Monday, April 28, 2008
How To Say "You're Screwed" In A Nice Way
PR Department's Final Task As Eos Folds ts Wings and Grounds Its Well-Heeled Clientele: Deliver Bad News With A Velvet Glove
It's no great shock nowadays when airlines go belly up. Skybus, Aloha Airlines, MAXjet, and ATA are among those whose fleets have been parked in the desert within the last year.
Joining that dubious list is Eos, the all-business-class airline that flew between JFK and Stansted Airport in London for less than what other carriers charged for a comparatively more-mundane experience up front.
With only 48 seats on a Boeing 757 built for 220, quick airport check-ins and access to Emirates Airline's New York lounge, Eos had gotten good reviews for pampering a lucrative market and had announced expansion plans for service to Paris and Dubai.
Along came $120-a-barrel oil to change all that amid brutal competition to service what turned out to be a fairly limited clientele. That was enough to ticket Eos to oblivion. Still, just like its service, it attempted to deliver the bad news with a velvet glove.
Talk about a tough assignment for a PR guy. But give Eos credit for trying.
The relationship we have is very special. You have shown a true appreciation for the commitment and service that defines Eos Class and it has always been our pleasure to deliver Eos Class service to you. The sense of camaraderie and level of engagement we've developed together transcends the traditional airline space.
Our unique relationship makes it all the more difficult to share with you the news that Eos has filed for bankruptcy ... This announcement is particularly regrettable since we have achieved so much, including having a term sheet in hand for additional financing. Clearly, even in today's challenging economic and credit environment, investors believe in Eos. Unfortunately, some issues arose that prevented the parties from moving forward.
Some issues indeed.
By the way, Eos told passengers, you're basically on your own if you had a ticket for travel from today onward. It only provided a link to airlines that "may be able to accommodate you," which turn out to be only British Airways (good luck) and the remaining all-business-class airline on the JFK-London route, Silverjet.
Of course, if you were already in a position to pay as much as nine grand for an airline ticket, you shouldn't be too hot and bothered about having to rebook on another airline where chances are you won't have a "unique relationship."