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Airline brand identities: The grown-up, the hipster and the meanie

Excerpt from Good Morning America

Mar 29, 2013 12:04 pm

Skift Take

Passengers do care — sometimes vehemently — about an airline’s image, but reliable service and decent fares are more important.

— Dennis Schaal

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Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza climbed into an overhead bin to talk about the airline's charges for carry-on bags. Spirit Airlines


Quirky, even wacky identities are the hallmark of several carriers that pay good money for this branding. Let’s look at three airline images then answer this question: When it comes to choosing whom to fly with, do passengers really give a [rabid badger, per Virgin America] about image?

You have to wonder whether JetBlue’s catchphrase, “we’ll throw in a little thing called humanity” isn’t a not-so-veiled dig at that meanie, Spirit. Florida-based discounter Spirit revels in an endless stream of nasty or snarky website ads targeting politicians (the former governor of Illinois’ conviction was marked by screaming headlines announcing a “Slammer Sale!”); athletes (an allegedly enhanced Yankee was tweaked in the “Improve Your Travel Performance” sale); and don’t forget that Secret Service prostitution scandal (“More Bang for Your Buck”).

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