British Airways has chopped off a cameo played by Virgin Atlantic chairman Richard Branson in the latest James Bond film Casino Royale.
Who gets more mileage out of this? Branson, of course. What did BA think? That had the portion remained in the version they screen for in-flight viewing, people would have jumped off the aircraft to catch a Virgin flight instead? Or decided to switch loyalties?
Most people choose airplanes for the best routes, the best fares, and what they perceive is safety and hospitality record, though both these factors are iffy.
Branson can and does pay huge amounts for publicity, so it is a bit daft to think he would need a small part in a film to pose competition to BA.
Loyalty in the service industry is based on the factors I mentioned, and that too if you are a frequent flyer. I cannot imagine businessmen or high-flying executives bothering about who appears in a movie. Most of them don’t watch films. They play with their laptops, trying to look busy, or they put on the headphones and fall asleep. Or they get drunk.
BA has revealed supreme idiocy and insecurity. I hope Branson comes up with a fitting reply, perhaps a spoof. He’d make for a wonderfully cheesy martyr. His stock will go up even more...uh, the Virgin's got a rise...