While Air Canada Warns Pilots About Porn, Other Airlines Use it in Their Ads

Air Canada is warning pilots to stop leaving porn in the cockpit.

Because pornography is meant for airline advertising only. Here is VietJet’s sexy airline ads — a ‘leaked’ campaign with flight attendant models in bikinis.

There are ‘complaints’. Which is the same thing as ‘buzz’ which is, after all, the point. I’m not sticking the photos on my blog, you can click through to the article if you’re looking for that. I’m more interested in the marketing angles here.

VietJet has gotten in trouble – with government fines – for doing this before. But the fines were less than US$1000, so they were clearly worth the free advertising they got ’round the world and reputational effects — all free once they had done the deed and hired some PR folks to purposely get them in trouble.

NokAir does it. And depending on your predilections this could even be sexy. It isn’t just foreign carriers, either. Although no US airline has filmed a safety video entirely with swimsuit models in bikinis. The closest is Spirit Airlines who usually just does the double entendre but has recently gotten racier.

Russia’s Avianova has the most over-the-top use of sex to sell tickets.

Then again, it’s a long tradition — from Braniff’s “Air Strip” ads, to Southwest’s entire original model being the selling of sex. Their ticker symbol is LUV. Their flight attendants wore hot pants. And their automated ticket machines back then were called “Quickies.”

And then the airlines complain when this happens.

Ironically, one of their original board members and funders was a religious fundamentalist whom founding Southwest President Lamar Muse shared in his autobiography agreed to seed the airline when they promised to put skylights in the planes so that passengers could look up towards the heavens.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Haha. I’m not sure about what the pilots were looking at, but NONE of the above could be considered PORN. Inappropriate for business, yes, PORN, definitely not.

  2. In what world is women in bikinis remotely considered to be porn? Nowhere in the western world, that’s for sure.

  3. I worked in Vietnam for many years, and I clearly know how corrupt are government officials. $1000 that VietJet paid is just what’s on paper. In reality, it was much much more after the officials pocketed in their fair share.

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