This Week in Travel News: A New Airline is Targeting #Millennials With #Hashtags and #Branding
By Michael Fraiman
Guess what, fellow millennials? We now have our own airline! And it’s pointedly targeted right at us, the elusively digital millennial demographic! #JOON (their branding; hashtag optional) is a new Air France brand meant to lure in digital-savvy travellers between the ages of 18 and 35. It’s not a low-cost alternative, but it does seem hip, based on its cel-shaded animations and abundant use of hashtags. “Joon is a lifestyle brand and a state of mind,” Caroline Fontaine, VP Brand at Air France, told Travelweek. “This generation has inspired us a lot: epicurean and connected, they are opportunistic in a positive sense of the word as they know how to enjoy every moment and are in search of quality experiences that they want to share with others. Joon is a brand that carries these values.”
Pardon my skepticism as an epicurean, connected millennial, but I don’t understand what most of that means, nor did I ever think Air France was particularly un-epicurean enough to inspire an epicurean offshoot. But, hey! Best of luck, #JOON. The airline will launch mid-range flights this fall out of Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, and expand to longer-haul routes in 2018. Below you can watch their introductory video, featuring hip multiracial millennials with lots of clothes and a confusingly irrelevant cameo by the Instagram logo.
— JOON (@weflyjoon) July 20, 2017
Speaking of being opportunistic and wanting to share experiences with others, let’s turn to this week’s most inconsequential travel news story: Ann Coulter! The right-wing pundit went on a fiery tweetstorm against Delta last weekend after getting bumped from one seat to another in the same row. She’s gotten a lot of eye rolls for this, partly because she changed her seat less than 24 hours before her flight, for $30, to get the extra legroom—then, when the airline accidentally assigned her in the wrong seat (by the window!), she fumed for a while on Twitter. Delta responded by offering Coulter her $30 back, which, in her view, missed the point.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 17, 2017
It’s a screw-up on Delta’s part, no question. But Coulter’s response—as if she’s the latest victim who was dragged bleeding off an airplane, denied boarding for because of her clothes or served a banana as a gluten-free meal—is frankly silly. Just chill, Coulter. You don’t need to still tweet about this several days after the fact. Just chill.
And finally, because this week’s biggest travel headlines have filled me with more than my usual fill of snark, let’s shine a spotlight on those marvelous Afghan girls who won a silver medal at an American robotics competition after nearly being barred from entering the country. The six girls’ visas were rejected twice, spurring international outrage and intervention from US president Donald Trump to allow them into the country. As Alireza Mehraban, an Afghan software engineer and the team’s mentor, told The New York Times, “We’re not terrorists. We’re simple people with ideas. We need a chance to make our world better. This is our chance.”