With all the hand-wringing over Brexit these days, the folks at Virgin Atlantic felt it was high time for a lighthearted take on how England’s plan to leave the EU would hit travelers’ bottom lines.
And so earlier this month, the airline launched what it’s calling a “Br£xit Calculator,” a software program that encourages visitors to click icons to see precisely how much they’d save on a variety of different travel-related activities and purchases.
The app displays value by sharing three separate numbers for each activity: pre-Brexit prices, post-Brexit prices, and the total savings between the two.
The context for this math: a British pound that, at last check, was (pardon the pun) sinking like the Titanic. When visitors first arrive at the calculator, they are greeted with a pop-up that reads: “The British pound is at a 31 year [sic] low, which means you’ll be saving on literally everything when you travel to London.”
Some of the icons are predictable: front-row tickets to a footy match, for instance, a shopping spree in SoHo, or a simple travel adapter. Others, however, push the limits of absurdity.
Like the one that depicts two pint glasses clinking together and puts a value on “Paying patrons of a pub to give you three cheers.” The calculator says that before Brexit, buying everyone a round cost $350. Now, however, it only costs $288, a savings of $62.
Or the activities the post-Brexit savings of getting a Union Jack tattoo on your left thigh ($53), a pair of souvenir socks from Stonehenge ($4), or a bejeweled codpiece ($18,051; yes, really).
Of course, after you click on a few icons, the calculator automatically encourages you to see how much money you also can save on Virgin Atlantic flights from U.S. destinations to London. The ask is a bit jarring but it certainly makes sense. After all, the app is a marketing tool. And as the fine print reads on the bottom of the page, it’s all just for fun.