If you need another reason to fly round trip out of Fort Wayne International Airport, the soft, sweet complimentary treat upon return just may be the ticket. After all, you won't get free, individually packaged, Ellison Bakery cookies at O'Hare, Indianapolis International or Detroit Metropolitan airports.
COVID-19 concerns have meant adjustments to the program that has had smiling volunteer Hospitality Hosts distributing treats since 1999, but on Friday afternoon, an honorary host presented the 3 millionth – that's right, 3,000,000 – free cookie to a lucky passenger from Allegiant flight G4772, which had departed from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in Florida.
The winner, Holly Jones – traveling with her mother and two children – was randomly chosen from all passengers on the flight to receive the debut of a new cookie package and other prizes, including round-trip airfare for two on a future flight.
Katie Robinson, airport marketing specialist, said instead of a single soft cookie, the bakery treat will now feature “a handful of small, festive cookies prepackaged.” Flavors include “birthday cake” and, of course, chocolate chip, with other Ellison flavors featured as part of the rotation. Until it is safe for hospitality hosts to return, the still-complimentary treats will be available through a cookie kiosk at the security exit.
“It's exciting to be a part of something historic, said Jones. She and her family were returning to Fort Wayne from vacation and are already looking forward to their next trip.