Why did Virgin America make a 5 hour and 45 minute film about the most boring plane ride ever?
"Blah Airlines Flight 101" is an ad campaign and movie (likely not an Oscar contender) rolled into one. It is to debut Friday at the Dallas International Film Festival.
The movie charts a real-time flight from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco on a fictitious rival airline -- no name other than Blah -- on which all the passengers are creepy-looking mannequins.
AdWeek calls it a "Warholian Web film."
The message, of course, is a dig at flying on Blah Airlines instead of on hip Virgin America.
Festival-goers in Dallas who sit through the entire film will receive 2,500 points -- the starting point for an awards flight -- in the airline's Elevate loyalty program, Virgin America announced last week.
The airline is a co-sponsor of the film festival in Dallas, where Virgin America and Southwest Airlines have been battling for customers at Love Field.
The airport has been a hot spot since long-haul flights were allowed last year after a federal law forbidding them was overturned.
The competition prompted Virgin America to offer a Low Fare Love Match. The airline promises to match fares lower than theirs on flights from Love Field to Washington, D.C. (DCA), New York (LGA), Austin (AUS), San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX). (Read the fine print on this offer.)
But back to the film.
The "passengers" (their teeth are particularly disturbing) take this dystopian flight where there is no decent food, no entertainment options and -- Virgin America's favorite perk to pick on -- no mood lighting!
Blah Airlines has a website too that intentionally seems to take awhile to load. It touts features on its planes such as "three types of seats: Aisle, Middle and Window," "Rear-mounted magazine pouches" and "Windows on every plane."
Yes it's funny, but I'm not sure an almost six-hour film can sustain that kind of funny.
If you think you have the right stuff, you can watch the entire film at this Youtube link, which has already garnered more than 800,000 views. I'm guessing there's a lot of skipping ahead going on.