In an age when airlines are losing millions of dollars a day, one operator has devised a novel way to cut costs.
According to Live and Let’s Fly, a popular travel blog, United Airlines will soon eliminate cocktail skewers in order to save around $80,000 annually.
The plan arrives years after the famous business school tale of the American Airlines CEO who cut a single olive from the salad menu to save the company $40,000. Now United Airlines is trying its luck by ditching a tiny piece of cocktail tableware — but how will this affect onboard drinking?
In the past, flight attendants have used the skewers to pick up lemon and lime wedges, which are then served with beverages. This citrus has always been available upon request, but it’s uncertain whether it will continue to be offered without the toothpicks.
United has experimented with several versions of the toothpicks in the past, moving from custom plastic versions to generic wooden picks — presumably to save money. This move arrives with other decisions, like the reintroduction of individual bottled waters, which will roll out over the next few days.
It’s not clear how much this $80,000 will do to save the company, but we do know that sky-high drinking culture will never quite be the same.