Meet Ben Schlappig. Ben is a travel consultant and independent reviewer who travels over 300,000 miles per year and spends around 100 nights per year in hotels. Ben travels using his “points” to then provide independent reviews regarding the cheapest ways to travel in luxury.
Enter Etihad Airways. Etihad revolutionized air travel recently with their announcement that they would be introducing “Residences” on their new Airbus A380. Each 125 square foot Residence will consist of a living room, bedroom, and private bathroom with shower. Booking the Residences also includes a private butler, gourmet chef, luxury chauffeur and private check-in. And, the booking allows for one “guest” to accompany the traveler.
Ben Schlappig’s dilemma? With only one Residence per flight, it’s highly unlikely he will ever be able to book the premium cabin product using redemption of miles. So how will Ben ever get his independent review of Etihad’s A380 Residences?
Answer: Crowdfunding. Yes. Ben is using Kickstarter, one of the earliest platforms for donation based-funding. He admits it is ridiculous, but figured it would be entertaining for his followers.
Well, Mr. Schlappig… maybe not so ridiculous. In just a few short days, you’re almost halfway to your goal, and you may end up with a BIG WIN on the GWH W.T.F. (Winner, Toss-Up, or Flop) Award scale. On the FLOP side, it really is hard for me to believe others would fall for funding such a boondoggle. Maybe it was your promise of doing “something really fun” with your “guest” seat that motivated the backing — or maybe it was your weak pledge level incentives. Who knows…but the one thing I do agree with, is that it would be UBER cool to travel in one of Etihad’s “Residences.”
GOOD LUCK, Ben! Ingenius way to tap into the crowdsourcing phenom– whether you make it or not.