Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jet Blue gives back to their Twitter followers

To celebrate their 10th birthday, popular airline Jet Blue decided to give back to some lucky fans this week. Their first "gift" was offering $10 flights from JFK to its original 10 destinations. This deal offered flights to cities such as: Oakland, Orlando, Salt Lake City and Tampa. Of course the deal offered this past weekend had a catch, you had to fly out on Monday, March 8th or Tuesday, March 9th. Nevertheless I'm sure this deal saved many customers a lot of money.

Today Jet Blue sweetened the pot and decided to give away nearly 1000 tickets scavenger hunt style around Manhattan. The company cleverly posted updates on twitter, stating their location and instructions on specific items to bring in exchange for free tickets. With San Francisco, Vegas and Chicago on my domestic travel list I decided I was going to join in the festivities and try my luck if the location was near my job.

The first location was posted on Twitter at noon explaining to bring a birthday card for Jet Blue to Broadway & Dey street in the financial district. This was too far from my office, but I stayed glued to twitter for updates on the next location.

2 hours later the second location was posted, this time the free tickets were on 11th st and University place and you had to bring something airplane related. I borrowed my co-workers' frequent flyer card and ran out thinking I would be one of the first ones to arrive.

There was a gigantic line bending around the block filled with young people carrying peanuts, headphones, ticket stubs and anything else airline related. I knew I wasn't going to win but decided to hop on at the end of the line. There were a few hundred people in front of me and literally a minute later a Jet Blue representative came down the line to kill our dreams by announcing that they had ran out of tickets for this location.

The representatives hailed down a couple cabs to head to their next destination. The mobs of hopeful people swarmed around them, some begging for tickets. It was quite a scene as the reps smiled while dodging through the crowd. It reminded me of a movie star leaving a shoot trying to avoid autograph seeking fans. Despite the herds of desperate travelers there was a fun atmosphere happening here. It was an excuse for friends to hang out and try their luck to possibly score free tickets, right before spring break for the college crowd.

I applaud Jet Blue for thinking outside of the box and coming up with this fun and creative marketing plan. The execution via social media was extremely efficient and hit the young college demographic head on. They proved to the community that they are generous, and will possibly gain market share in the process thanks to word of mouth. The airline industry often lacks personality, so it was nice to see Jet Blue reach out to their fans in a creative way. 2 Thumbs up!

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