AirBaltic and SAS surprise passengers travelling during Easter

Airlines are increasingly organizing onboard events for passengers flying on festive days such as Christmas Day, Valentines Day or national holidays. These kind of experiental initiatives resonate with passengers as they give an extra dimension to their flight, and if the airline really makes an effort, the news will spread fast via social media, providing the airline with some relevant exposure.

Spanair, Qantas, Delta
For example, (now defunct) in the week before Christmas, Spanair surprised children flying on the Barcelona – La Coruña route with Christmas presents at 10,700 meters altitude. A Spanair flight attendant announced that Santa Claus himself just flew by and left some presents. Each kid’s name was then called and a personal remark (submitted by parents earlier) was made how he or she had behaved during the year before receiving a present (video here). In Australia, Qantas surprised 500 passengers travelling on Christmas Day with free gifts in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. As passengers were waiting for their luggage to arrive, the airline placed gifts tagged with the passenger’s name on the luggage carousel (video here).

On a similar note, on Valentine’s Day, Delta Air Lines worked with Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio, USA to deliver individually-labeled red gift bags with boxes of chocolate for every passenger on flight DL5256 via the baggage claim belt (video here). Southwest, meanwhile, offers passengers a free drink of their choice on special ocassions such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, as well as the airline’s ‘birthday’ on June 18.

The latest airline to engage passengers with an ‘act of kindness’ is Latvian-based airBaltic, which surprised passengers travelling on Easter Sunday (April 8th 2012) by hiding Easter eggs containing gifts onboard its flights. Up to five flat paper eggs were hidden inside each aircraft, to be exchanged for prizes for passengers who found them. All in all 450 prizes, containing gifts such as an airBalticBag, airBaltic Shoe, romantic weekend vouchers at hotels in Riga, Scandinavia, Europe and Russia, where hidden inside seat pockets, inflight magazines, overhead bins, behind folded tray tables, or underneath seats. Each passenger was also given chocolate eggs by airBaltic staff dressed as Easter bunnies as they entered the gate to the aircraft.

Another Nordic airline, Scandinavian Airlines, surprised passengers with candy-filled Easter eggs at the gate, onboard the planes and on the baggage belt during the Easter holiday season. Eight hundred large Easter eggs were handed out to passengers and the airline also attached 2,500 labels with an Easter greeting to baggage arriving on the luggage belt (images and video).

The Easter surprise was sponsored by SAS’ IT supplier Snowfall in order to demonstrate the importance of a good ground handling service as part of the travel experience, as well as to increase the involvement and job satisfaction of SAS employees.

Thanks to Christian Kamhaug and Michael Mednis for alerting on the SAS and Qantas initiatives.


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