Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Delivering a Smile (and a Treat)

"A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand."

If there is one thing in this world I love more than traveling, it's chocolate. So anyone who combines those two is a winner in my book. Obviously most hotels place that glorious piece of chocolate on your pillow when the turn-down service comes to the room, creating an ever-so-delightful surge of joy when you return after a long day. But other than that, what is there?

I'll tell you what...the sweet, delicious aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies wafting through an airplace cabin at 30,000 feet. That's right, you guessed it. The famous Midwest Airlines cookies! Since the mid 80s these moist, chocolatey morsels have become a staple of the airline. They are a symbol of the service Midwest wants to deliver to its flyers. And while every other airline is charging an inflated amount of money for sweets and snacks during a flight, Midwest is sticking with the complimentary cookie. It's a way to say thank you and give flyers a mid-air boost. Also, the cookies have set Midwest apart from other airlines. They are known as the airline that gives you cookies. And if something as little as a cookie can draw customers, why not do it?
Doubletree hotels also join Midwest on the cookie bandwagon. They have been giving fresh chocolate chip cookies to hotel guests as they check in since the early 80s. They make sure that cookies are available 24 hours a day. It is unclear how the cookies really affect the happiness of the customer, but most people seem to appreciate the generous favor. Doubletree wants to emphasize that their hotels and services are warm, personal, and inviting--just like a cookie.
I have not taken a Midwest flight since I was in college, but my experience was definitely improved by those two warm chocolate chip cookies melting in my mouth. The flight was made even better when the flight attendant--clearly seeing my elation as I devoured the delectable sweets--offered me another two because someone else had not wanted theirs. How could I say no?
It's the little things, like complimentary cookies, that make the stresses and annoyances of travel fade--even if it's just for a tasty, chocolatey moment.

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