Special is special unless it isn’t

I recently flew to Fort Lauderdale and back on US Airways. On both flights, the flight attendants had a “special” offer for us, a “specially selected flight.” The offer– only available until April 30 (or the whole month of April, whichever way you look at it) was to sign up for a credit card, and get bonus miles. The rest was so complicated that the flight attendant was struggling to explain what it was and how it worked (something to the effect that if you spent x dollars then you could buy a free companion ticket to anywhere except where it is not available).

Special badge

Photo by Dr. Keats from Flickr

This was not a special offer.  It was a run of the mill sign up today for our credit card so that we credit you 5000 miles for the trip. This is not different from any of the airline credit cards or even the points credit cards out there.

This was not unique to our flight. The flight attendants made the same pitch twice. And the guy next to me had heard it on another flight.

Moral of the story: Don’t say something is special if it is not. Most people are savvy enough to know when something is really special and when it is not. Also, don’t repeat your special offer by saying it is only available to a select few when you’ve already offered it to many many others.



About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.

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