Peter Schlesinger
October 17, 2014

No weekend plans? You might want to consider watching a new 5 hour and 46 minute advertisement from Virgin America

In a genius attack on its competitors, it recreates a flight, populated by manequins traveling from Newark to San Francisco on “Blah Airlines” (read: every airline that isn’t Virgin).

Drawn out silences prevail inside the horribly lit plane, but there are some winning conversations as well.  There are the standard announcements (“Ladies and gentlemen, the update is we don’t have any information”), uncomfortable seatmate chatter (“I’m sort of an activist for robots’ rights.”), and mini-bags of peanuts handed out by a flight attendant (“Peanuts. Peanuts. Peanuts…”). Throughout the video, a pop-up banner reminds flyers they can choose another airline that would solve whatever problems shown in the video (“Exit Blah for power outlets at your seat”).

Long and boring, the ad will not become YouTube’s most-watched video anytime soon. But that’s exactly Virgin’s point.  The company wants consumers to think twice before booking on Blah airlines and other blah airlines when they could choose Virgin instead.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.

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