British Airways irks Twitter users with Brexit ‘fire-sale’

hand with money plane,freedom payment concept.

British Airways has a simple motto: to fly, to serve. But not everyone is happy with a Twitter ad the brand has been serving to US consumers.

The tweet, which targeted Twitter users in the U.S., nodded to the pound’s 31-year low against the dollar following “Brexit” Britain’s decision to leave the EU last Thursday.

Last night the U.K.’s credit rating was downgraded to AA from AAA. The world markets continue to be rocked too, with Friday and Monday seeing their biggest two-day fall on record.

While the tweet received plenty of shares, in its comments BA received a backlash from consumers for capitalising on the chaos, branding the promotion “too soon”.

According to VisitEngland, Americans are the U.K.’s top spenders, making up 9 percent of visitors each year.

So far, none of BA’s competitors have promoted Brexit-themed deals. Australian airline Qantas is offering triple points on flights to London until July 4 — but the company’s promotion does not make an overt link to the U.K.’s current economic climate. Meanwhile, low-cost airline Monarch told Digiday it was offering discounts on UK flights to Spanish and Italian customers via email.

Willie Walsh, the CEO of British Airways’ parent company IAG, told Bloomberg at that he was predicting a surge in inbound tourism to the U.K. as visitors capitalize on the increased spending power of the dollar.

Other airlines like budget operator Ryanair are worried about Britain’s appetite for traveling weakening, with reduced spending putting a squeeze on margins. 

Airlines have been some of the companies hardest hit by the referendum fallout. Stocks at IAG and EasyJet have fallen over 3o percent since June 23.

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