A ranty, funny, dead-serious intersectional feminist blog.

Virgin: We’re Not Flying It (#notflyingit)

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“Hi, there…”

UPDATES: See bottom section for news.

Imagine: You’re all settled in for a long flight and ready for a bit of solitude (as much as can be afforded on an airplane these days) and a drink, when lo and behold, a flight attendant appears with a daiquiri. You didn’t order a daiquiri. In fact, you haven’t ordered a drink yet.

“It’s from the gentleman in 21A,” the attendant tells you, still holding the drink as though you really ought to take it. Across the aisle, the “gentleman” in 21A winks at you, and raises his glass. And introduces himself as the flight attendant sets the drink on your tray table and walks away.

This is how I imagine Virgin’s new “get lucky at 35,000 feet” promotion (for their seat-to-seat service) panning out for women. The actual service is pretty cool: It allows passengers to buy items for other passengers, so for example, adults traveling with multiple older children can feed and water them easily all with a swipe of a credit card in a seat-back terminal. But let’s face it: though some women will probably take the bait, this promotion is aimed at men and encourages them to aggressively pick up on women on Virgin flights. That’s not something I want when I travel. And it’s certainly not the attitude I want from the airline I fly with.

Virgin has long been my favorite airline. Their “Fear of Flying” program helped me fly again after years grounded by my terror. My daughter won’t fly any other airline. And now she very likely won’t fly at all until Virgin gets their act together and realizes that this promotion–aimed at men–targets women and essentially turns Virgin flights into flying meat-markets. For women–many or even most of whom experience unwanted sexual attention in public spaces on a regular basis–this means that Virgin flights will be potentially uncomfortable and even unsafe spaces. Certainly for women who don’t seek male attention when they fly.

I propose a hashtag campaign on Twitter similar to the #notbuyingit campaign aimed at companies that exhibit, promote, or support sexist behavior. Please help me tell Virgin we’re #notflyingit until they drop this promotion and apologize for putting women on the menu.

What you can do to help get this rolling:

  • Share this post on all your social media networks. Here’s a handy Twitter button so you can tweet it out now:
  • Tweet to @VirginAmerica and let them know this is a bad idea. Here’s another handy button for you:
  • Sign this petition asking Sir Richard Branson and Virgin to take a stand for women and end this promotion. While you’re at it, sign this one, too.
  • Use the #notflyingit hashtag to tweet CEO @richardbranson and tell him what you think about this “get lucky” promo.
  • Use the #notflyingit hashtag on Google+ to alert people to this campaign and make it easy for us to track who’s talking about it there.
  • Email your friends and allies and ask them to participate!

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UPDATE:

6/4/2013 4:30pm
This morning, I received an email from Jennifer Thomas, Director of Corporate Communications at Virgin America. Here’s an excerpt:

First off, we are sorry to hear your disappointment re: the promotion of the new seat-to-seat ordering feature. Please know it was absolutely not our intent with the service or the promotion to make anyone uncomfortable, and we’d like to chat with you (and our head of marketing Luanne Calvert) to discuss the intent of the campaign and your concerns in a bit more detail as well as explain the mechanics of the feature (namely that there is an anonymous block feature built into the service). I also wanted to pass along that the Get Lucky promotion itself actually endedthis Friday, so that campaign is no longer live and in the market. In addition, the only official photo we released of the service was of a woman ordering for a man (for what that is worth). Please know that we do take your feedback to heart – and will bear it in mind when evaluating future campaigns. But would love the opportunity to chat with you more if you were open to a call.

I was. So this afternoon–after sending along some links so they could make themselves familiar with the issues as some of us see them–I spoke with Jennifer along with Luanne Calvert, VP of Marketing for Virgin America. Jennifer seemed to do most of the talking, but Luanne chimed in a few times, especially with regard to the marketing side of things. They had, from what I gathered, four primary goals for the conversation:

  1. To explain how the seat-to-seat system works (again, there is a decline feature) and how it is being used by customers (primarily as I described previously: among people who already know one another or are already chatting amiably);
  2. To point out that the “get lucky” promotion (which ended on Friday 5/31 [yay!] but is still on their Facebook page and a contest was still running on their website the last time I looked) was launched in conjunction with their new Los Angeles-to-Vegas direct flights, and was intended as a “tongue-in-cheek” play on getting “lucky” in Vegas.
  3. To assure me that regardless of how I may have interpreted their marketing campaign (marketing being one of those things that “people interpret differently” according to Luanne Calvert, and I agree–to a point) they were absolutely dedicated to passenger comfort onboard their flights and would never tolerate any abuse of the system or harassment of one passenger by another. (In fact, they said that if they believed the service was being “abused” they would turn it off or otherwise address the problem.)
  4. To assure me that they had heard our concerns and would take them into consideration when planning future promotions.

I’m going to break this stuff down and fill in some details of our conversation, along with my own takes on…well, everything.

How STS Works

In her email this morning, Jennifer Thomas included the following:

The function itself was designed to accompany the existing seat-to-seat chat feature (something we’ve had onboard since 2007). There were actually similar concerns raised about that feature when we launched it – yet we have never received complaints since its inception six years ago. Most people use the service to chat with friends, family or co-workers traveling in the same party. Built into the feature, there is a function that allows guests to block all chat requests – or just a specific one, and as a result — we have not seen issues arising.

In our conversation today, Jennifer reiterated that the seat-to-seat system has a “decline” feature so you don’t have to accept anything purchased for you by a stranger. I explained that I would much rather opt in to such a service than have a request pop up on my screen while I’m watching my movie to intrusively alert me that “someone wants to buy you a thing.”

This brings us to the second part of point 1 above:

How People Use STS Now

Many people use the STS system. I’ve used it. It’s great! Here’s another excerpt from Jennifer’s email:

In fact, guests have enjoyed — and provided overwhelmingly positive feedback about — the chat feature since its launch: it makes the flight experience a bit more social. And as you note, the seat-to-seat delivery feature grew out of a common request from family members and friends flying together in different rows — with the addition of the new remote ordering feature, for example, a guest in one row can now order and pay for their friend who may be traveling in a separate row.

Yes. This is how people mostly use it. And I sincerely hope this promotion doesn’t result in more men inflicting unwanted attentions on women. But again, that’s only part of the problem.

The “Intention” of the “Get Lucky” Promo

Luanne Calvert wanted me to know that the “get lucky” campaign was meant to be “fun” and “cheeky” and that they didn’t intend to offend anyone. I explained that the promotion appeared to be encouraging people to use it as a pick-up tool, and since the primary aggressors in these situations are traditionally men in our culture, that means encouraging men to hit on women on an airplane, and that many women don’t relish that idea.

“I’m not sure what your experience is,” I said, “but a lot of us feel like we run a gauntlet of unwanted attention wherever we go.”  A moment of silence, then they assured me that they wanted people to be comfortable on their flights and again, this was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, a Vegas tie-in, etc.

I read Sir Richard’s quote: “I’m not a betting man, but I say your chance of deplaning with a plus-one are at least 50 percent.” They pointed out that the promo video (from which that quote was taken) was full of silly stuff like puppies and space ships and was meant to be funny. I pulled up and read to them from another article where Sir Richard talked about “dating” being the next big thing, the feature people wanted on airplanes that he was going to give them. They repeated that no one seemed to be using STS in any objectionable way and that they would take action if they ever did get complaints. (They also said they keep a close eye on alcohol consumption, which reduces the likelihood of drunkenness contributing to any potential problem.)

Dedicated to Passenger Comfort

Thomas and Calvert seemed genuinely to want me to feel like I could comfortably fly Virgin America without fear of harassment by other passengers. They reiterated several times how important it was that people feel comfortable on their planes. Unfortunately, they seemed to think that the discomfort with the “get lucky” promotion was based on a) lack of context and b) misinterpretation of the intention of the campaign.

Resolution?

Throughout the conversation, I pointed out that the feature itself was not the problem, but that the marketing was problematic. At one point Luanne said, “It’s regrettable there has been some misunderstanding of the campaign,” and reiterated that with marketing, a lot is open to “interpretation.” I think it was around this time I explained that, to my thinking, intention didn’t let them–or anyone–off the hook. That when you realize you’re contributing to the problems we all face, sometimes you have to take a step back and say, “Ok, that wasn’t what I intended, but I understand why it was problematic (here is me explaining my understanding of the issues) and I apologize.” I said this is something people like me do all the time. And that those of us who care about this were counting on them to do that: to say–not just to me on the phone, but to all of us–we get what the problem was with that promotion, and if we had to do it over again, we wouldn’t.

I recommended several times that they consider publishing such a statement: the apology we requested for making us feel commodified. Each time my requests were met with silence followed by assurances that they heard me and that this feedback would “inform our thinking” in the future. “We’ve responded publicly to feedback about this in the past,” they said at one point. There was a news story out there, and they promised to send me a link.

Finally I took a deep breath, sighed, and took another.

“Ok,” I said, “I just have one more question for you: Would you run a promotion like this again?”

Laughter. “We’d call you first!” someone said. I think it was Luanne.

Jennifer Thomas and Luanne Calvert listened. They gave me some of their time today and treated me with respect and for that I’m grateful. I received a link in email to the news story containing Luanne Calvert’s statement. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

Using the seat-back computer on all Virgin flights, passengers can order drinks or food to be delivered anywhere else on the plane. Perhaps you want to treat a travel companion — or perhaps you’ve noticed a cute brunette in 14A?

Luanne Calvert, the head of marketing, said Virgin America always wants to stay a step ahead of competitors with in-cabin features. The idea for seat-to-seat delivery, she said, grew out of the existing seat-to-seat chat feature on the seat-back computer system, called Red.

“Our in-flight system is about fun,” Calvert said.

She said it has been received well on recent flights since its rollout. But she squashed any suggestion that the service has turned flights into a 30,000-foot-high singles bar.

“The way people are using it in reality is with someone they know already. They say, “it was fun hanging with you. I want to buy you a drink.’”

So, the promo is over. Virgin America listened and apologized to me, but they have pretty much outright declined to make any sort of statement (which I would happily have helped them craft) that communicates their understanding of the reasons their “Get Lucky at 35,000 Feet” left a bad taste in my mouth and at least some of yours. I’m not at all convinced they get it, but I do believe they’ll think about all this the next time they plan a promotion. And I thank everyone who got involved for helping me to get their attention. In less than 24 hours, we made something happen–just a few of us working together. Thank you.

I’m still chewing on all this and will write a bit more later. Meanwhile, I welcome your comments (as long as they’re polite).

6/4/2013 9:00am

I just got off the phone with Jennifer Thomas, Director of Corporate Communications for Virgin America who says they’re anxious to discuss my concerns. I’ll be talking with her and Luanne Calvert, VP of Marketing, in a bit. Watch this space for news.

FAQ:

Why can’t you just refuse the drink?

Oh, I can and will refuse drinks from strange men on airplanes. But that doesn’t change the fact that many women will feel obliged not only to accept the “gift” but to pay some attention to the giver. Because that’s the point, isn’t it? And she’s on an airplane, so she can’t just excuse herself when she wants to get away. If the guy is nearby, she’s stuck.

What’s your problem? Buying drinks for women is a traditional entry point to dating!

Yes, it is. And when I go to a bar full of men and women hoping to meet the next love of their life, I am not at all surprised to receive a drink compliments of some man or other. I can take or refuse it, and if I’m at all uncomfortable, I can leave. When I get on an airplane, it’s for completely different reasons, and I can’t escape. That’s my problem with encouraging this kind of behavior as a way to “get lucky” on an airplane.

Why a boycott? Why not just write a letter?

This post and the hashtag campaign are sort of a letter to Virgin. Boycotts–or threats of them–are, in my experience, the most efficient and effective way to get a company’s attention. And I wouldn’t advise any woman who wants to fly peacefully to book a flight with Virgin until this changes.

Have questions? Ask in the comments below.


Respectful discussion is welcome and encouraged. When in doubt, see the Comment Policy.

43 responses

  1. Pingback: On the (Rest of the) Net. | The Early Bird Catches the Worm

  2. Richard Branson (I won’t dignify him by using his “Sir” title) is obviously a bigger scumbag than I thought. I give credit to Virgin for speaking with you about the issue, and I hope they do give more thought to future marketing campaigns, but you’re right, it doesn’t sound as if they “get” it. Looks like I’ll be flying British Airways to England from now on…

    June 6, 2013 at 7:49 am

    • Yeah, the silences and reiteration of their talking points after my pointed questions/statements told me that they either didn’t get it or weren’t really prepared to discuss the issues I brought to the table. If it’s the former, I think that’s sad, but it doesn’t surprise me that much; a number of people I know and expected to get it don’t quite seem to. If it’s the latter, then I really do hope that they go off and have a meeting about how not to step on Sir Richard’s dick the next time they launch a “fun” and “cheeky” promotion. ;)

      June 6, 2013 at 8:15 am

      • PS: Being a Yank and a bit of an Anglophile, I just can’t resist the “Sir” thing, I’m afraid. :)

        June 6, 2013 at 8:17 am

  3. So Virgin thinks that ‘misinterpretation’ is the issue here? **eyeroll** I lived in Las Vegas for three years, but when I hear the phrase “get lucky” it’s not Blackjack or the slots that come to mind. C’mon, airline people, if you can’t understand the simple concepts behind this protest, can you please consider that your program reeks of tackiness? Seriously.

    June 5, 2013 at 11:59 am

  4. Melanie

    If I could double-like for the update, I would. I’m glad this was called to their attention, and that they were amicable to hearing what about that promotion was insensitive.

    June 5, 2013 at 8:56 am

  5. I have been following this on your twitter and Facebook and I think you are doing a wonderful thing, you are so passionate about it. It is very impressive they called you to explain.
    I also looked into the Virgin campaign and I can’t find a problem with it. It is a nice idea in my opinion. If you don’t want the drink, say no. But maybe there is a little cultural difference between you girls and me. Here at home (Germany) I don’t get hit on. No one ever sent me a drink, I only know that from tv. However, when I was in the United States, it was very different. Random guys on the street talked to me, commented on outfit, look, hair, said “Hey Red” when I walked past, cars honking. It is new to me. Maybe that’s why I don’t mind the campaign. If I had this happening every day, I would probably be annoyed, too.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:30 am

    • Anthea Brainhooke

      It’s more the idea of turning a form of transport into a meat market that’s the problem for me. The service itself is a great idea. The marketing is directed at men who want to pick up women on aircraft. If that’s what the woman wants, sure, but that’s not what they’re saying. I think Virgin are selling themselves as well as their female customers short by portraying this service as a flying pick-up joint. It could be so much more if they’d just let themselves see it.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm

  6. Atlas

    Ok, I’m a man. I don’t use any form of public transportation to pick up or hit on women (or gay men if I was so inclined). Furthermore, I have no desire to be hit on or watch others try to hook up while traveling. Consensual or not, it would create a hostile environment for most travelers. If Virgin wants to host “air cruises”, great, but don’t market routine travel that way.

    June 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm

  7. While I do understand the apprehension involved with the service, this does go both ways. As someone who does a lot of business travel, I can attest to having a number of aggressive women attempt to buy me drinks or engage in conversations while on travel. This isn’t, in this era, just something that men do and that point should be acknowledged.

    June 4, 2013 at 10:27 am

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Rob. I’m sure that can be annoying and intrusive. I’m not sure whether you’re saying that you share the experience of being harassed on a regular basis, i.e., walking down the street, on busses, trains, etc., but I don’t doubt there are women out there who hit on men aggressively and are surprised when their advances are unwanted.

      June 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

  8. For comment subscribers:

    UPDATE:

    I just got off the phone with Jennifer Thomas, Director of Corporate Communications for Virgin America who says they’re anxious to discuss my concerns. I’ll be talking with her and Luanne Calvert, VP of Marketing, in a bit. Watch this space (in the article above!) for news.

    June 4, 2013 at 8:24 am

  9. Hmmmm. I have bought drinks, meals and other things for strangers in random places. I have also had things bought for me. Just because someone buys you a drink or whatever does not necessarily mean they are trying to pick you up, nor does not mean you are obligated to them in any way. And there’s always the right of refusal.Agree the marketing is tacky, but I’m not sufficiently so for me to take action. Respect your right and that of others to do so though :)

    June 4, 2013 at 3:45 am

    • Again, I do not object to the service itself. I am all for buying things for strangers as an act of kindness. I object to Virgin marketing it as a way to “Get Lucky at 35,000 Feet.” I object to encouraging men to hit on women in airplanes where they’re captive and there are no exits. I object to Sir Richard’s statement that it will increase your chances of getting lucky by 50%.

      As women, we’re (generally speaking) trained to be polite and not hurt other people’s feelings. So, many women will not refuse a drink, and will feel obligated, much the same way some of us do in a bar or restaurant when something similar happens. The difference is we can’t leave.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:18 am

  10. Cheesy low class. He thinks he knows what she wants and then she better want it because he paid for it and what’s wrong with you you’re not paying enough attention to me what do you mean you didn’t get on this airplane for the sole purpose of admiring what a jerk I am? It’s perfect – a pick up bar where the women can’t leave. Dandy.

    June 4, 2013 at 3:28 am

  11. Creepy. Thanks for posting sweetie!

    June 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm

  12. Here’s a quote from Sir Richard from the CNBC article on the subject (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100668327):

    “I’m not a betting man, but I say your chance of deplaning with a plus-one are at least 50 percent.”

    And from a different article on Virgin (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100666375):

    During some Virgin flights, a dating app allows passengers to ask another flier if he or she would like to meet. “Perhaps on the way to the loo that person can let you know if they fancy you, too,” Branson quipped. When I asked if that means you are supposed to follow the person to the loo, the audience laughed. “Let me just say,” Branson replied, “we are not the sort of airline which bangs on the lavatory door.”

    June 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    • Anthea Brainhooke

      Great. And unlike other bars, if you get sick of being pestered YOU CAN’T LEAVE.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm

  13. sosayselizabeth

    I definitely don’t think the service itself is a bad thing, but the fact that they’re framing it in a sexist way is. It’s kind of like they’re saying, “Hey, buy a stranger a drink so you can increase your chances of joining the mile-high club.” Which is kind of really marketed towards men who already feel a sense of entitlement towards women. I dunno. I think the way they’re marketing it is kinda unsafe. The whole “get lucky” thing just sounds gross.

    June 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    • That’s exactly my take. The service itself is cool and handy! I’ve used it. But yeah, what you just said about the marketing. Bleah.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm

  14. Or- or- wait… there’s another option- and bear with me here- just refuse the drink! So simple! I mean really, do you think not being able to buy a person a drink is going to stop anybody from hitting on you? Do you think that men and women will only come on to one another if they have express approval? Did you think that an airplane was some kind of special place where people stop being who they are and enter a state of suspended animation?

    Get this: airports are some of the most heavily policed places in the world and if you feel like somebody is harassing you then you can report it to a steward and they can have the pilot- get this cause its REALLY COOL- use this nifty thing called a RADIO to request that a guard meet you at the gate and escort you safely to your train/plane/next flight without difficulty.

    Here’s another newsflash: if the airline gets enough complaints from passengers who have been put out by the experience, they will probably end the program so they don’t lose business.

    One final surprise: Some women may actually WANT to meet/chat/fornicate with the person that bought them the drink and- now stay with me because I know this is hard to believe because it flies in the face of everything Andrew Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon ever said- and are not “taking the bait” as you so presumptuously assume. This is yet another example of feminists being the actual misogynists by presuming to know what’s best for all women. Also, what is your definition of “aggressively” here? Do you think that a man buying a woman a drink- one of the most common openings in all of male/female romantic interaction- is somehow a grievous violation of a woman’s human rights? This is why the term “almost raped” has become such a joke.

    Finally, you don’t want your daughter flying this airline now? What do you think is going to happen- that they’re going to start serving alcohol to CHILDREN and encouraging men to hit on them????

    June 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    • If you’re a dude who came here to tell me how wrong I am for not wanting dudes to be encouraged to hit on me on an airplane, then you don’t have a lot of credibility with me, especially given your approach to this conversation. If you’re a woman who thinks this is a great idea, more power to you. However, before you assume that airplanes are totally safe spaces, you might want to look up the story about the teenager who sat next to the masturbating dude for six hours in October because the flight crew didn’t know what to do about it (and did not have him arrested when he got off the plane). Just, you know, for starters.

      Also? Oh hai, my daughter is 31, and she makes here own decisions about flying. I said she “likely” won’t fly Virgin until they shape up. Reading is FUNdamental.

      Whoever you are, you came to my house with a shitty attitude and I don’t suffer that without some sort of response so this is mine: I’m all for differing opinions, but please refer to Wheaton’s Law before commenting again.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      • Fair enough- I’ve been fighting the uphill battle of internet debate for so long that I tend to come on strong. To the argument regarding the guy whacking off- if there are problems like that then you need to campaign for the improvement of airport/airline security, not try to solve the problem backwards by taking away opportunities.

        June 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    • Anthea Brainhooke

      Or, or, or, even better! Assume a woman on an aircraft is there for her reasons, not to provide entertainment for you!

      If you must get her attention, ASK her if she’d like a drink, rather than buying one for her and then making her refuse it.

      You know, use your words, like a grown-up.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      • I don’t think of conversation as “providing entertainment,” its an act of mutual interest, not an obligation. One thing that hasn’t been addressed- that I can tell- is whether or not the stewardess pours the drink and offers it to you before you’ve agreed.

        And- for the record- an airplane is the last place that I personally would be hitting on anyone.

        June 3, 2013 at 10:13 pm

        • Anthea Brainhooke

          Buying a woman a drink is a pick-up. If you want to make conversation, use your words. Even then, if she says “no thank you,” don’t keep on at her to continue paying attention to you when she doesn’t want to. She doesn’t owe you her attention, and that’s what I meant by being “entertainment.” She’s flying for her own reasons, not to pay attention to you. If she _wants_ to pay attention to you, that’s another thing entirely.

          June 5, 2013 at 2:08 am

    • Ian Osmond

      May I share a life lesson it’s taken me some time to learn?

      If someone says something bothers you, you can’t simply tell them that it doesn’t bother them.

      A bunch of people — an entire category of people, in fact — a whole bunch of women have said that this bothers them. You don’t have to understand why; I don’t have to understand why; you don’t have to think it makes sense.

      All you need to know is that such is the case.

      People are bothered by this. So doing this bothers people. So, don’t do this if you don’t want to bother people. A bunch of people have said that it would cause them discomfort if people were to attempt to buy them a drink on a plane. That’s the only relevant information here.

      June 4, 2013 at 4:16 am

    • Jordan,

      Your attitude will change a bit once you’re old enough to go to bars and see how entitled jerks react to being rejected by women. Turing the aircraft into a “Meat Market in the Air” is going to result in a lot of women being harassed by guys who won’t take “no” for an answer. This ad campaign attracts, encourages, and enables predatory individuals.

      June 4, 2013 at 8:32 am

  15. Reblogged this on auguries14.

    June 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm

  16. I think they can salvage it if they can make it ONLY for those flying together. Be it friends, family or co-workers. I like the idea that I can gift items or make sure they are being taken care of. For a total stranger to send me something…no thank you.

    June 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    • I haven’t flown on Virgin in a long time, but if they have assigned seating, then when buying tickets there can be the extra thing to check off to be allowed to send to each other items, even if at a cost. That way it is ‘unlocked’ for those seats to send items to/from each other and no one else.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      • Another idea: during ticket purchasing, it is automatically checked that you do not want to send/receive anything from anything unless you change the setting. At the very least that way people will only send/receive items if they actually want it.

        June 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        • All good ideas. I don’t object to the service–just their decision to promote it from this angle.

          June 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm

          • I agree. There should be a check box for “Leave me the F*** alone” as you’re making your seat selections. Essentially, opting out of their seat-to-seat program. Alternatively, there could be an on-screen prompt in the seat-back entertainment system, that allows you to accept/refuse a gift.

            June 4, 2013 at 8:52 am

            • Yeah. Actually, I propose an “opt-in” system. Hell, call it the “Mile High Club” for all I care, but don’t send me drinks (or messages) from strangers without my express permission. Emphatic consent FTW! No one has a right to my time and attention. I get enough of that on busses and trains and on the street. I mean, can you imagine sitting there next to the person who wanted to buy you a drink? Or wondering who the guy is somewhere on the plane who targeted you? Yuck.

              June 4, 2013 at 8:57 am

  17. all i can say is someone was not thinking with their brain

    June 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm

  18. I don’t know if this will scare as many women away as you might imagine. They seem to aim for a young demographic. And 18-25 yr olds feeling young, free, and flirty may like this. Yes, the girls too.

    June 3, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    • Oh, I know some people think this is a great idea. But that’s part of the problem, in my opinion, with this promotion–if that’s who they’re aiming at (i.e., people who want planes to be pick-up bars) and the culture they want to create as a company and as an airline, then I’m apparently not who they want as a customer or a passenger.

      If they want to designate “pickup planes” you can opt into, great. Or let people opt into getting stuff from other people.

      But this promo is gross, in my opinion. Ick. Ptooey.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    • It’s going to create an interesting stigma. If this catches on, Virgin will be the airline for business people looking to score during trips. I wonder how long before a spouse racking up frequent flier miles on Virgin leads to adultery suspicions.

      How will Virgin being the “Meat Market in the Air” impact business travel?

      I’m curious how this will shift the demographics of people who fly Virgin.

      June 4, 2013 at 8:22 am

  19. Reblogged this on FEMBORG.

    June 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

  20. Reblogged this on Odd Lots and commented:
    How the hell did Virgin think this was a good idea?

    June 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

  21. Sigh. A nice idea, Virgin, but a few minutes of thought might have revealed some flaws.On the bright side, once you’ve scared off most of your women customers, maybe you’ll find yourself with a lucrative business for gay businessmen.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    • Yeah, if they’d framed it any other way, they could have highlighted what a cool feature it is instead of how sexist their marketing department is.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm

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