Malaysia Airlines' "Your Bucket List" Contest Was A Truly Terrible Idea
After two high-profile tragedies in a year, it's natural that a company would be looking to shore up its positive image. Giving away free stuff in a contest is a great way to do it. But Malaysia Airlines asked people to give them their "bucket list" for free tickets and iPads. Even the most eager contest participants can see the morbid conclusions you could draw there.
If you need a refresher, a "bucket list" is a kind of doomsday wish list of things you want to do before you die. Considering that Malaysia Airlines' two crashes this year cost the lives of over 500 people, it is a horribly macabre contest.
The airline already seems to have realized its horrific mistake, pulling the contest down from its site, but Elizabeth Barber at Time reported that the original rules and regulations PDF is still lurking on the Internet. According to contest rules, Australian and New Zealand adults submitted their answer to: "what and where would you like to tick off on your bucket list, and explain why?”
However, it's ludicrous to think that the loss of MH370 and MH17 are in any way linked. While the disappearance of MH370 is certainly bizarre and awful, it had absolutely no commonality with MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine. They were two terrible tragedies, but hav little at all to do with the airline itself. Still, customers seem to be wary of the company. Malaysia Airlines has taken an 11 percent hit in stock price from July of last year.
This was an awful oversight in the midst of a PR scramble. I can't imagine how anyone at the airline could have removed themselves from the situation for the crashes not to be at the forefront of any kind of positive spin that the the company needed. Rebuilding trust will be crucial to the company's survival, but being thoughtless and seemingly insensitive to its customers may finally buck the ones that stuck around at all.
The airline may not be to blame for the disasters, but the way it conducts itself in the aftermath is entirely up for scrutiny.