Skift Take

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

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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Tags: southwest airlines, spirit airlines, virgin america

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

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