Given that the global aviation industry is deep in the poo right now, an Australian airline pilot based in Europe has gone viral with his clever appeal for people to ‘buy airline tickets like you bought toilet paper’.
Chris Pohl, who lives in France and flies for Virgin Atlantic, created an Instagram post of himself in his airline captain’s uniform holding a cardboard sign with the plaintive message.
So far he has received more than 4 600 ‘likes’ and his photo and message have been shared around the world.
Pilot gets hundreds of messages and calls
“I’ve had hundreds of DMs, texts, emails, WhatsApp messages and Facebook messages, plus many calls,” he told Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.
“[I’ve had] messages arriving from all over the world. Many travel agents are asking to use the image, and of course, the answer is ‘yes’. This photo is not about me, it’s about sending a fun message to get people motivated to buy airline tickets.”
Pohl, aged 56, is a senior A350 training captain at Virgin Atlantic and has been flying for 38 years.
We need the world to start booking tickets
He doesn’t claim the idea as his own and says in his Instagram post that he was inspired by @dudewithsign and @pilotcharlotte, who posted a similar message.
“I put them together to make my own version,” he says. Pohl then follows up with a plea: “Please re-post and pass this message to everyone you know, because it’s real. We need the world to start booking tickets, which will allow airlines to fill aircraft and get us all flying again.
“The only thing holding us back, is you; our loyal customers/passengers, without you, we’re grounded. Let’s get the world flying again.”
The Daily Mail says customers are now even using the hashtag #buyairlineticketslikeyouboughttoiletpaper in WhatsApp exchanges with Virgin Atlantic customer service teams.
But not everyone’s in favour of the idea
Not everyone is taken with Captain Pohl’s plea, though.
Said one Instagrammer: “Are you an idiot? Where are people supposed to be buying these tickets to? The borders are closed! Or are you just asking us to buy tickets with no intent to fly anywhere. Basically, you’re asking for welfare?”
Wrote another: “I’d love to, but we aren’t even allowed out of state without 14 days quarantine.”
Said a third with a sense of humour: “I guess you get the sense [that] we’re willing to poop out money to buy those tickets, yet we just have nowhere to go.”