In the latest marketing stunt aimed at pulling on people’s heartstrings in advance of the holiday season, Dutch airline KLM brought some flyers to tears recently by enlisting their loved ones to write personal messages that were then left on the headrests.
After scouring the departures terminal for teary goodbyes, KLM staff took friends and relatives aside and invited them to write a final surprise message that would be attached to flyers’ seatbacks.
In a race against time, airline and airport staff at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport hurried to the aircraft and affixed the greeting to the right seats.
When flyers boarded the flight, they were greeted with personalized messages from sisters and grandparents that reduced many passengers to tears.
It’s the latest stunt from KLM to try to appeal to consumers’ mushy side -- only this time, the stunt was real.
This past fall, the airline punked media and consumers alike in a video that went viral thanks to an adorable beagle named Sherlock. The plucky little dog was pitched as the airline’s newest lost and found officer, returning forgotten items onboard to their rightful owner.
It was later revealed that the video was just a marketing ploy.
But the all-time favorite tear-jerking airline stunt has to go to Canadian low-budget carrier WestJet, which last year made the Christmas wishes of a plane full of unsuspecting flyers come true.
After telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas -- a choo-choo train, big-screen TV, tablet, camera etc. -- passengers boarded their flight none the wiser.
In the meantime, a guerilla team of WestJet staff frantically jotted down everyone’s wish list and dashed to a nearby retailer to make dreams come true.
When the passengers arrived at a festooned baggage carrousel in Calgary, out came a convoy of personalized, gift-wrapped presents for the flyers.