JetBlue Offers New Routes to a Sugar High

Posted August 7, 2008 by Nicki Krawczyk

Rockstar I was once wandering the aisles of a local retailer when a kid about the size and speed of a wildebeest came barreling around a corner, wailing like a member of Van Halen, and nearly knocked me into a display of Hormel Chili. Following relatively close behind was his mother, who collared the kid and hissed through clenched teeth, “Ryan you are being very bad. If you don’t calm down and behave right now I’m taking you home.” Then, she grabbed one of those giant, frosted, wrapped-in-plastic-because-it-was-actually-baked-in-1992 sugar cookies from a display next to her and said, “Here: Eat this.”

There’s a basic chemical process that happens in the human body whereby, to break it down in non-technical terms, your internal organs absorb sugar and metabolize it directly into crazy. Little Ryan’s body was undoubtedly already undergoing this process and his Mommy was adding fuel to the fire, not understanding that “the hair of the dog” doesn’t apply to cookies. Indeed, this is what we call being “at odds with one’s goals.” You can’t soothe a hyper-hypo with sugar.

Neither can you soothe a riled-up customer base with sugar, as Southwest has tried to do. Now, JetBlue has announced that they’ll be adding a bevy of new beverages to their in-air aperitifs. Specifically, look for ROCKSTAR Energy Drinks, Stirrings Cocktail Mixers and glaceau vitamin water. For those of you who’re keeping track, that’s a “potent herbal blend”of fruit juice and cane sugar, and, um, “nutrients” at the same time you're being asked to "remain in your seats with your seat belts securely fastened” for the duration of this four-hour flight.

Plus, not only is this at odds with one of JetBlue’s goals, it’s also at odds with another: revenue generation. Sure, they’re charging $3 a drink for the high fructose, but they’re also now charging $7 for a blanket and a pillow. Clearly, at four bucks more, the pillow and blanket take the bottom-line cake in terms of profit, but if that cart starts coming down the aisle early in the flight and you’ve got people juicing up on, well, juice, I’d expect a dip in the pillow-blanket income column. And for those passengers unfortunate enough to procure a pillow and blanket but possess a seat next to an imbiber, well, I think that’s probably a mistake they aren’t likely to make again.


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