Spirit Airlines is the latest business to crack jokes about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who recently admitted to smoking crack cocaine. An ad on the U.S. carrier’s homepage shows a silhouette of the embattled politician outlined with smoke and boasts one-way flights to the “Toronto area (Niagara Falls Airport),” starting at $29.90 (taxes and fees included) on select dates in November and December. But hurry: the offer expires tonight, Nov. 15, at 11:59 p.m. No word on whether canned wine will be available on those flights as well.
The Toronto Star points out that the “ultra low cost” airline regularly capitalizes on controversies to sell seats, especially former New York congressman Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal. In August 2013, Spirit’s website boasted a picture of a mustached hot dog wearing sunglasses and holding a smartphone with the tagline “Weiner Rises Again,” a play on the pol’s alter ego “Carlos Danger.” And in 2011, the company promoted a “Weiner Sale” with “fares too hard to resist.” After the 2010 BP oil spill, it advertised tickets to sunny places with “Check out the oil on our beaches”— sun tanning oil, that is. Not to mention its regular email blasts for MILF, “Many Islands Low Fares,” a riff on a term used to describe hot moms.
However, while the airline’s revenues are skyrocketing, the jokes do not seem to make customers like the company any more. Plagued by mechanical problems and delays, it scored dead last in a recent Consumer Reports study of the best and worst airlines.