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Could airlines soon pay travellers to fly?

A carrier that pays you to fly? Doesn’t that sound kind of desperate?

It seems impossible to fathom (unless you have a serious fear of flying), that an airline would pay passengers to fly with them. But this is a future at least one airline CEO can imagine.


According to WOW Air founder and chief executive Skúli Mogensen, this potential business model would work on the principle that an airline could make more money in ancillary revenue than passenger fares.



“I can see a day when we pay you to fly,” Mr Mogensen told Business Insider.


“Our goal, and we’re working hard towards it, is for our ancillary revenue to actually surpass our passenger revenue.


“What ever airline becomes the first to achieve this will be a game changer.”


Since launching in 2014, WOW Air has made an impact on the ultra-low-cost, long-haul market, with trans-Atlantic sale fares as low as US$55 one way.


But like most LCCs, it’s only been able to offer such low costs through unbundled fares and a-la-carte passenger services.


By using passenger data, WOW hopes it can take customer engagement and business efficiency even further. But privacy issues would need to be prioritised.


WOW thinks it could one day even reward passengers who generate good publicity for the airline through social media posts.


“People tend to take a lot of photos while travelling, sharing their experiences,” he said.


“We see a lot of interesting ways to empower people to spread the word about Wow and to reward them accordingly.”


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 17 July 2017

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