Airlines Are Going Too Far To Attract Millenials

Ah yes, Millenials! The demographic that few can reach and fewer understand. Typically western wealthy youth between the ages of 18 to 35, this market has long been notorious to convert and harder to turn into a brand loyal.

Even Airliners have fallen to the temptation of using crazy marketing ploys and unique features to try and grab as much attention from as many millennials as possible.

But have airlines gone too far?

Garuda now features live concert performances to attract millennials

Garuda Indonesia is very familiar to strange business moves (Like how they will be flying a one-way route from London to Bali with no return trip) but this one might take the cake.

They will now be featuring live acoustic performances on select Jakarta to Bali flights in order to cater to millennials. They will highlight local musical talent in sets of 10-15 minutes.

According to a spokesperson for the airline, the scheme is designed to attract those looking for a “different flight experience”.

Now, whilst a musical performance is a wonderful thing if you are so inclined, there is not really an opportunity to ‘opt-out’ if it’s not your cup of tea. Passengers can’t get off the plane and might prefer to watch a movie, get some work done or sleep. Plus, we can hardly imagine that a plane has the best acoustics on board, with sound reverbing around the cabin.

Airlines Are Going Too Far To Attract Millenials
Even in the press release photo, we see someone ‘enjoying’ the event.

“Millennials don’t want this. Nobody wants this. Anyone who’s taken the New York City subway could tell you this is a terrible idea.” – RAL

This type of inflight entertainment has been tried before, on Southwest in 2017. Press at the time said that it received ‘mixed results’ and was swiftly shelved.

Southwest Airlines
Southwest tried to have music on board in 2017, but found many passengers had different taste.

Dear Airlines, can you not?

This highlights a growing marketing trend of airlines trying to be ‘cool’ and cater to this demographic. And coming across at best corny (and completely not understanding the market) or at worst, having a financial failure on their hands.

Take Joon, Air France’s attempt at making a cool airline. They did a whole marketing campaign where at first no one understood what the product was (Is it a nightclub? a retail experience? an airline?) and then offered a product that didn’t really cater to what millennials want. For example, the airline offered those sitting in economy to upgrade their seats into ‘sky couches’ in which they could lie down and relax.

CosyJoon is only available in four rows onboard the A340. Image: Air France

But why spend the money on that when you can upgrade to business on a different airline which has far better features and soft product? The airline itself even has a business class, so they are competing against themselves?

The airline has since been discontinued (as even the new CEO didn’t understand how it was supposed to fit into the big picture).

How do airlines attract millennials?

To give a simple answer (as a millennial myself), there is not one way to ‘get’ a demographic. Airlines need to understand that they need to focus on providing an excellent service with a great soft product. Stop trying gimmicks like a live concert or sky couches or virtual reality on board. Frankly, at this point, it’s rather insulting.

Joon millennial airline
Dubbed the ‘airline for millennials’, Joon targets itself at families and young people.

“If airlines want to attract customers why don’t they offer a bigger seat in economy class and a decent meal, problem solved” – Nova Care Med

Provide a good product at a cheap or fair rate, with innovative customer service solutions that apply to any generation and you will be a winner.

What do you think? Is there a way to reach the millennial demographic?