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FAIRPLANE - ANGRY PASSENGER

Initial situation

The flight right compensation is controlled by the EU-regulation (EU-VO 261/2004). It applies to all flights starting within the EU. However, only a small number of passengers affected by flight irregularities know their rights and even less try to enforce their rights. Many are afraid of any confrontation with the supposedly „stronger” airline. Aim of the flight right portal Fairplane: generate widest media coverage possible through specific PR action with flanking measures.

 Strategy

Organisation and implementation of a press conference and campaign in Berlin, the political center in Germany: The appointment for the press event was chosen prior to an important public hearing in front of the EU parliament in order to have an active influence on it.


Implementation

In order to be as powerful as possible, Fairplane collaborated with their two biggest competitors: Flightright and EUclaim. To emphasize their non-profit claim towards the media, the European Passengers’ Federation participated as well. As additional advocates independent experts such as travel attorney Prof. Dr. Ronald Schmid stated their opinions. Additional attorneys, for example Michael Cramer - member of the EU parliament and speaker of the Green Party of the committee of the travel and tourism sector- rank among the supporters. Furthermore, a common advocacy group named “Angry Passenger” was formed and presented at the press conference. Users could fill out an online petition via www.angry-passenger.org, that was sent to the decision makers in Brussels and the respective countries.

Outcome

Within a few days, around 350 publications were generated with a total circulation of about 4,7 million and a coverage of 31 million in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The equivalent value of this coverage was about 335,000 Euro.

Through flanking measures like press work and the pitching of the petition, the visitor numbers on the portals of Fairplane, EUclaim and Flightright increased significantly. Within a very short time, the online portal of Angry Passenger registered several hundred petitions addressed to the voting parliamentarians.

The PR measures had long-lasting political consequences: In Austria, the minister of traffic positioned herself against the planned revision. The Chamber of Labour requested a ‘fundamental revision’ of the proposals. In Germany, Ilse Aigner, Federal Minister of consumer protection, also support the petition.

The PR campaign was nominated for the PR report award 2013.


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