Thomsonfly – serious about building a stand alone airline brand?

Ahh. There's nothing like being given the run around by an airline. Us travelhacks depend on them to get us to places so we can write features. They quite like the fact that we give them mentions at the end of a feature. So much so that (gasp) if the destination is one they want to publicise they give you a free seat. Well that's the theory... So I have a confirmed feature for a major UK national newspaper's weekend magazine about Mexico. I've been talking to the BGB the PR company that works for Thomsonfly a newish airline brand launched as a spin-off business from the huge tour operator Thomson, part of the TUI empire They have direct flights to Cancun from London Gatwick. Perfect. Well that's what I figured...

I got a warm reception from the PR about the idea. But to cut a long story short, it transpires that virtually all the seats on these flights are package tourists - people who've booked flight and accommodation together. If all I can give them is a 'How to get there' mention in the fact box at the end of the piece then they aren't interested. So short-sighted in my opinion. If it was a well known brand like say British Airways fair enough. They hardly need the publicity. But Thomsonfly? Who are they? It's a shame too because no one else flies direct to Cancun and Mexico has heaps to offer independent travellers so this routing could work really well if it was promoted properly in my opinion.

(Me? I'll have to fly with someone more helpful like KLM but it will be via two connecting airports so a huge trek.)

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