Paying for checked baggage has become an accepted — if widely loathed — part of air travel. As one of a handful of carriers that still allows its customers to check some bags for free, Southwest Airline is using that to its advantage this holiday season.
The airline, with Austin-based AOR GSD&M, ran a Twitter promotion this Tuesday called #FeesDontFly that awarded a $50 Visa gift card and a pair of tickets to those who shared a horror story about their travel experience with a competing carrier.
Southwest kicked off the promotion on Tuesday morning by tweeting a link to an article about Spirit and Frontier Airlines increasing their surcharges over the holiday season, along with an invite for followers to share their airline "hidden fee horror stories."
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) December 15, 2015
The airline responded to the stories on Twitter, inviting select users to DM Southwest to redeem their prize.
The Twitter effort is part of Southwest’s "Transfarency" campaign, which highlights how clear, or "transparent," the airline is about additional fees. It launched in October with a 30-second commercial and a microsite that compares the airline’s low-cost baggage and flight-change fees to the travel costs on Spirit Airlines, which charges for printing boarding passes, in-flight snacks and carry-on bags. The 15-week campaign will run through January.
"’Transfarency’ rose to the top for us. In one word you get the idea; you get the playfulness from it," said Marianne Malina, president of GSD&M, in a statement about the launch of the campaign. "It has smart humor that Southwest can own, and it elevates the idea beyond just inclusive pricing. It's about transparency and being honest."