Hungarian airline stunt too successful

A crowd pissed all over Wizz Air’s attempt to release 1,000 balloons into the sky. The low-cost airline had hoped to celebrate its fifth anniversary, but the Hungarian crowd was drawn to the event by the rumor of freebies hooked to the balloons – coupons worth $49.95 – ultimately ruining it for everybody.

The balloons were held in a net in Budapest. Attendees started to pop balloons so they could cash in on the discounts, prompting a burst of bursting. After the first popper struck, the crowd “attacked the net,” according to Wizz Air communications director Natasa Kazmer.

One young woman fished for coupons through a grill in the gutter, hopefully because she planned to take many Wizzes later this year.

The publicity stunt was too successful: most of the vouchers were gone before the press even arrived.

Bare butt (flight) bargains in Britain

You’ll do anything for a free flight, right? You’ll stand at the counter and yell and scream at some gate agent for half an hour while a line that stretches back to the next terminal wait with looks of increasing contempt. You’ll get up in the middle of the night to enter every online contest you can find first. But, would you strip to your skin – in the company of 998 other non-professional strippers?

That’s right. An airline – which isn’t revealing itself yet – is offering free flights from London to eight destinations for the 999 people willing to show it all (except the “rude bits,” according to the website). On March 15, all those who register will be invited to come to a central location in London and shed their threads.

There is no trace of the airline responsible. A WHOIS look up and a hunt through the website’s source code only turned up Hotcow, a marketing company that specializes in coordinating these types of stunt. So, you now have two choices: (1) read the news on March 15 or (2) register to be one of the 999!

[Via Jaunted]

Virgin Atlantic’s “big” announcement

As Grant mentioned last week, Virgin Atlantic has been up to something. When they started sending all kinds of cryptic emails to their frequent fliers last week, our minds started to run wild. What could it be? In flight jacuzzis for upper class fliers?! New solid gold airplanes?! Personal in-seat LASERS?!

Last night, Gadling headed over to the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building in Manhattan to find out. After all the suspense, it turns it was for the launch of a new Virgin credit card. Meh. If you’re looking to throw down enough money to wrack up one million miles you can redeem them for a trip on Virgin’s new space flights, Virgin Galactic. Think you can spend enough? Yeah, me neither.

While the announcement wasn’t as momentous as we had hoped, Virgin did manage to throw down a pretty swanky launch party, complete with free massages courtesy of Virgin’s spa partner Cowshed. You wouldn’t have to twist my arm to fly Virgin, the service is awesome. But only if somebody else was paying for my ticket – they are downright expensive. Hey Virgin, how about a ticket giveaway so we can let Gadling readers try for themselves?