When we heard that Romanians were voluntarily standing in airport security, giving up their boarding passes, and not boarding their flights—all in exchange for a Whopper—we really didn’t get it. How good are Romanian Whoppers? And how bad are Romanian airlines? But once we learned the country’s only Burger King is past the security checkpoint in Bucharest International Airport, the stunt makes a little more sense. But only a little.
Burger King created a marketing campaign called Whopper No Show to promote Romania’s sole Burger King, inviting Romanians to exchange their boarding passes for a free Whopper meal. Apparently, people are taking the company up on it. It helps that BK partnered with an airfare website to find the lowest-cost tickets—some as cheap as 9 Euro, which is 3 Euro less than a Whopper costs at the airport—so the people aren’t, technically, losing that much money. They’re just subjecting themselves to the indignities of airline security, and probably lose a few hours of their day in pursuit of a fast-food burger.
The promotional video above shows stoked non-flyers gleefully consuming their burgers and declaring “It was really worth it!” They then list off the places they didn’t go: Brussels, Madrid, Paris, Rome, London. Watching the video, I understand the promotion a bit better, but I still don’t understand where Romanians get all this free time.