Airlines Are Set for Major Layoffs, but Marketers Won’t Be Affected

With travel demand still well below prepandemic levels, the airline industry has requested a second round of federal bailout funds. Should legislative aid fail to materialize, American, United and Alaska airlines are planning massive layoffs beginning Oct. 1–but their marketing and advertising departments won’t be affected. After being given nearly $25 billion in April as…

While Other Airlines Stay Quiet, Southwest Goes Big on Ads

Southwest Airlines is rolling out its second campaign of the pandemic, another sign that the Dallas-based airline is going against the grain of an industry that’s faced pandemic-induced decimation. The “Wanna Get Away” campaign, released today, features two 30-second spots created with agency GSD&M. It’s familiar ground for the brand, which first rolled out “Wanna…

United Airlines Announces New International Routes With Cryptic Video

In such a dire travel ecosystem, almost any announcement from a travel brand is a big deal–new partnerships with cleaning products, resuming routes and reducing capacity. With advertising budgets slashed, brands have been largely quiet, putting out minimal messaging that it’s safe to fly and encouraging would-be travelers to book a trip. That’s why it…

By Ending Change Fees, U.S. Airlines Gain a New Marketing Tool

The airline industry’s myriad fees have been a bone of contention with travelers for years, and the change fee–which charges fliers as much as $200 to take a different flight after purchasing a ticket–is one of the most hated. But this week, within a few hours of one another led by United Airlines, almost every…

United Permanently Cuts the Dreaded Ticket Change Fee

At the height of the 2008 economic recession, American Airlines became the first major carrier to charge for a checked bag. More than a decade later, travelers now almost expect to be nickel and dimed for everything short of using the lavatory (though Ryanair floated that idea in 2010). But now, in the midst of…

Will the Airline Industry Get Another Bailout?

Before they were given more than $25 billion in March, airline executives warned Congress that if it didn’t act quickly, the industry would see unprecedented layoffs as travel restrictions sent demand plummeting. “Time is running out,” they wrote roughly 10 days after the NBA suspended its season and more than 1,000 Americans tested positive for…

Masks in Commercials? It’s an Open Question, Says Southwest’s CMO

Amid the bleak landscape of the airline industry, Southwest Airlines has become a rare bright spot. Although far from unscathed–the airline lost $915 million in the second quarter–the largest domestic airline in the U.S. has already promised not to lay off workers in the face of depressed travel demand, unlike its competitors. It also managed…

American, Southwest, Alaska and United All Saw Revenue Drop Over 80% in Q2

As American, Southwest and Alaska airlines all released their second-quarter finances this morning, the bonanza of earnings calls repeated the same theme that’s been present since March: Demand is scarce, and the industry is about to get a whole lot smaller come October. “This was one of the most challenging quarters in American’s history,” said…

United Faces the Most Difficult Financial Quarter in Its Nearly 100-Year History

In what the company called “the most difficult financial quarter in its 94-year history,” United Airlines posted nearly $1.6 billion in losses in its second quarter earnings report. Total operating revenues were down more than 87% when compared to the same time last night, a difference of nearly $10 billion. “It was historic for the…

Delta Lost Nearly $5.7 Billion in Q2 and Is Set to Reduce Flights Further

With a full look at the extent of the Covid-19 pandemic’s worst months, Delta posted losses of an incredible 90% of its revenue. In an earnings report released this morning, the airline said that it lost nearly $5.7 billion of income in the second quarter, compared to a profit of $1.4 billion last year. “Given…

Airlines ‘Doing the Math’ on How to Accommodate More Travelers

As Americans begin to travel again, airlines are adding routes to carry passengers. But a total recovery isn’t yet in sight. Last weekend showed signs of progress, as the Transportation Security Administration logged the busiest weekend since mid-March with more than 1.8 million travelers passing through America’s airports. But that number still represents a steep…

Why Companies Want Clorox as Much as Consumers Do (If Not More)

Consumers are desperate for Clorox, and so are brands. More valuable than the disinfecting wipes and sprays, though, has been the sense of safety and security that’s become wrapped up with the Clorox brand. In late May, for instance, a Harris Poll found that U.S. consumers ranked Clorox second on a list of the most…

Fear of Germy Planes Becomes a Boon for iFly’s New Travel-Size Antiseptic Kits

Long before Covid-19, it was the seasonal flu that people feared, and the 2017 flu season was a bad one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 45 million people got sick that year, over 800,000 bad enough to be hospitalized, and 61,000 died. Of course, most Americans didn’t think about statistics like…

The Pandemic Is Ongoing, but Brands Are Encouraging Travel Again

How many Americans would travel to Las Vegas in the middle of a pandemic if their flight was paid for? Evidently, at least 2,000. With social distancing still the recommended course of action in the U.S., travel remains at a low. While some airlines have noted a small uptick in travel, Memorial Day traffic was…

United Airlines Teams Up With Clorox for CleanPlus Cleanliness Initiative

After telling investors that the worst of travel’s Covid-19 woes may be over, airlines are continuing to formalize their new cleaning initiatives to earn traveler confidence. This morning, United Airlines announced a new sanitization and cleaning initiative called United CleanPlus that will include a partnership with the cleaning products company Clorox. United’s program is similar…

Delta Sees Small Uptick in Bookings, a Glimmer of Hope for Travel Industry

Although there’s not yet a light at the end of the tunnel for the travel industry, there are small inklings of hope. At Delta Airlines, that’s come in the form of a slight increase in bookings. “We have seen a bounce off the bottom,” said Delta CFO Paul Jacobson at Wolfe Research’s annual (though, this…

Democratic Senators Introduce Bill Requiring Airlines to Refund Canceled Travel

Democratic senators have introduced legislation today that will require major airlines to offer “full cash” refunds for all tickets canceled during the Covid-19 pandemic. While it’s unclear how far the partisan bill will get, the legislation was spearheaded by Sens. Edward Markey, D-Mass., former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Chris Murphy, D-Conn.,…

Some Airlines Are Giving up the Middle Seat. Not Frontier

Most major U.S. airlines, including Delta, Alaska and American, are giving passengers the option to practice social distancing 30,000 feet in the air by making the decision to no longer sell the middle seat on their flights. Budget carrier Frontier Airlines, however, is taking a different approach: If customers don’t want anyone in the middle…

JetBlue Is the First Airline to Require Passengers to Wear a Mask

Even though practically no one is flying, starting May 4 all passengers aboard any JetBlue flight will be required to wear a face covering. The airline made the announcement Monday evening, taking so far the biggest step so far by any airline toward ensuring customer safety during the Covid-19 outbreak. There was no timeline for…

It Could Take 3 Years for Delta to Reach ‘Sustainable Recovery’

It could take three years for Delta Air Lines to return to where it was financially before Covid-19, according to CEO Ed Bastian. In the airline’s Q1 earnings call Wednesday, Bastian said that given “the combined effects of the pandemic and the associated financial impact on the global economy, we believe it could be up…