You'll love this flight, or you'll get your money back
Of course, there are caveats to Open Skies' "Love Everything, or Pay Nothing," promotion.
To participate, passengers must purchase a one-way, or round-trip, Biz Bed or Biz Seat fare with travel starting at either Newark Liberty International Airport or Washington's Dulles International Airport to Paris Orly International Airport. (These are the only airports and the only routes that the luxury airline currently flies, as well as the only fare groups it offers.)
The promotion -- which applies to tickets purchased between Sept. 8 and Nov. 30 -- has already created quite a buzz for the small two-year-old carrier, which flies four upgraded Boeing 757s with just 84-seats each and is little-known in the United States.
"In the first week alone, we had more than double the amounts of visits to our web site than average," said Dale Moss, chief executive of the airline, which is a subsidiary of British Airways.
He added that sales are strong, but that it's too soon to tell the promotion's overall effect -- or if anyone's asked for their money back yet.
To file a claim, passengers must write a letter to Open Skies' Paris office within 30 days of their flight and detail why they didn't enjoy their trip. Refunds do not include various taxes and fees, and you can't get your money back if, say, a volcanic eruption delays your flight.
Open Skies bills itself as an affordable business-class service, offering tickets for less than rivals -- the lowest fares start around $1,500 for a seat that reclines to 140 degrees and at least twice for a lie-flat bed.
The carrier is betting that the money-back guarantee will be a smart marketing tool and that it's reputation as a commercial carrier that offers private jet service will prevent passengers from actually filing claims. In a survey of its customers this summer, the airline found that 97% said they would recommend the carrier.
Experts said that the positive publicity that the carrier is likely to reap from the offer will outweigh any negativity from people actually redeeming it.
Money-back guarantees are rare in the airline industry--although British Airways tried one a few years ago for its Club World business class product, and JetBlue offered refunds last year to passengers who lost their jobs after purchasing a ticket.