Missed Opportunity

February 5, 2006 by Dave Haynes

I flew up to Ottawa and back the other day on Westjet, a Canadian regional carrier focused on relatively low fares but also in creature comforts. They’ve borrowed JetBlue’s idea and equipped their 737s with leather seats and satellite TV in little 7 inch wide screens in the backs of the seats.That option beats the hell out of watching the force-fed CBS features on Barry Manilow and weak sitcoms on American Airlines flights the same week, but what also interested me was the marketing opportunity WestJet wasn’t taking advantage of.

These screens are on but they’re not allowed to show broadcast TV during boarding, taxi or the several minutes during and after takeoff. Same for on the way down.

That’s 30-40 minutes on a typical flight when all the little screens are conveying to all those captive eyeballs generic corporate messages. For a company that’s constantly looking to make its customers aware of new offers, it’s a missed opportunity.

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