KLM Flight Upgrader aims to woo budget passengers

But will VR campaign annoy more than it woos?

KLM has introduced a virtual reality app that aims to show the benefits of flying with them instead of a budget airline.

Called KLM Flight Upgrader, the app works in a Cardboard or VR headset and lets passengers ‘see’ what it is like flying with KLM.

The app aims, in a supposedly humorous way, to highlight the facilities for economy passengers on KLM compared with the more basic features on a budget carrier.

But it might not have the intended effect as passengers just might feel a little offended.

The idea is that while flying with an awful budget airline, passengers can pop on their VR headset and enjoy KLM instead. Without even paying extra!

Aimed at US passengers, KLM implies how awful it is flying with a budget carrier.

“We’ve all been there: stuck on a budget flight without proper food, with no free entertainment and with a crew that seems all but happy to be there. We believe flying should always be a pleasure, and now, we’re expanding our care to budget flights!

And shows all the great stuff passengers get in KLM economy.

So, while you are on board of a budget airline, you can pretend to fly KLM and watch a movie on our entertainment system, use the free KLM media app to read your favourite newspaper, enjoy what a caring crew feels like and have a taste of a real, free, all-inclusive meal.

KLM says their flights always includes:

  • A world-class inflight entertainment system
  • Tasty meals
  • Additional drinks and snacks
  • The KLM media app, with free newspapers for your trip
  • A comfortable economy class seat
  • A caring crew

Implication is that no budget carrier has a comfortable seat or caring crew? That’s just wrong.

KLM also states:

Just start the app, put it in a Cardboard or VR headset and start enjoying all the benefits of all-inclusive flying.

No mention of KLM’s extra charges. For baggage. For seating. And more.

Humour doesn’t always translate

The app is obviously intended to be humorous but sometimes humour doesn’t quite translate from Dutch to other languages.

In 2014, KLM got a lot of negative publicity when it unintentionally offended Mexico over its World Cup loss to Holland.

KLM posted a picture of an airport departures sign with the heading ‘Adios Amigos’. The picture also had a sombrero, moustache and serape blanket.

The picture was posted after the Netherlands’ 2-1 win over Mexico and removed by the airline half an hour later, after Twitter fury.

“It was meant to be a joke,” said KLM’s spokeswoman Lisette Ebeling Koning, adding that the airline never intended to offend Mexicans, which it serves via a daily direct flight between Mexico City and Amsterdam. “But there was too much negative reaction.”

N.B. Image credit: KLM

Internet links

KLM Flight Upgrader