It’s on! AirTran Fires Back at Southwest Ad

The rivalry between the USA’s two biggest discounters could be about to get a little bit spicier. Anyone who’s been watching the NCAA men’s basketball tournament during the past two weeks has probably noticed a Southwest Airlines ad that shows its baggage handlers flashing a “bags fly free” message painted on their chests to a rival airplane parked at a nearby gate. In that “Battle Cry” ad by Southwest, the name and logo of the rival carrier are blurred out. However, it doesn’t take much to figure out the jet is from rival AirTran, which does charge for checked bags.

Well, now AirTran has fired back. On its “Inside AirTran” employee website, the company says: “We’ve heard from many Crew Members from around the country about a funny ad currently running on network TV. We’ve been asked again and again how we planned to respond. Well, we thought about it and thought about it and decided to not respond at all. After all, focusing on running the best low-cost carrier in America is enough to keep us busy.”

Of course, you know it can’t end like that. AirTran adds: “BUT…if we were to respond, it might look something like this: … .” AirTran then follows with this video that evokes the “cattle call” critique frequently used by Southwest detractors. As Southwest says: “It’s on!”

Oh It's ON !

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