Get Your Covid Vaccine, Win a Million Dollars

LG: Does that count for cats and dogs?

AR: Can you bring a carrier, right?

LG: Yes. Can they have the other first-class seat?

AR: As far as I can tell, you can do whatever you want in first class.


AR: I think that’s how that works. The cat can fly by itself, and they have to give it warm nuts. So that becomes something that people go, “Oh my goodness. That’s really” … Then people see it. Then it has the same effect that the big money lotteries have in the states. According to the numbers that Bondar told me, they saw 400,000 people. You have to upload your vaccine card. I mean, you have to prove that you got vaccinated, but 400,000 people did that, 100,000 new Mileage Plus members, and he hadn’t done the math yet, but he was going to go back and look and see when they got vaccinated to see if it was since the contest and sweepstakes was announced, because then you would kind of be able to say, “Yeah, they did it because we gave them this announcement.”

MC: So they’re pulling the FOMO lever, right?

AR: Right.

MC: A year, you get to travel first class wherever you want, you and a guest for a year. That’s like a, “Can you imagine?” People start immediately thinking in their heads all the places they would go. But an airline is in a unique position to do something like this, because they can offer that sort of FOMO experience. Have you seen other companies that have had the ability to generate that much FOMO?

AR: I mean, not that I’ve seen. Have you seen other folks doing that? Any company could, right?

MC: Yeah. But it would be different if it was a year of Taco Bell burritos or a year of free bowling. It’s like it’s hard to generate that much activity.

AR: That’s true. Who controls those sorts of experiences? But then again, but let me invert that and say, “OK, well, I mean, Apple could say, ‘Here’s the top line iPad.'” I mean, they’ve got a lot of those lying around, like, “OK, show your vaccine card the next time you come to the Apple store. We’re going to give away one in every zip code of the United States.”

MC: Superbowl tickets.

AR: Superbowl tickets. Sure.

MC: World Series tickets. All expenses paid trip to the World Series.

AR: My hypothesis, now I was wrong initially, like I said. I thought that if you just give people 50 bucks, that would help. In fact, it’s a lottery thing. So my hypotheses are clearly totally incorrect as far as behavioral economics goes. But the experiential things seem to me to be even more … I overvalue the experiential things even more than the money in my head. Maybe that’s just because I’m living a life of privilege at this point. But if you could do that and you say, “Yeah, a trip to the World Series or Major League baseball. Next time you come to a ballpark, show your vaccine card, and you’re entered into the lottery for all expenses paid trip for four to the World Series.”

MC: Disneyland.

LG: Well, what’s interesting about that is that it shows that our capacity to evaluate risk really is fairly poor, because not only do we tend to inflate our chances of potentially winning something like that in a lottery, but we also still don’t have a ton of certainty around events, right? We’re sort of operating under the assumption right now that all of these things are just … They’ve started to open up, and they will remain opened up when in reality, we don’t know what fall or winter 2021 is going to bring. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Sorry to be dark, guys, but we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, if there are other pathogens that emerge, right?

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