Valentine’s Day is over this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon all those schmaltzy melodramatic poems you’d silently composed in your head for your significant other. One budget airline is giving lovesick passengers an outlet for their long-distance passion and offering them the chance to reconnect in the process.
One of Britain’s most notorious budget airlines, easyJet, has launched a Valentines-inspired contest designed to elevate the concept of “lovesick” to high literary art. Through the end of February 2018, the airline is challenging passengers — especially those in long-distance relationships — to scrawl a few lines of romance on their seatback barf bags. EasyJet’s head of cabin crew, Tina Milton, notes: “Distance is said to make the heart grow fonder, but long-distance relationships are always hit with some light turbulence. We are challenging our customers to channel their inner Byron, Keats, and Wordsworth.”
It started when flight attendants began finding barf bags that lovesick passengers were using as a sort of “message in a bottle” for subsequent passengers to discover. The crew recalls the most memorable note was found on a London-bound flight out of Paris. The poem was written in both English and French with the hope of encouraging whoever found it to do the same.
It seems obvious, but easyJet is quick to point out that this is thought to be “the world’s first poetry competition ever staged on sick bags.” Indeed. The airline notes the contest was also partially inspired by a recent survey that revealed some surprising (we’re going to say “inflated”) statistics. According to the study, a whopping 29 percent of their Flight Club frequent flyers are involved in long-distance relationships. Plus, the airline expects at least 250,000 couples to take a romantic mini-vacation this spring. It appears love is literally in the air.
The contest runs through midnight BST on February 28, 2018. Entrants must compose their poem on a genuine easyJet barf bag, then share a photo of their creation on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LoveSickSonnets. Daisy Goodwin, a best-selling poet and multi-award-winning television writer, will be judging every entry. The winner will score a pair of round-trip flights to anywhere easyJet flies. (In true budget airline fashion, however, the chosen flights are subject to blackout dates.)