How to Put Your Name on a Plane

When Spirit Airlines launched the Free Spirit program it included an opportunity to name a plane with enough points-earning. I don’t think anyone ever earned enough points (perhaps they all expired, with Spirit’s 90 day inactivity rule).

Years ago there was talk of Virgin America naming a plane for Flyertalk, or letting Flyertalk’s online community members name a plane, but that never materialized.

Although Flyertalk member had a Boeing 747 named for him when he crossed 10 million miles flown on United.

This summer Ryanair offered an opportunity to put your face on a plane.

Now Thomson Airways – the world’s largest charter airline – is offering the opportunity for you to choose the name of a 787.

The thing is they aren’t actually going to let go of the decision.

Our panel of travel experts will pick the winner from the 5 entries with the most votes.

Crowdsourcing names has an illustrious history. When the accounting and consulting divisions of Arthur Anderson were being split apart, the consulting folks thought they were getting the short end of the stick losing the brand name. But then, Enron.

Arthur Anderson employees were offered the chance to name the new firm with the winner receiving a trip to Australia. The Australia office complained though, so the rules were modified to say that if the contest were won by someone in that office the prize would be a trip to the U.S. If memory serves, Accenture was picked by someone in New Zealand. Oops.

Back in 2004 I won 60,000 Starwood points for naming Sheraton’s check-in kiosk. Those never quite took off the way airline kiosks did, however.

I was 1099’d by Starwood for the prize, but at only 1.5 cents per Starpoint. That’s the only time I’ve seen a reasonable value estimate on a 1099 for miles or points.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. 60k puts is awesome but you would think some unpaid intern could have come up with Sheraton Speed Check

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