The psychology of Delta onboard snacks

a close-up of some food

a close-up of some foodOne thing that I find odd onboard Delta flights is that if you ask for peanuts they will rarely give you a single pack of peanuts…even though the peanuts are higher in calories than the pretzels.  This seems to be the standard in Coach as well as First.  This morning I took a single pack of peanuts and they flight attendant was very adamant to let me know I can have more than just 1 pack.  No thanks!  One pack will do.  Really though, I was upset that they just offered the coach snacks up in F instead of bananas, apples, or other fresh fruit they usually have in the morning.

Complimentary Snacks
·      Peanuts (70 calories)
·      Pretzels (45 calories)
·      Biscoff cookies (120 calories)

Sounds like in reality they should double up on the pretzels since I’m pretty sure they not only cost less, but are also the lowest in calories, yet it’s always the peanuts that are doubled yielding more calories than a pack of Biscoffs.



  1. Take the extra bag of peanuts and give it to a homeless/hungry person, donate it to a local food bank, or just take it back to your hotel in case you get hungry later on.

  2. I understand where you are going with this…but I love my two packs of peanuts. I feel almost like I won a prize.

  3. interesting , on American they outright saying on 8 hrs flight to Honolulu that they do not have enough snack for everybody on the plane, so get it fast.

  4. Not sure why you think calories should determine the quantity to be offered. What am I missing?

    1. Calories are the unit for measuring energy and to a certain extent satiety is linked to calories. Plus nuts pretty much universally cost more than pretzels. I haven’t seen Delta’s costs per item, but I have a feeling the distribution of 2 bags has more to do with psychology from the passengers “why do I get such a small bag?” instead of actual logic.
      What metric would you suggest?

    1. I rarely take a snack. Usually it is passed out while the FA takes my drink order in coach so sometimes I’ll take the pretzels or whatever and just put it in my bag and forget about it.

      I try to refuse the snack when possible, but I usually take fruit from the First class snack basket. Today I was in a hurry and left the house without enough time to eat at the airport so the pack of peanuts had to last me until I could eat in Atlanta.

  5. I’m on DL1581 right now and there’s a peanut allergy in coach, so no nuts for you!

  6. Hilarious. It must be a slow day for your travels. Personally, I don’t have to count the calories, love peanuts yet would always take a piece of fresh fruit if offered.

  7. I prefer peanuts and Biscoff cookies over pretzels any given day. Plus you can always eat them later, no rules against bringing the snacks off the plane and consuming them at a later time:-)

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