If you’ve ever wanted more details about the financial stinginess (or is that acumen?) that killed the snack pretzels on your last flight from Newark to Philly, the New York Times has you covered with its story on the general trend of airlines taking a dump on economy-class fliers.

The totally reasonable theory is this: Because economy-class fliers have no brand loyalty and always book the cheapest ticket, it’s a waste of time to give them anything other than a (sometimes working) seat.

Thus, farewell to the pretzel sticks:

In January, United removed half-ounce pretzel snack mixes from the economy section of flights that are less than two hours long, about 29 percent of its flights, to save what it says is about $650,000 a year. (Cutting out pretzels has reportedly saved Northwest $2 million a year.)

It’s all part of an overall financial trend of reducing amenities, particularly food. “Overall, the amount of money the nine largest passenger carriers in the United States spend on food per passenger has been slashed to about $3.40 from $5.92 in 1992, according to the Department of Transportation,” the Times reports.

Meanwhile, those bastards up in business and first class are living better than ever, enjoying four-course meals (served, the Times writes, on china, with real utensils, and with a choice of four wines).

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