Is it ever ethical to walk away with amenities from business and first class that airlines do not intend for you to take?
The Wall Street Journal covers this topic in-depth. It’s a great read. The last paragraphs of the article, though, made me stop and think:
Danny Kashou, 53, a business owner in San Diego, was impressed by the soft fabrics and Saks monograms on the blankets on an international trip earlier this year. “Heck, yeah, we took it,” Mr. Kashou says. “We didn’t ask. We just stuck it in our carry-ons and walked off.”
“I’ve been flying this airline long enough,” he says. “I deserve it.”
There’s only one Danny Kashou on Facebook, and he looks 53. The man blatantly admits to stealing from United. In fact, he says he deserves it. Just last week I wrote about United’s new efforts to combat theft, including these warnings on the menu:
Is the “I deserve it” mentality ever justified? Honestly, it makes me grimace just to read that.
Go back to the start of the story:
When Steve King jets across the Atlantic for work twice a month, he often comes back with souvenirs—from the plane
At home, he sips brandy from his favorite British Airways glasses and his children curl up in premium Norwegian Air Shuttle blankets. Last year, British Airways began offering a soft, satin-edged blanket from the White Company, an upscale brand. Mr. King has three of them.
“I’m definitely picky these days,” says Mr. King, who runs a data-science company. “The quality of the stuff now is beautiful. It really makes it worthwhile.”
Makes what worthwhile? What is it? Stealing?
Gary Leff from View from the Wing believes that pilfering blankets presents a great opportunity for airlines. Instead of scolding passengers for stealing, airlines should turn that desire into better marketing.
Instead of scolding customers, United could take out ads offering Polaris bedding amnesty. The message is the bedding is even better onboard than what you have at home. Customers discover that and just can’t help themselves.
United could even run a promotion, buy a full fare business class ticket and get a coupon code for a full set of bedding from the United Shop.
It’s a great idea. Even so, is it ever okay to steal blankets? Is anyone going to say with a straight face that they didn’t know they should not have?
Perhaps Michele Kropf, a spokeswoman for British Airways, said it best:
We encourage passengers to try to grab 40 winks when they fly with us, rather than the bedding.
I once took a glass from US Airways after the merger with American Airlines. It had the US Airways logo on it and I somehow rationalized that these glasses would be going away soon, so why not take one. I loved that glass.
Recently, Augustine broke it: a perfect reminder that I should not have taken it in the first place.