What Is It?

Volume 7, Issue 35; 07 Mar 2004; last modified 08 Oct 2010

The question is: what’s in the packet? I’ll post the answer in a day or two. No spoilers, please.

Package of ???A few years ago, I was flying from Seattle to San Francisco and my flight was cancelled. American put me on an Alaska Airlines flight.

I was amazed (and offended) by the Christian message on the napkins. I’ve forgotten the message and I won’t fly Alaska Airlines again if I can avoid it. For the most part, I think your faith is your business and my faith is mine. I think it’s unnacceptable for a business, especially one with a captive audience, to proselytize. I don’t want prayer in school or “In God We Trust” on the currency, either.

Given that little rant, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I was equally amazed by the packet I found in my snack on Brussels Airlines. It’s pictured over there on the right.

It took me a moment or two, even after I’d turned the packet over, to get it and stop being offended. As advertising campaigns go, I’m pretty sure it would be controversial in the United States. I’m sure it’s as offensive to some as the napkins where to me. And I wouldn’t want to try to defend its patronizing tone.

Nevertheless, the question is: what’s in the packet? I’ll post the answer in a day or two. No spoilers, please.


I know! I know!

—Posted by Thijs van der Vossen on 08 Mar 2004 @ 05:28 UTC #

Not looking for a holy war but just respectfully disagree with your rant. As a private entity a business has every right to proselytize as it wants. You have a right to choose not to patronize them just as I have a right to choose to.

As for the packet. My guess is tranquilizers?

—Posted by Darren Petrie on 08 Mar 2004 @ 05:37 UTC #

"Ask the Pilot" over at Salon had a recent column on various forms of religous speech by airlines: http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2004/02/27/askthepilot76/index.html.

Alaska gets dinged on this quite often, and has a stock answer that's even more offensive than the Bible quote.

I was amused by this business-like, brief prayer suggested to the devout by Malaysian Airlines: "O Allah, facilitate our journey and let us cover its distance quickly." It's topical and to the point.

However, since all airlines are cutting back on cabin service, you probably don't have to worry about getting a Bible verse with your peanuts and soda unless you're traveling in first class.

My opinion on this is that it's bad business sense to piss off your passengers.

—Posted by Bill Humphries on 08 Mar 2004 @ 09:29 UTC #

Darren's got a point. Businesses are free to do as they please and I get to choose which businesses I support. There are several that I go out of my way to support and several that I actively boycott. I can add businesses that choose to proselytize to my boycott list if I want.

The Alaska Airlines bothered me more than most because at 30,000 feet, I really wasn't in a position to "walk out." That was the genesis of my comment about a captive audience.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 09 Mar 2004 @ 08:44 UTC #

Ecstacy pills? Take one and you're talking to girls. But two...

—Posted by Andrew on 11 Mar 2004 @ 09:30 UTC #

Oh, I just figured it meant "Stigmata help you pick up chicks, but too many and you'll die and go to Heaven. Or two means you're ascending directly to Heaven, like Jesus. I'm not sure."

—Posted by Eric Prestemon on 23 Mar 2004 @ 06:43 UTC #


I guess it was some Belgian chocolate.


—Posted by Jose Silva on 18 Jun 2004 @ 02:26 UTC #

This happened to my husband on Thursday. I HATE when people shove religion in your face or down your throat. Religion, or lack thereof, is a private matter. I just want a safe flight, not a religious sermon. It isn't like I can get off the plane. I'm stuck there, a captive audience. If you are religious, more power to you. But keep it to yourself. I do not want to hear it. I was once taking a walk and was literally besieged by two born-again proselytizers who would not stop no matter how many times I asked them to leave me alone. I felt threatened and finally turned around and ran home. Surely I should be allowed to take a walk without being assualted by religious fanatics who have no sense of boundaries or decency? More evidence of intolerance and the drive to get rid of those of us who don't conform. When a white, middle-class woman feels intolerated and unwanted, there is something really wrong with this country.

—Posted by Ellen Paul on 16 Jan 2005 @ 02:25 UTC #

What is it?! Inquiring minds want to know!

—Posted by GeekGirl on 11 Sep 2006 @ 05:29 UTC #
—Posted by Norman Walsh on 11 Sep 2006 @ 12:06 UTC #