On recent flights, Delta Air Lines distributed napkins with a Coca-Cola logo and language encouraging passengers to write down their phone numbers and pass them to other passengers to whom they were attracted.
After passengers complained that the napkins were “creepy,” the airline apologized, Newsweek reported.
On one side, the napkins said, “because you’re on a plane full of interesting people and hey… you never know.” On the other, they said “be a little old school, write down your number and give it to your plane crush,” with a space for a name and phone number to pass to other passengers.
“We rotate Coke products regularly as part of our brand partnership, but missed the mark with this one,” the airline said in a statement to the magazine. The airlines added that they were sorry for the distribution of the napkins and had begun removing them from their rotation last month.
Some airline passengers, clearly, prefer to keep to themselves while flying, or aren’t in a flirty mood while in flight. A Twitter user named @DuckSauz denounced the napkins as “creepy af” and opined that they didn’t make Delta look good.
“Pretty sure no one appreciated unsolicited phone numbers in the ‘good old days’ and they sure as heck don’t want the number of someone who has been gawking at them on a plane for hours today.”
However, not everyone who commented on the issue found the napkins intrusive or creepy.
“This isn’t creepy–it’s cute!,” Twitter user @jet_set_bets posted, adding that she has gotten phone numbers as a result of the napkins, and that she considered it a cute promotion ahead of Valentine’s Day.
“The napkins are fine,” Twitter user Todd Bernstein said.
“I’m 57-years-old and don’t understand why your perfectly appropriate attempt to get people to actually interact with each other outside of their phones is viewed by
#snowflakes as #creepynapkins. Explaining is great but please don’t apologize.”
The episode recalls the “Plane Bae” controversy of last summer when, per Vox, comedian Rosey Blair was seated behind an attractive man and woman and spent an entire flight live-tweeting their flirtation, complete with surreptitious photographs.
The thread quickly went viral, drawing comments from those who found it cute and heartwarming, although it sparked a nearly immediate backlash from some who found it creepy that someone was live-tweeting the interactions of two strangers, without their permission or knowledge. And while the man embraced his 15 minutes of fame and appeared on talk shows, the woman from the thread, per the Atlantic, later issued a statement revealing that she had been “doxxed, shamed, insulted, and harassed.”