Malaysia Airlines Offers Unfortunately Named “Bucket List” Contest to Lure Passengers

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 2 2014 8:00 PM

Malaysia Airlines Offers Unfortunately Named “Bucket List” Contest to Lure Passengers

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Passengers watch a Malaysia Airlines plane on the runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images

The back-to-back crashes of MH370 and MH17 have made for a tragic year for Malaysia Airlines. The tragedies have also rattled travelers, pushing Malaysia’s national carrier to the financial brink. The airline cut nearly 6,000 jobs—30 percent of its workforce—and looked to turn the page, and its flagging fortunes, by rebranding itself. Unfortunately, the rebrand already needs a rebrand of its own.

To help convince travelers back onboard, Malaysia Airlines started up a contest with free flights as a prize. While that seems like a step in the right direction, unfortunately, the competition was billed as “My Ultimate Bucket List.” While having a bucket list is pretty common among wanderlusty travelers, asking passengers for their bucket list, or “a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying,” probably isn’t the best marketing strategy for the beleaguered airline. The airline appears to have pulled the promotion because, well, as Time points out, “asking prospective passengers to think up a bucket list before accepting a free ticket on one of its planes might be construed as macabre.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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