Groupon's Manhattan Helicopter Deal: Too Soon After Tragedy?

Did Groupon's deal Friday for a Manhattan helicopter tour spin into bad taste? The email offer to New Yorkers comes just 10 days after a helicopter carrying tourists plunged into the city's East River, killing two. One Australia resident drowned after impact, and the other, her life partner, passed away on Oct. 11, just three days ago.

The online discount packager is known for its irreverent copy, but some might think this entire bargain should have never left the helipad. The cover email read, "Up to $165 Off Manhattan Helicopter Tours: Getting an overhead view of the city is an excellent way for people to appreciate its true scope and figure out where exactly they dropped their contact lenses."

A link in the email revealed that as of 11 a.m., 39 people had already accepted the terms, which Groupon forged with a company called Manhattan Helicopters. The accompanying copy chirps, "The Deal is On!"

Although the fatal flight was private and did not involve Manhattan Helicopters, the idea that Groupon and Manhattan Helicopters would offer an excursion discount so publicly so soon might not fly with some.

Groupon had already taken political incorrectness to a worldwide television audience during the last Super Bowl, appalling viewers with its commercial contrasting the troubles faced by the people of Tibet at the hands of occupying China with the joy of finding a good deal at a Tibetan restaurant.

DailyFinance contacted Manhattan Helicopters and asked a marketing person identified as Anna if the company was concerned about advertising so soon after the crash. She answered no, because Groupon purchasers had up to six months to redeem the coupon. When asked if the company was concerned about perception because one of the victims of the crash had died just three days ago, the line went dead.

We also attempted to contact Groupon on deadline. We'll keep you posted if we hear back.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How to Buy a Car

How to get the best deal and buy a car with confidence.

View Course »

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

The article has no merit at all. This sounds more like a witchhunt more then anything else. People make choices but this article is WAY off base.

October 17 2011 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People like this writer think they should censor everylthing. The world keeps turning after an accident. Companies have a right to advertise. Talk about far left...morons.

October 17 2011 at 8:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
I'm a Survivor!

OKay, so one helicopter crashes, and here you are trying to make Groupon look bad for selling a deal involving a helicopter. HOW much sense does that make? Groupon now has a deal in my area for $200 off a box spring and mattress set at a local furniture store. I fell off my bed in 1976, so should I take a chance on that sale? THAT is how much sense you are making.

By the way -- WHY can we not report spam/off topic/idiotic comments? I know that AOL will NEVER remove them, but the 'report abuse' should be available anyway in case a miracle happens and AOL DOES remove them.

October 17 2011 at 1:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

yup.... terrible

October 16 2011 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OMG I have a hang nail, should I cut off my finger?

Oh No, My dog sh*t in my closet, should I take her to the vet and put her down?

My Husband had a bad day today and he's really bitchy, should I get a divorce?

Oh somebody, anybody please please please HELP ME I just don't know what to do?????

October 16 2011 at 11:31 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

The helicopter that crashed was a heap of junk. Sorry to say.
How is that relevant to getting a good deal at Groupon. So, when American Airline's jets crashed into the World Trade Towers were the airlines supposed to not sell tickets to flights again?
Just sayin'.

October 16 2011 at 8:26 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Helicopters are the most dangerous air tranportation. I doubt the deaths per mile are greater than autos though.

October 16 2011 at 1:27 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Groupon is a totally flawed business plan that has no real chance of success in the long run. Even though they are spending a fortune to get new customers there is absolutely no customer loyalty. I cant imagine anyone buying a deal because its Groupon...We all buy a deal because its something we want. We could care less if its Living Social, Groupon or anyone else offering the deal. Secondly most of these deals are not going to be continually reoffered, as business do them for a loss. Most places do not get new customers from the promotion but get all of their old customers using a discount coupon!
The only people that are dying for Groupon to go public and sell stock are the hedge funds that want to short the stock! Dont expect Groupon to be a viable entity in 5 year or so.

October 16 2011 at 10:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fatal error for Groupon. Sell your stock now, lol.

October 16 2011 at 1:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Get a grip. Like Groupon could see the future when they scheduled the deal. How bout some real news. Like about the war in Afghanistan...oh.. wait. that would possibly mean you would have to do research and put thought into an article. don't forget that you have to then wait for not the proofread for mistakes, but the censorship police to say you can't post it, because America doesn't need to know what is really going on over there, unless of course the soldier injured or killed was from thier town.Then by all means, print it, but only a small version.

October 15 2011 at 10:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply