When you think of jumping on an airplane and going somewhere, the first airline that comes to your mind is probably not Aeromexico. But passenger traffic on Aeromexico -- which flies throughout Latin America, the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia -- has steadily increased over the years. The airline carried about 17.1 million passengers in 2014 and 21.9 million in 2018.

However, the ongoing feud between the U.S. and Mexican governments has made Aeromexico's U.S. routes more challenging -- something the airline decided to do something about.

Aeromexico just announced a new "DNA discount" program, which offers ticket discounts to Americans based on the percentage of Mexican ancestry they have. So, for example, if your DNA test shows that you have 25 percent Mexican ancestry, that will earn you a 25 percent discount on a ticket. The more the Mexican DNA, the greater the discount.

While that is certainly a unique approach to pricing tickets, what's really interesting is the advertisement that Aeromexico ran to publicize the DNA discount. The ad points out that while Mexico's first destination is America, America's first destination is not Mexico. Interviewers ask people in a "typical American town" (which appears to be in Texas) if they would consider going to Mexico.

The responses?

"No way," one person responds. "The idea of going to Mexico is not something I would foresee," another says. "That's not my cup of tea," says someone else.

However, when provided with the results of their DNA tests -- and the discounts they would receive based on the percentage of their Mexican heritage - they quickly changed their tune. "Yeah, I'd go to Mexico if they had Taco Bells on the street corners down there," said one man who learned he is 18 percent Mexican. After learning she has 15 percent Mexican ancestry, and thus earned a 15 percent discount on an Aeromexico ticket, a woman celebrated, exclaiming, "I love discounts!"

While I don't expect Southwest, Delta, United, or American to follow Aeromexico's lead, and I don't know if this discount is widely available, perhaps other airlines will come up with some unique discounts of their own. We can only hope.

Published on: Jan 18, 2019
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