Thomas Cook Airlines

Driving brand awareness and link acquisition through digital PR


pieces of coverage


online readership


social shares

The challenge

Thomas Cook Airlines wanted to raise awareness for itself as a flight-only brand– entirely separate from Thomas Cook Group, well-known as one of the world’s oldest tour operators.

They needed our help to create a campaign that delivered a strong, unequivocal brand message – flying is not just a means to an end but the start of the holiday experience.

What we did

In response, we created the Great Seat Debate – a campaign that aimed to find out which kind of seat UK travellers prefer on a plane and why. 

We came up with the idea on the basis that most people who have flown have an opinion on where they like to sit – window, middle or aisle. Importantly, we wanted the campaign to go further than this though, and use multiple sources of data to drive a positive message about flying.

The first data source was a consumer survey. We used this to gain insights into travellers’ flight habits. We asked questions including where they prefer to sit and why, and whether they take pictures through the plane window. This provided the main finding that the rest of the story would hang off: Brits prefer the window seat.

We knew it wasn’t compelling enough to only reveal that travellers like the window seat, so we also used a second data source – pilot interviews. We spoke to several pilots to find out the most scenic sights to fly over, where and when you can see each sight, and what flight routes promise each view. Pilots also provided us with pictures, showcasing their unique cockpit views to inspire travel.

Armed with all of this information we then created several pieces of campaign content with different angles. We played to the idea that views such as those highlighted by the pilots are one of the best parts of sitting in a window seat, a finding reinforced by the consumer survey.

Finally, we engaged two influencers to provide opinions, each writing one side of a ‘window vs aisle’ debate blog post. 

All of this meant we were able to create three inspirational blog posts for the Thomas Cook Airlines Sunny Skies blog. We also produced two press releases that we sent out for coverage, and shared multiple social posts to drive further engagement to each piece of content. We even used influencer marketing to increase reach and engagement with the content.

I think the best ideas are the ones where you can’t quite believe nobody has done them before. Melt Digital were able to tap into this and execute the KPI’s with the combination of influencers, research, copywriting, digital PR & even content created by our flight crew.”

Head of Marketing, Thomas Cook Airlines


The campaign received great coverage in national newspapers, travel publications and aviation specialist publications – notably including Mail Online, the Mirror, the Express and UK Aviation.

All of the coverage links earned were high-quality and relevant, coming from sites with an average domain authority of 65. We achieved coverage with an estimated 660,000 online views, and earned 311 direct social shares.

The influencers involved further increased the campaign reach by 8,900 and campaign engagement by 10,500. Each influencer also polled their followers to see where they stand on the window seat debate – these social media stories were viewed in total 28,420 times. 

Combined, our total digital PR activity resulted in an estimated readership of 494 million and the window seat vs aisle seat social polls (in the consumer survey, social media and influencer stories) were engaged with 7,500 times.

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Thomas Cook Airlines wanted to raise awareness for itself as a flight-only brand– entirely separate from Thomas Cook Group. They needed our help to create a digital PR campaign that delivered a strong, unequivocal brand message.

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