Virgin Connects Passengers on the “fly”

Photo courtesy of Virgin America

Virgin America has announced a new mobile app for connecting passengers while in flight or waiting for flights.  The app is called “Here on Biz” and was built to ensure entrepreneurs “never miss a chance to connect.” It allows users to view LinkedIn connections that may also be on their Virgin America flight, at the same airport, or headed to the same destination.

I think this is a great campaign for a couple of reasons.  First, it is great timing since the publicity gets Virgin America in the news on the heels of SXSW. All of the tech industry is headed to Austin, so they will get a lot of early adopters to check it out to connect with others there. It could become a great way to find out who you can connect with if they don’t post anything  to other social media sites.

I also like it due to Virgin America’s existing presence in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley where a lot of their targeted customers reside.  KLM had tried this in the past with their “Meet and Seat” app and if you check the link it appears it is still available. However, I’m not sure how effective it could be since they fly to and from so many different International locations and KLM seems to attract a wider range of customer than Virgin America does.  Since VA’s hub is SFO, they are hitting the sweet spot with early adopters in the tech industry, plus their destinations are limited to similar large markets on the coasts, so they serve similar clientele in those cities as well.

It could just be another gimmick, but in the short term, this new venture will at least give Virgin America some good publicity before SXSW and get a ton of downloads.  At best it will allow users to connect and perhaps create some awesome new partnerships all because they flew from SFO to ORD!


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