Lonely Planet Writer

Airline offers 150 passengers a free trip – if they all agree the destination

As the lead-up to the US election exposes the inability of the nation’s political parties to agree on just about anything, American airline JetBlue offered 150 passengers a free round-trip flight – if they could unanimously agree on their destination.

Passengers vote on their desired destination.
Passengers vote on their desired destination. Image by JetBlue YouTube

And while it’s a lot easier to pick a free vacation to any of the airline’s destinations than to decide on government policy, there was still some debate on what was the ideal holiday locale. JetBlue posted a video of the promotion, called “Reach Across the Aisle”, showing the decision-making process among the passengers.

A spokesperson introduced the challenge, explaining that “it seems like the world is struggling to come to agreement. It seems like people everywhere are digging in, holding their ground, refusing to compromise”. He says they decided to complete a social experiment on board a JetBlue flight to see if passengers could come to an agreement. The unsuspecting passengers were told they will be given a voucher for a free round-trip flight to anywhere the company flies, if they can all agree.

The first debate hinged on whether they should pick a domestic or international location, which hinged on some not having passports. However, they eventually agreed that that’s a problem that can be fixed. But, soon, the debate came down to the merits of travelling to Colombia, Costa Rica, Saint Lucia or Turks and Caicos. Passengers try and convince one another what is best – and head up to the intercom to explain their case – until Costa Rica is unanimously declared the winner.

The moral of the story, according to JetBlue? “If people compromise and work together, all parties can win”.

Watch the video here.