Uber’s Latest Publicity Stunt Involves a Private Jet to the Cannes Film Festival

A blog about business and economics.
May 14 2014 4:31 PM

Uber’s Latest Publicity Stunt Involves a Private Jet to the Cannes Film Festival

140615827-french-dassault-falcon-jet-transferring-palestinian
Now an Uber service, though you can't quite hail one with your phone.

Photo by Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

This story originally appeared on Inc.

More than a year ago, Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber, told me it's in his private-car-hailing company's DNA to always "roll with a little bit of flair." 

Advertisement

Uber's particular brand of flair has ranged from cute (roses on Valentine's Day for female Uber passengers) to hipster-twee (ice-cream truck delivery, with complementary neon Uber tank tops) to borderline garishly wealth-flaunty (helicopter to the Hamptons, anyone? No? And here I thought I was in Uber's target demographic).

This week, Uber is not only extending another spectacle-for-purchase to the small fraction of 1 percenters who would actually buy into such a blatant PR stunt (and who are apparently really bad at planning): Booking a private jet to the Cannes Film Festival. Car service to and from the airports is included. It better be: The private Paris to Nice trip is $8,907.52. (A round trip on Air France, for comparison, is $212.00.)

It's no surprise Uber is still working with private-jet companies, after co-founder Garrett Camp gently let his Uber-spinoff, BlackJet, slide away. For this promotion, the San Francisco-based company, which operates in hundreds of cities in 35 countries, is working with Goodwill Private Jets, a Paris-based luxury-travel logistics company that also specializes in medical evacuations and yacht rentals.

Aside from just being an idea with extremely limited appeal, this publicity stunt is also Uber's way to thumb its nose at the French government, which has been floating the idea of limiting companies' abilities to use cellphone-based customer geolocation

Here's guessing customers will thumb their noses at this latest stunt.

Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is a senior writer at Inc. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 9:26 AM These Lego Masterpieces Capture the Fear and Humor of the “Dark” Side
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 8:46 AM The Vintage eBay Find I Wore to My Sentencing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.