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Get paid to fly?

In what might be the least intuitive sale ever, one airline says it will pay people to fly on its planes. That airline is SkyEurope, a European discount carrier that announced yesterday it plans to cut prices on some routes to minus 10 koruna (or about -$0.44).

“As of today, SkyEurope becomes the first airline that pays its passengers for flying,” the company said, according to an AP report.

Qualifying travel dates are November 1 through December 15, and from January 9 through March 24, 2007. You need to book by Sunday, October 22.

It’s clear SkyEurope doesn’t expect to make a whole lot of money on this offer, but despite the rather unorthodox approach this is similar in many ways to “free” travel promotions run by other European discounters like Ryanair, and even the recent $8 sale here in the U.S. by Spirit. The goal is to get the airline’s name into the public consciousness, and in that sense I’d call this a success.

Whether paying people to fly is a winning proposition in the long term is another matter altogether.

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