Pilots around the world are taking to social media to encourage people to book flights.

By Stacey Leasca
June 03, 2020
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Credit: Simone Simone/Getty Images

Airline pilots are hoping travelers can do them a favor. And that favor, according to social media, is to start hoarding airline tickets just like people were hoarding toilet paper.

As Business Insider explained, pilots appear to be taking the future of their industry into their own hands by pleading with social media followers to continue to book vacations and airline tickets to use at a later date.

Pulling from the popular style of the Instagram meme page, Dude with a Sign, EasyJet pilot Charlotte Dielman posted a message to her followers with her sign reading, “Buy flight tickets like you buy toilet paper.” She shared it with the hashtags, #SaveAviation, and #InThisTogether.

Captain Chris Pohl, a Virgin Atlantic pilot based in Toulouse, France, followed Dielman’s lead, posting a picture with the same sign. This time, however, Pohl was wearing his captain’s uniform and even threw in a few rolls of toilet paper for good measure.

In the caption, Pohl shared, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I have been following @dudewithsign since I started on Instagram and I saw @pilotcharlotte posted a similar message. I put them together to make my own version.” He added, “Please RE-POST and pass this message to everyone you know, because it’s REAL. We need the world to start booking tickets, which will allow airlines to fill aircraft and get us all flying again. The only thing holding us back, is you; our loyal customers/passengers, without you, we’re grounded. Let’s get the world flying again.”

Both Pohl and Dielman may be onto something about purchasing flights and accommodations for vacations to use at a later date. As Travel + Leisure previously reported, a number of bucket-list-worthy destinations are offering pay now travel later deals. That includes cruises to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands, safaris in East Africa, and even companies offering road trip itineraries through the United States.

"Many of my colleagues have lost their jobs and others, including myself, have uncertain futures,” Pohl shared with Business Insider. Of his photo, Pohl explained that it at least brought him a little bit of joy in the midst of madness.

"The photo was taken at my home in France, leaning forward on my son's BMX ramp to highlight the blue sky as he threw toilet paper at me,” he said. “I was only wearing the top half of my uniform, I was wearing shorts and flip-flops out of shot."