdominal surgery, and couldn’t even imagine sitting in a right sided aisle seat, with the flight attendants rolling their carts down the aisle, having to get up and down ten times to suit my seatmates, and having to dodge all the passengers running towards the bathroom. I asked three gate agents for a change, and in order to get the change, I had to lift my shirt, and show my surgical incisions. Miraculously, that did it. Of course, I also think the pilot really put us in a dangerous situation by flying into Denver during a windstorm. There was a sharp drop that scared everyone on board… and the pilot’s landing was less than straight. I’m sure he showed great skill in getting us down in those circumstances, but this is one time I would have gladly experienced a flight delay.

    I don’t book a flight based on cookies alone, but if I were given a choice between my two least favorite airlines (United and Frontier), I used to take Frontier, because at least they had cookies. Now, I’ll take United, so long as I can avoid Chicago.

  20. philpm says:

    My one experience with Frontier was a red-eye out of Anchorage to Denver, then home from there. Sitting in a 737 with 3 seats a side on a 6 hour night flight was not my idea of fun.

    I loved Midwest. I got to fly them on a couple of business trips, and really enjoyed the extra room and the cookies. The 717’s were by far the nicest planes I’ve flown on. I really miss having them around.

  21. DanC922 says:

    Most airlines are mostly equal, so when price is basically the same, small things like cookies push me over the line. I loved Frontier’s cookies, but now there’s little to differentiate them from other airlines for me. I choose my international airline (price being the same) and give them my thousands of dollars based on the fact that they give me as many drinks (alcohol included) as I want without charging me extra like others.

  22. dush says:

    No more cookie, why should people use that airline then? How does a lack of customers promote a sustainably profitable company?