LAS VEGAS: JetBlue Airways and lifestyle e-newsletter Thrillist recently ran a 36-hour junket for journalists and bloggers from New York to Las Vegas. It attracted reps from Gawker, In Touch, Star, the New York Daily News, New York Post, Fox & Friends, Inside Edition, and others, according to Alison Eshelman, JetBlue spokeswoman.
The June 13-14 event aimed to promote JetBlue's "Happy Jetting" ad and brand awareness campaign, she said, while Thrillist promoted its new Vegas-centric edition of the newsletter.
"It's just about keeping the morale up and showing that Jet-Blue is a different kind of airline," she added. "Going out for a 36-hour adventure is kind of what the jet-setting lifestyle is all about, and also to celebrate being in Las Vegas for the Thrillist launch... and introduce [media members] to the way that JetBlue is trying to reintroduce itself."
Happy Jetting, which launched in May, aims to differentiate JetBlue as a fun alternative to other airlines, Eshelman said, particularly as many add fees amidst rising fuel costs.
Flavie Bagnol, Thrillist director of communications, said most of the coverage of the junket was great.
"People were talking about us having a good time, and that is what we are about," she said.
The junket included lodging at the Mirage Hotel and Casino, as well as events at Bare and Jet nightclubs, food and drink and gift bags. Most coverage appeared on blogs and Web sites, said Bagnol.
Reports from RadarOnline.com, the New York Observer, and Portfolio chided reporters and bloggers for accepting a free ride to Las Vegas. Reporters were given the opportunity to reimburse JetBlue and Thrillist for the cost of the junket, Bagnol said.*
Some reporters, as well as JetBlue officials, also Twittered about their experiences, Eshelman noted.
*CORRECTION: A previous version of this story noted that Bagnol said, "Pretty much all" of the reporters of mainstream titles reimbursed JetBlue and Thrillist for the cost of the junket. Bagnol contacted PRWeek and said the earlier statement was incorrect.