Prepare for Boredom

Butt-numbing publicity stunt at Dallas International Film Festival could earn you free Virgin flight

Butt-numbing publicity stunt at DIFF could earn you free Virgin flight

We've all experienced our fair share of bad air travel, but now Virgin America is teaming up with the Dallas International Film Festival for a chance to win a free (less terrible) flight if you can endure one horrifically butt-numbing (virtual) one.

DIFF will present a free screening of Have You Been Flying Blah Airlines?, a five-hour-and-45 minute "ad" designed to show the "boring, beige and dull antithesis" of what you would get on a Virgin America flight. Anyone who gets through every last tedious minute of it will receive 2,500 Elevate points, or the equivalent of one reward flight on Virgin.

The film, which debuted online in October 2014, shows a variety of blank-faced mannequins enduring a flight from Newark to San Francisco. The trip is as bad as one could imagine, with crying babies, annoying seatmates and a complete lack of entertainment to distract from the monotony.

Whether the film is a veiled shot at Virgin's chief Dallas competitor, Southwest Airlines, or just a commentary on airline travel in general is unclear. But what is clear is that it's an experience you only want to have once. As Virgin America chief marketing officer Luanne Calvert said in a release, "If you wouldn't sit through the entire film, why would you pay money to experience it in real-life on a flight?”

The makers of the film will be speaking at the Cinema as Next Level Marketing panel on April 12 that will focus on campaigns that blend art, cinematography and marketing to create innovative teaser films and advertisements.

Virgin has also launched a social media contest where people from San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C. and, um, Dallas will win a trip on Virgin America to Dallas for the Blah screening, passes to other films and parties at the festival, and a two-night hotel stay at the Highland Dallas hotel.

Obviously Virgin America is the official domestic airline partner of the Dallas International Film Festival.

Have You Been Flying Blah Airlines?
If you can sit through almost six hours of this, you can win a free flight from Virgin America. Photo courtesy of Virgin America