Northwest Airlines must realize their food is crappier than a snack size tin of Pringles because when Stephen Dubner (of the Freakonomics book and blog) tried to swap his 1st/Business class hot meal for a tin of lowly coach Pringles, he was told that it would cost him $2—the coach price.
So I told the flight attendant “no thanks” to the dinner — but instead, I said, I would like a can of the Pringles that, as I’d heard over the P.A., were being offered for sale in coach.
She looked surprised — maybe she didn’t know how delicious Pringles are? — and then replied, “Well, I’ll have to charge you for that. It’ll be two dollars.”
I agreed to pay — I really, really like Pringles when the mood strikes — but I thought it was pretty odd that a company would take a customer who had bought a premium version of its product and then, when said customer wants to substitute a can of potato-ish chips for the hot meal that comes for free with the premium version of the product, require him to pay $2.
Obviously, Dubner’s mistake is to assume that the hot meal was the “premium” product. No, just kidding. It’s weird. They should have offered to trade his uneaten meal with some poor starving person back in coach who had reluctantly paid $2 for Pringles and was just sitting back there staring at them, trying to hold back the tears. —MEGHANN MARCO