British Airways irks Twitter users with Brexit ‘fire-sale’
By Grace Caffyn
British Airways has a simple motto: to fly, to serve. But not everyone is happy with a Twitter ad the brand has been serving to US consumers.
The tweet, which targeted Twitter users in the U.S., nodded to the pound’s 31-year low against the dollar following “Brexit” Britain’s decision to leave the EU last Thursday.
Your dollar has never gone further, and with our amazing 3 day sale you can see even more of London! https://t.co/yaaJ808kVW
— British Airways (@British_Airways) June 27, 2016
While the tweet received plenty of shares, in its comments BA received a backlash from consumers for capitalising on the chaos, branding the promotion “too soon”.
@British_Airways Too soon, BA. Too soon.
— Kristine Smith (@KSmithSF) June 27, 2016
Too soon. @British_Airways
— Marsha Iverson (@BookPitcher) June 27, 2016
.@British_Airways Horrendously tacky, turning the brexit market crash into a sales pitch.
— Fortunalee (@Fortunalee) June 27, 2016
— Mary Branscombe (@marypcbuk) June 27, 2016
— Smile Back (@HoppusAurelius) June 27, 2016
According to VisitEngland, Americans are the U.K.’s top spenders, making up 9 percent of visitors each year.
So far, none of BA’s competitors have promoted Brexit-themed deals. Australian airline Qantas is offering triple points on flights to London until July 4 — but the company’s promotion does not make an overt link to the U.K.’s current economic climate. Meanwhile, low-cost airline Monarch told Digiday it was offering discounts on UK flights to Spanish and Italian customers via email.
Willie Walsh, the CEO of British Airways’ parent company IAG, told Bloomberg at that he was predicting a surge in inbound tourism to the U.K. as visitors capitalize on the increased spending power of the dollar.
Other airlines like budget operator Ryanair are worried about Britain’s appetite for traveling weakening, with reduced spending putting a squeeze on margins.
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