Do green airlines send their customers boxes of Styrofoam?

Doug Marshak wants to know. The airline in this case is Delta, which mailed him a box of … well, I’ll get to all that in a second.

But before I do, let it be noted that Delta and other airlines want us to think of them as good corporate citizens. As my colleague Harriet Baskas pointed out in a recent story,

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines. The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Delta Air Lines, which also has an in-flight recycling program, is currently the only airline recycling airplane carpet through Mohawk Group’s ReCover program, which turns old carpets into new carpets and other products.

So, about that box, then. I’ll let Marshak explain:

I had to share with you this marketing crud I got in the mail today from Delta and its corporate partner, American Express.

The Delta AmEx card wanted me to re-up my membership for another year, and would send me a $100 voucher for doing so. Of course, odds are this voucher will black out every useful travel day, but I was planning on keep the card anyway. I got an email from them about this and went ahead and registered. Who knows, I might be able to use the voucher, and if I do, it will pay for the yearly fee on the card.

Then I get this baloney in the mail. A shrink-wrapped box with the following on the front:

Open the box flap (removing the needless shrink wrap) to see this nice invitation card that I no longer needed because I had already re-upped:

So I’m wondering what’s in the box…

That is a block of Styrofoam.

So Delta, which combined with Northwest to “survive” and cut costs, and wants to upgrade its fleet to have fewer gas-guzzling jets while cramming more of us into smaller spaces to maximize their profits, is sending out boxes filled with nothing but Styrofoam to somehow impress me.

Even better, they sent one to my wife too, even though we share an account.

I have half a thought to call and cancel the card. I know I am going to have serious second-thoughts about re-upping again next year, useless voucher or not.

My reaction? Tsk, tsk.

And not just to my friends at Delta, but also to American Express, which has a few green initiatives of its own and even offers a green card.

But then, I guess you can’t judge a card by its color.

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