With no-frills flying the norm these days, a fact that's been made more obvious with the demise of Virgin America (a company that specialized in going the extra mile), airlines are hard-pressed to market themselves differently as they look for ways to distance themselves from the competition.
Such was the case earlier in May when JetBlue launched a three-day campaign to offer Los Angelinos a chance to sample New York-style pizza flown to them directly from the Big Apple. In particular, they chose Harlem-based Patsy's Pizzeria to create the Italian delicacy. Pie in the sky? You bet, at literally 30, 000 feet.
Considering the 3,000-mile distance between New York and L.A., those who ordered the authentic pies had to wait a few hours. And the promotion didn't exactly improve JetBlue's bottom line; in fact they didn't make any money at all. The whole scheme was designed to demystify the notion that delivery of tasty treats need not be restricted to a consumer's immediate locale and that distance is no obstacle.
Naturally, it required some savvy know-how. It didn't take any extra effort from Patsy's cooks. The only thing they had to do differently was to pack the pies into large insulated containers to ensure the pizzas arrived at their destination while still piping hot. A van ride to Kennedy International Airport and loading them onto a JetBlue flights was the only extra task that staff had to perform.
The campaign didn't affect the cost of the pizza, with prices including a cheese selection at $12 to one with pepperoni toppings at $15. JetBlue footed the entire bill for the delivery. But consumers on the west coast had to be quick on the draw, since orders were limited to 350 pizzas a day. And to further entice more orders, JetBlue even added on its website a video from legendary film producer and outspoken New York citizen Spike Lee demonstrating how to eat a New York-style pizza.
With the promotional gimmick over, JetBlue has since switched gears encouraging folks to fly the airline to New York to sample its famous pizza on home turf.
There is no word on whether JetBlue will repeat the campaign or launch a similar venture involving other types of fast food. And considering the average speed of an airline is roughly 600 mph, we're talking fast.