The Flight To Nowhere

Poor American Airlines. They earned $6 billion last year. When COVID hit, the airline had the nerve to ask for a $6 billion bailout.

And they got it.

Of course, American Airlines could’ve adjusted to the new reality. But why innovate if Uncle Sam will bail you out?

Then there’s Singapore Airlines. When the virus hit, they created ‘no-destination’ flights. Passengers board a (disinfected) plane, fly over the city while dining on gourmet sushi, and return to the same airport. Some airlines went a step further, transforming their planes into a Hawaiian resort, or a Parisian cafe.

Sure, the airline industry took a hit. But those who pivoted, survived. Their clever ideas covered the loss in revenue, and saved jobs.

Meanwhile, nothing’s changed at American Airlines. Flush with cash, but thin on ethics, they still pack people into their winged busses. Next month, American Airlines plans to fire 19,000 workers and cancel 700 flights.

And they’ve asked the government for more money.

Here’s My Take. Halley’s Comet last appeared in 1986. It only comes by every 75 years. So I wanted to commemorate the event. But living in Seattle, the skies would probably be gray.

Nobody would see Halley’s comet. Unless…

I proposed an idea to Alaska Airlines called ‘To Halley And Back’. What if they could fly people, above the clouds, to truly experience Halley’s Comet? Alaska loved it and provided a plane and crew for a 90-minute tour of the comet. An astronomy professor narrated the experience and we provided free binoculars to each passenger.

We charged $150 per person, enough to cover Alaska’s costs. Together, we seized the moment and created something special.

And it cost nothing.

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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