THUMBS UP Hitchhiking moves to a higher plane

Posted on 08/18/2015

Hitchwicki is the online Hitchhikers guide to hitchhiking the world.  It describes Germany as a great country for hitchhiking on motorways and roads.  It says that ‘Because of the absence of speed limits on many motorways it's a good country to hitchhike long distances in short time.”  That proved to be an understatement this weekend as dozens of hitchhikers in Berlin managed to score free rides to Europe, North America and the UAE. Return.
For the past month, the city of Berlin has been plastered with ads depicting a blond, pierced tattooed woman with a logo that says “Air Berlin.  Not established since 1978.”

The woman; wearing a cowboy hat holds a sign Bist du dabei?  (Are you in?)

The posters were teasers for a promotion for the world’s first hitchhike flight. Trampflug.

Now, when they say tramp they don’t mean it in a hoochie koochie floozy kind of way, but rather in a Norman Rockwell kind of a way; the vagrant carrying the cloth bindle over his shoulder, walking along a roadside.

In German, the word for hitchhike is Trampen.

The plan was for anyone who was keen for adventure to stand along a predetermined route in Berlin starting at 1:00 pm on Saturday August 14.  People were asked to hold a sign with the name of the city they wished to visit from a choice of the five; Copenhagen, Rome, Vienna, Abu Dhabi and New York. The airline staff took a bus through the city and decided who got to board the bus; and then eventually board the plane.  

The winners were chosen by their originality and creativity and then taken to Tegel Airport for their forthcoming flights.

Senior VP marketing for Air Berlin André Rahn said, “The target group of the Trampflug promotion is mainly Air Berlin's more flexible travellers, who have the time and inclination for spontaneous events.”

Now when they say spontaneous, that is meant to describe venturesome people who have a valid passport not expiring within six months, foreign currency or room on their credit card and the ability to declare not having recently been in close proximity to livestock. S

aid Rahn, “We hope that as many Berliners as possible will take part. With this promotion, we are the first German airline to start communicating with Snapchat, and we will continue to use this new social media channel for more promotions and events in future.”

Flexible travellers who were not chosen, but posted on social media sites were responded to from the Air Berlin marketing department. Smart. One woman was told that she and her partner were not chosen for the flight because they were carrying a sign for Rome and they were already at capacity for that city.

Now, when they say they were at capacity that means that the airline chose not to pick her up, take her to the airport and tell her she got bumped once she tried to check in.  What a concept.