afcjets
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Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:33 am

The most memorable one I can think of is United's Wives Fly Free campaign back in either the 70s or early 80s. Businessmen who paid full fare could bring their wives along on a business trip for free. It was very popular and successful, so much so that United decided to write the wives thank you letters for participating in the campaign. The problem was this was before airlines asked for ID at check-in, so for many imagine their surprise when they received that letter from United. A more appropriate name could have been Mistresses Fly for Free.   



[Edited 2015-03-31 20:37:21]
 
joeycapps
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:21 am

Not sure if this is in tune with the original subject, but I think Spirit's recent "$69 Fares" campaign went south really quick.

Quote:
We’ve been waiting to hit 69 planes for years. It’s our favorite number — ever since we were twelve and found that magazine under our brother’s bed (the one with the fantastic articles), the deal says.
Quote:
Use your mouth to spread the word: Spirit is in an even better position to get you where you’re going. We’re popping an epic Bare Fare in celebration! $69.00* round trip!
 
AF1624
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:23 am

Quoting afcjets (Thread starter):

The most memorable one I can think of is United's Wives Fly Free campaign back in either the 70s or early 80s. Businessmen who paid full fare could bring their wives along on a business trip for free. It was very popular and successful, so much so that United decided to write the wives thank you letters for participating in the campaign. The problem was this was before airlines asked for ID at check-in, so for many imagine their surprise when they received that letter from United. A more appropriate name could have been Mistresses Fly for Free.

Oh wow. That's actually amazing.
Cheers
 
Wingtips56
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:51 am

I remember the UA campaign. " Take me along, if you love-a me, take me along ....."
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macc
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:34 am

Would MHs ad campaign in Australia last year fall under this?

"Destinations you want to see before you die..."
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afcjets
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:09 pm

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 3):
I remember the UA campaign. " Take me along, if you love-a me, take me along ....."

Is that the same one, or a different one? Do you remember when it was?
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:50 pm

On this day (April 1) in 1968, Braniff introduced the "Fast Buck" campaign which put a clock on every plane in the fleet. The clock's alarm was set to go off 15 minutes past the scheduled arrival time. If the plane did not reach the gate before the alarm went off, each passenger on the flight received a chit which could be redeemed for $1.

On May 3, a BN Electra crashed on approach to DAL, killing all 86 souls on board. It was speculated that the pilot of the aircraft may have been influenced by the need to get the plane to the gate before the alarm went off, never proven of course.

The campaign was quietly discontinued shortly thereafter.
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zachary165
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:51 pm

Quoting joeycapps (Reply 1):
Quote:
We’ve been waiting to hit 69 planes for years. It’s our favorite number — ever since we were twelve and found that magazine under our brother’s bed (the one with the fantastic articles), the deal says.
Quote:
Use your mouth to spread the word: Spirit is in an even better position to get you where you’re going. We’re popping an epic Bare Fare in celebration! $69.00* round trip!

To go along with this, their "Many Islands, Low Fares" campaign went south very quickly. I'm pretty sure their marketing manager has the mind of a teenage boy.
"Keep true to the dreams of thy youth." - Schiller
 
ThePinnacleKid
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:13 pm

Who could forget the United/Continental merger one... "You're Going to Like Where We Land" ----- positioned on a billboard directly across from the World Trade Center site in NYC.
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
ridgid727
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:41 am

Continentals billboard in the UK, "how often do you need to go to Boise" backfired when the Idaho Governor called Continental out about the crash of their DEN-BOI flight #1713 that crashed in Denver.

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1989/Ai...d-a83876925ff437f92f859292e5d37f6e
 
UA444
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:19 am

Quoting ridgid727 (Reply 9):

The kind of classless ad you'd expect from CO.
 
Yflyer
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:45 pm

Quoting afcjets (Thread starter):
The most memorable one I can think of is United's Wives Fly Free campaign back in either the 70s or early 80s. Businessmen who paid full fare could bring their wives along on a business trip for free. It was very popular and successful, so much so that United decided to write the wives thank you letters for participating in the campaign. The problem was this was before airlines asked for ID at check-in, so for many imagine their surprise when they received that letter from United. A more appropriate name could have been Mistresses Fly for Free.
http://www.snopes.com/love/betrayal/wifeflight.asp

Snopes doesn't outright say it's false, but they say there's no evidence that it did happen, either. It's most likely just a funny story someone made up.

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 3):
I remember the UA campaign. " Take me along, if you love-a me, take me along ....."

Snopes addresses the ad campaign in their article. While United did run that ad campaign, they didn't offer free tickets to businessmen's wives.
 
coolian2
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:57 pm

Quoting joeycapps (Reply 1):
Quoting zachary165 (Reply 7):
To go along with this, their "Many Islands, Low Fares" campaign went south very quickly. I'm pretty sure their marketing manager has the mind of a teenage boy.

I almost think it's admirable. To know you're sailing so close to the wind and still pull the trigger?
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Wingtips56
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:16 pm

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 11):
Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 3):
I remember the UA campaign. " Take me along, if you love-a me, take me along ....."

Snopes addresses the ad campaign in their article. While United did run that ad campaign, they didn't offer free tickets to businessmen's wives.

Well I didn't really know if that advertising jingle was associated with the purported Wives Fly Free promotion. That particular campaign I recall as being in the mid to late 60's, and I can think it was probably just trying to stimulate traffic without giving the store away. I remember the song, but not any other details. It's been a while, you know.......
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afcjets
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:05 pm

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 11):
Quoting afcjets (Thread starter):The most memorable one I can think of is United's Wives Fly Free campaign back in either the 70s or early 80s. Businessmen who paid full fare could bring their wives along on a business trip for free. It was very popular and successful, so much so that United decided to write the wives thank you letters for participating in the campaign. The problem was this was before airlines asked for ID at check-in, so for many imagine their surprise when they received that letter from United. A more appropriate name could have been Mistresses Fly for Free.http://www.snopes.com/love/betrayal/wifeflight.asp

Snopes doesn't outright say it's false, but they say there's no evidence that it did happen, either. It's most likely just a funny story someone made up.

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 3):I remember the UA campaign. " Take me along, if you love-a me, take me along ....."

Snopes addresses the ad campaign in their article. While United did run that ad campaign, they didn't offer free tickets to businessmen's wives.

LOL I can't believe that is an urban legend! I heard it 20 years ago, and I was totally wrong on the dates too, it goes back way further than the 70s. What a cool website, thanks for sharing.
 
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mariner
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:18 pm

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 11):
While United did run that ad campaign, they didn't offer free tickets to businessmen's wives.

At least in this commercial for it - "Take Me Along" - United did offer up to one third off the partner fare:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DDIE0lr7Rs

mariner
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DualQual
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:26 pm

Quoting UA444 (Reply 10):

Considering it was 1989 and under the misdirection of Lorenzo, you're correct.
There's no known cure for stupid
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:09 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 10):
The kind of classless ad you'd expect from CO.

Had you read the article you would have seen that it was in 1988 under Frank Lorenzo.

Congratulations on getting your anti-CO flame bait into another thread though. Your efforts don't go unnoticed.
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LZ129
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:42 am

Not an airline, but the first slogan of Frankfurt airport's newly privatised operating company Fraport was "Fraport - Die Airport Manager". It lasted longer than you'd hope it did...
 
UA444
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:02 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 17):

Yeah I saw the date. It was just as cheesy and terrible as the ads they had from the mid-90s to the UA merger. It's even more absurd because CO was founded in Boise.
 
RogerMurdock
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:19 am

Quoting joeycapps (Reply 1):

Not sure if this is in tune with the original subject, but I think Spirit's recent "$69 Fares" campaign went south really quick.

Spirit's whole shtick is outrageous and distasteful promotions. They're sort of like the Urban Outfitters of aviation. Generate some controversy, "any press is good press," etc.
 
continental004
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:52 am

Quoting afcjets (Thread starter):

The most memorable one I can think of is United's Wives Fly Free campaign back in either the 70s or early 80s. Businessmen who paid full fare could bring their wives along on a business trip for free. It was very popular and successful, so much so that United decided to write the wives thank you letters for participating in the campaign. The problem was this was before airlines asked for ID at check-in, so for many imagine their surprise when they received that letter from United. A more appropriate name could have been Mistresses Fly for Free.

Wow. This campaign would never work today. Social justice warriors would be all over it for being "anti-feminist" or "exclusionary."
 
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LHRBFSTrident
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:09 am

Quoting LZ129 (Reply 18):
Not an airline, but the first slogan of Frankfurt airport's newly privatised operating company Fraport was "Fraport - Die Airport Manager". It lasted longer than you'd hope it did...

...and you may remember Deutsche BA's tagline for a number of years: 'Die Airline'...
 
afcjets
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:23 am

Quoting continental004 (Reply 21):
Wow. This campaign would never work today. Social justice warriors would be all over it for being "anti-feminist" or "exclusionary."

I am sure this AA commercial from the late 1960s angered feminists of that era. IMO it has more sexual overtones than even National's stewardess commercials of the 70s where they would say "Fly Me".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZGR3Bn9eMQ
 
Bingo1
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:08 am

We Really Move Our Tail For You...

Depends who's view you take whether it was a failure or not. Yes it was tasteless but it's still talked about.
Planecrzy
 
FWAERJ
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:54 pm

UA's "Take Me Along" was actually very successful for UA. It also offered discounts on hotels - which made sense as UA owned what is now Westin Hotels at the time.

Back when Dyson vacuum cleaners were first becoming popular in the UK, Hoover UK was stuck with a huge surplus of unsold vacuums. To counteract Dyson's success, Hoover offered free airline tickets to another European city, then the US, to anyone who purchased a Hoover costing £100 or more. Demand was so high that Hoover couldn't fulfill the orders for vacuums or flights, and it led to fiascos costing Hoover UK £50 million, countless amounts of legal hours, and even a protest at the Maytag shareholders meeting. By 1998, losses from the free flight promotion were so deep that Maytag was forced to sell Hoover UK to a rival company. Of course, when Dyson came to the US, Hoover didn't make the same mistake.

One yogurt manufacturer in the US along with Kellogg's offered free AAdvantage miles when you bought their products. Trouble was, there was no limit on the miles one could earn in this promotion. Many mileage runners simply bought cereal and yogurt in mass quantities, cut out the AAdvantage mile coupons, and donated the cereal or yogurt to food banks. AA took a huge hit on these mileage runners, and never ran a similar promotion for AAdvantage again.

After the crash of Pacific Airlines Flight 773 in 1964, their ad agency decided to do an off-center campaign with jokes about safety. Turns out that safety is never a joking matter in the airline business. Pacific's finances, already bad after the crash of Flight 773, only got worse. However, unlike an urban legend, they never had to file for bankruptcy, nor did any large airline until Braniff in 1982 - instead, they merged with Bonanza to form Air West, which was later bought by Howard Hughes and became the "top banana in the west". (Of course, they later merged with RC, who dismantled both the intra-California flying and the PHX hub after Steve Wolf became CEO in 1984 and before the merger with NW.)

FWA ran an ad campaign in late 2005 with headlines like "Times Square Times 20" to promote the places that people could fly to from FWA, which at the time lost 60% of its potential pax to IND alone following the shutdown of C8. There was a big problem: The billboards made it look like the flights offered were nonstop - but they weren't except for DFW. As a result, people were mad at FWA - including their then-new marketing director Dave Young (now at RDU) who came to FWA after the ads were approved. I was one of them expressing outrage, and it turns out from my personal conversations with him that Dave didn't like them either. Relationships between Dave and that ad agency (which ironically, had a Citation based at FWA for many years) went sour fast, and the ad agency's famous-in-FWA-circles CEO decided not to renew - but it was no problem. Dave already found another local agency. Dave stopped working with them, temporarily did in-house stopgap ads, and replaced the controversial agency with the other agency in 2006 part-time and full-time in January 2007. Aside from a few smaller projects that went to other firms like the FWA rebranding later in 2007 and new websites then and in 2013, that agency been FWA's agency ever since. Next year, they will have been working with FWA for 10 consecutive years (though they also used them from 2001-2003, so it's really 13 years total).
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MVAair
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:59 pm

United's 1985 contest when they started flying to all 50 states. I think you won free travel if you flew UAL to all 50 states in some time frame. But people were flying from ORD to ILG, then driving to PHL to fly back to ORD. Rather than flying ORD-ILG-ORD-PHL.
 
MVAair
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:01 pm

The marketing program that got completely out of hand is.......................Frequent Flyer Programs. When introduced in 1981, airlines never imagined there would be tens of millions of members.
 
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airportugal310
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:15 pm

Quoting joeycapps (Reply 1):
Not sure if this is in tune with the original subject, but I think Spirit's recent "$69 Fares" campaign went south really quick.

An excellent pun there, intended or not!
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Yflyer
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:39 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 25):
One yogurt manufacturer in the US along with Kellogg's offered free AAdvantage miles when you bought their products. Trouble was, there was no limit on the miles one could earn in this promotion. Many mileage runners simply bought cereal and yogurt in mass quantities, cut out the AAdvantage mile coupons, and donated the cereal or yogurt to food banks. AA took a huge hit on these mileage runners, and never ran a similar promotion for AAdvantage again.

Are you thinking of the Healthy Choice pudding guy? According to this AA actually did pretty well on that, since Healthy Choice had to pay them around 2 cents per mile. (The promotion was apparently good for miles on any airline, but the guy who famously got a million miles that way redeemed them with AA).

http://www.snopes.com/business/deals/pudding.asp
 
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ua900
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:40 pm

To me, programs like AAirpass rank right up there: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may.../la-fi-0506-golden-ticket-20120506

Quoting LZ129 (Reply 18):
Not an airline, but the first slogan of Frankfurt airport's newly privatised operating company Fraport was "Fraport - Die Airport Manager". It lasted longer than you'd hope it did...

The thought probably still occurs to some people who fly through FRA

Quoting continental004 (Reply 21):
Wow. This campaign would never work today. Social justice warriors would be all over it for being "anti-feminist" or "exclusionary."

Content offending social justice warriors was common during that era:

Quoting afcjets (Reply 23):
I am sure this AA commercial from the late 1960s angered feminists of that era. IMO it has more sexual overtones than even National's stewardess commercials of the 70s where they would say "Fly Me".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHnqnyzegfc

And not just for airlines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fp20Qli57Q8

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 25):
Kellogg's offered free AAdvantage miles when you bought their products

That's almost as bad as people who bought $1 coins from the mint.
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jeffh747
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:43 pm

I really try to avoid NK like the plague- but I really do admire their marketing team! Remember that Anthony Weiner scandal a few years ago where the dude sent crotch shots? You can bet Spirit was all that, with them sending an promo email with the subject "Have you seen our WEINER?"
Here's a couple articles that cover the original promotion, and then a second one when the dude continued sending nudes.



http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/spirit...s-strikes-again-weiner-sale-132331
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jeffh747
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:45 pm

For some reason the second article isn't showing up but here it is again : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...anthony-weiner-sale_n_3646855.html
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BD338
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:05 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 25):
Back when Dyson vacuum cleaners were first becoming popular in the UK, Hoover UK was stuck with a huge surplus of unsold vacuums. To counteract Dyson's success, Hoover offered free airline tickets to another European city, then the US, to anyone who purchased a Hoover costing £100 or more. Demand was so high that Hoover couldn't fulfill the orders for vacuums or flights, and it led to fiascos costing Hoover UK £50 million, countless amounts of legal hours, and even a protest at the Maytag shareholders meeting. By 1998, losses from the free flight promotion were so deep that Maytag was forced to sell Hoover UK to a rival company. Of course, when Dyson came to the US, Hoover didn't make the same mistake.

I'm not sure if it involved Dyson or not but the Hoover flights offer was a fiasco of epic proportions. Hoover had to hire extra staff to make the extra 200,000 vacuum cleaners, bought tens of thousands of seats from various airlines and then tried to wriggle out of the promises. It's hard to believe that no one saw the glaring flaw in the idea but, no one did...

www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gre...ime-the-hoover-fiasco-1171711.html
 
luv2cattlecall
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:28 am

Not sure if this counts

http://11sep.info/images/11sep-le_point.gif
.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:34 am

Quoting luv2cattlecall (Reply 34):
Not sure if this counts

The ad dates from 1979, twelve years before 9/11.
 
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vatveng
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:46 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 35):
The ad dates from 1979, twelve years before 9/11.

22 years before 2001.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:06 am

Some of the frequent flyer programs went awry at times, especially before sophisticated fare yield management computer programs came into play. I bet a lot of flights to Hawaii in the 1980's had a lot more 'free' FF flyers that hurt the profits on them. As the internet came popular in the late 1990's - early 00's, it allowed FF users to play various plans, take advantage of loopholes. Then as airlines cut back in the numbers of FF available seats, requiring more miles, limiting how long miles were valid and having to pay for food, checked luggage, had also hurt them too with backlash from flyers. What was popular a generation ago is almost unneeded today but kill them outright, and it would create some angry pax.
 
afcjets
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 am

Quoting MVAair (Reply 27):
The marketing program that got completely out of hand is.......................Frequent Flyer Programs. When introduced in 1981, airlines never imagined there would be tens of millions of members.

Frequent flyer programs are the greatest marketing program ever created. The allure of free travel and later the carrot dangling of the elusive First Class upgrade (seriously, some standby lists for UPG sometimes number more than 50 people, even on 12 seaters) Frequent flyer miles have been known as the dirty little secret of the airline industry. Airline miles are one of the most highly overvalued currencies out there. Too many people will both inconvenience themselves and pay more for a ticket to earn their miles versus flying on another carrier. I once read an analysis about 20 years ago where it compared it to other loyalty programs or volume discounts, which is essentially all it is, and it came to such a small percentage discount, yet as I mentioned people would go out of their way and pay more just to earn their stupid miles, which back then before AAnytime award levels existed, the airline only made available on flights that would otherwise go out with empty seats. I think 20 years later people have gotten a little smarter, but still they are way over valued. At least now it earns you things like the fast lane at TSA and free checked luggage, but unless someone is at the very top tier at an airline, there is little other value.
 
UA444
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:34 am

Quoting luv2cattlecall (Reply 34):

Oh man, and the fact that it's PIA makes it even more ironic.
 
FWAERJ
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:38 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 35):
The ad dates from 1979, twelve years before 9/11.

Actually, that would be 22 years before 9/11.

But nine years before 9/11, DL ran a TV ad in NYC in 1992 with a similar scene. (The scene in question is at the end.)
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afcjets
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:48 am

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 40):
FWAERJ

LOL I just noticed your automated quote at the end of your posts. You totally summed up in one sentence what I tired to explain in one huge paragraph in reply 38.
 
rta
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RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:04 am

AA sold passes for unlimited first class travel for life back in the 1980's. Not sure if they regretted that or not.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulli...er/2012/05/lifetime-airline-passes
 
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AirlineCritic
Posts: 1626
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:07 pm

RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:44 am

Quoting rta (Reply 42):
AA sold passes for unlimited first class travel for life back in the 1980's. Not sure if they regretted that or not.

It was a disgrace, from both the airline and some of the buyer's perspectives. Some buyers used their ability to take a friend on the trips to sell tickets to others... and the airline tried to cancel a deal they had made.
 
Tod
Posts: 1716
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:51 am

RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:22 pm

The new DL A320 interior was originally marketed by Heath Tecna as ISIS.

That program is quietly replaced by something like Smart Bins.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Airline Marketing Programs Gone Awry

Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:50 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 40):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 35):
The ad dates from 1979, twelve years before 9/11.

Actually, that would be 22 years before 9/11.

Right. For some reason was thinking of 1991 instead of 2001.

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