Northwest Airlines Pulls Pretzels from Domestic Flights

In the latest cost-cutting move by a struggling airline carrier, Northwest Airlines Corp. is nixing pretzels on its domestic flights, months after it stopped serving free meals.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- In the latest cost-cutting move by a struggling airline carrier, Northwest Airlines Corp. is nixing pretzels on its domestic flights, months after it stopped serving free meals.

Beginning June 9, coach passengers who want anything other than soda will have to pay for it. They can get a 3-ounce bag of trail mix for $1. Northwest Airlines Corp. spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said Friday the airline has no immediate plans to stop offering soda for free.

Ebenhoch said pulling the free pretzels should save $2 million a year. Northwest, the nation's fourth-largest airline, lost $458 million in the last quarter alone. Northwest operates more than 1,500 flights per day in North America and another 100 per day overseas.

Shares of Northwest rose 5 cents to $5.52 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, where they have traded in a 52-week range of $4.20 to $11.83.

Delta Air Lines Inc. said in March that it was dropping its food-for-sale program, boosting prices on alcoholic beverages and eliminating pillows on many flights. As of April 3, the nation's third-largest airline replaced its food-for-sale program, which was launched on selected flights in July 2003, with a wider assortment of free snacks in coach class on most domestic and some Latin American and Caribbean flights of more than 90 minutes.

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