Sports Illustrated model adorns Southwest Airlines aircraft – hypocritical or just good fun?

As the more regular readers of this blog will know, i am not adverse to clever advertising and novel ways of self-promotion. Sex especially is often an exponent of this type of promotion, as our Online Editor highlighted last year on his blog.


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©Southwest Airlines



Southwest Airlines today unveiled SI One, a Boeing 737-7H4 registered N922WN, but i guess you will distinguish it from the pack for what’s painted on the side of it first. SI stands of course for Sports Illustrated, and it features on its livery the not at all unpleasant sight of model Bar Refaeli.

Now i don’t want to pick Southwest up on hypocrisy here, but for the Flightglobal reading sisterhood out there i feel i have to ask this question. Wasn’t Southwest the airline that late last year banned Kyla Ebbert from boarding a flight after adjudging her skirt to be too short?And if so, isn’t it a little rich to be using sex so overtly now to publicise the brand?

Before you phone a friend on this question here is a dictionary definition of hypocrisy:

1.     a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.

2.     a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide but here is a clue on one of them...

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5 Responses to Sports Illustrated model adorns Southwest Airlines aircraft – hypocritical or just good fun?

  1. Stuart Clarke 30 November, -0001 at 12:00 am #

    Thanks for the clarification, although the point still remains doesn’t it?

  2. Paul 12 February, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    It also isn’t very original. SkyEurope has had models on their aircraft long before.

  3. correction 12 February, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    Just to claify, southwest did not “ban Kyla Ebbert from boarding a flight after adjudging her skirt to be too short.” She traveled on her scheduled flight, but was asked to cover up or adjust her clothing.

  4. Craig Bradley 16 February, 2009 at 12:09 am #

    Hooters of the Air?

    Why is it that most airline stewardesses seldom look anything like these professional models, especially the one adorning the fuselage of “SI One”?

    It used to be that adolescents got stimulated viewing scantily clad models in magazines such as “Playboy Magazine” (formerly referred to as “girly magazines” by some). Could this be the first case of a “girly airline”? Who is being stimulated here?

  5. frank 28 February, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    folks, don’t get so hung up on this. it was a great idea. almost as good as Shamu the whale.

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