Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Perhaps I've become over-sensitive.

But every time I hear that an airline is removing some little thing from its service offering, my cheeks begin to twitch and bump into my eyebrows.

But then I saw that Alaska Airlines is at it.

One Mile At A Time's Ben Schlappig noticed that the fetching snack boxes that used to be handed out to passengers in Premium Class are being discontinued.

It's a little thing, I know, but a little thing that sometimes contained chocolate, almonds and even cranberries.

And everyone knows that little things grow bigger and become very annoying.

So I asked Alaska whether it was now an admirer of the American way.

"We carefully considered the future of our in-flight food options for Premium Class," a spokeswoman told me.

She added that "after receiving feedback from flight attendants and guests, we decided to eliminate the pre-packaged Lite bite box to reduce food and packaging waste."

Ah, so this was an eco-friendly move? Or a move whose best friend was cost-cutting?

Still Alaska says it's now giving customers what they actually want: "Trail mix or the popular Nature's Bakery fig bar."

Well, and the other things they get in Premium Class, like extra legroom and free cocktails.

Alaska is in a difficult position. It's often voted American's best -- and even most popular -- airline. I cannot confirm that this is because of its astonishingly sane Wine Flies Free program.

But it isn't immune from pressure to constantly raise revenue to please the heartless money-grabbing sorts.

I want to offer Alaska customers hope. Well, at least find some evidence for it.

Alaska's spokeswoman did remind me that "unlike other airlines, Alaska Airlines offers different snacks in Premium Class from Main Cabin, and meals are still available for pre-ordering and purchase."

No, they may not even get Trail mix in the back.

Oh, and this week the airline declared that it's embracing the culture of its newly-acquired harbor of sanity, Virgin America, and offering real West Coast love.

To its First Class passengers, that is.

Samples of this West Coast love include "strawberry-lime smoothie shots, an avocado bacon omelet, or a flank steak salad with green papaya, mint and lime wedges."

There's also Nancy's Fancy gelatos and Sweet Lady Jane brownies from California. 

And who could resist "dining on one-of-a-kind Schönwald serving pieces inspired by Virgin America"?

Sadly, in life, even if you think you're getting a premium over those in Economy, you're not getting any Schönwald. 

Instead, you're only getting the choice between Trail mix or the popular Nature's Bakery fig bar.

I fear that, one day soon, unless you're in First Class, airlines won't give a fig at all.

Published on: Mar 24, 2018