Monday, July 7, 2008

Southwest Media Blitz: 'Fees Don't Fly With Us'

Each week it seems flyers are hit with yet another fee from the airlines. For example, last month Delta airlines announced they will add a $25-$50 fuel surcharge to all award redemption tickets. American airlines rolled out a $5 fee to all award tickets booked on their website, and even higher if you call the airline directly. Next month, United will assess $15 for the first piece of luggage checked, while a soda pop or coffee will set you back a couple bucks when flying U.S Airways. With many of these mainline carriers we are reminded that the ticket you purchase is merely for a seat on the plane; think Greyhound bus, but with wings.

Then comes along Southwest Airlines. With banner messages such as, "No surprise fees," and "Fees don't fly with us," the airline launched a media campaign last month which clearly goes against the nickel-and-diming strategy present throughout the rest of the industry. One television features a traveler feeding quarters into coin boxes to open the overhead bin, adjust his seat, and close his window blind.

In addition to television ads, the ad blitz covered print media, online banner ads, and radio spots. The airline also dedicated a page on their website outlining fees Southwest does not charge for.