Earlier last year I posted an article about a new promotion between Northwest Airlines and Paypal, where if you pay for your ticket with Paypal you get a 50$ rebate after a few weeks. It worked pretty well, I flew a couple of routes and I got my money back long ago.
It looks like they’re running the promo again, maybe to stir up more interest in Paypal’s payment engine. The promo website says that you must book before March 27th and fly between April 1 and June 14. Easy enough.
And now some words for all of you afraid to use Paypal: It’s not that difficult. You don’t need to sign up for any crazy service (imagine my arms waving wildly in the sky), jump through any hoops or sell your soul to the devil. At the end of the booking process, you select Paypal as an option, click through a few links and drop your credit card number in. The rebate will be stored in an online account which you can directly deposit into your personal bank account or have sent to you in a check.
Still concerned? Let me know. I’ll book your ticket using Paypal, send you a check for twenty bucks and spend the other thirty dollars on sandwiches. Delicious, delicious sandwiches.
Southwest Airlines has begun accepting electronic payments from PayPal as an alternative way of purchasing its low-fare tickets.
“We want to make purchasing a ticket on Southwest Airlines as easy and appealing as possible — and PayPal is a great addition to our payment options,” said Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines Vice President Marketing, Sales, and Distribution, in an official statement.
This is especially nice for hardcore eBay salespeople and travelers who may not have a credit card, as PayPal allows you to link the service to your personal bank account. Otherwise, I don’t see this being an extremely popular way to pay for plane tickets.
What is nice about it — from Southwest’s prospective — is that money in a PayPal account seems much more “virtual” than cold, hard cash (or credit debt), and people might be more willing to spend it on leisurely things like travel. When I used to sell stuff on eBay and get payments through PayPal, I always treated my earnings stash as a “free money” account that I could use to buy other stupid things off eBay. If I had the option of either buying another vintage coffee cup off eBay, or a Southwest Airlines trip to Seattle, I’d be much more interested in the latter.