Pingdom Check
04/01/2024 | 12:00 PM

April Fools' Day – Icelandair UP TO DATE

It's that time of the year, where people might be dumbfounded over strange news announcing something off-the-wall yet slightly believable, of quirky requests for help from loved ones that don't make sense. It's April first, an entire day dedicated to trickery and tomfoolery.

Behind the idea

Our “latest” app feature, UP TO DATE, might have been one of those strange announcements. A fake feature, where dating in the skies would be made possible, is something the staff on the app team here at Icelandair has joked about for a while.

We’re constantly developing our travel app with our customers in mind. During one of those sessions, someone started joking about adding a dating feature, which we all thought was hilarious.

At first it was just a word play spun from a well-known dating app, and that we should rename the app “TindAir” (which became the running gag for the joke), where passengers could mix and mingle on the same flight.

Then – we took it too far and the joke ended up as a April Fools’ Day prank - Icelandair UP TO DATE became the name of the "product".


Why pranks on April 1st?

The exact origins of April Fools’ Day, or All Fools’ Day, remain somewhat unknown, the tradition of playing pranks on this day dates back centuries in various cultures.

It can be traced to the transition from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in the 16th century, when New Year's Day moved from April 1st to January 1st. Those who continued to celebrate the new year in April became the subject of ridicule and pranks.

The day has also been linked to ancient Roman and Celtic festivals celebrating the arrival of spring, where playful mischief was encouraged.

Regardless of its origins, April Fools' has evolved into a lighthearted day of fun and laughter, where friends, family, and even companies get in on the act. Across the globe, different cultures have their own unique ways of celebrating April Fools'. Businesses and media have delved into playing pranks on their consumers, e.g. the BBC's famous "spaghetti tree" hoax in 1957, and Burger King's "Left-Handed Whopper" in 1998. These pranks have captured the imagination of millions and left a lasting impression on pop culture.


April Fools’ Day in Iceland

“Fyrsti apríl” is equally popular in Iceland among individuals, businesses and media, where the tradition of making someone "run an April" is taken to amusing extremes. We've had stores advertising blue bananas, or easter eggs filled with vegetables for the perfect dietary balance. Even Vatnajökull National Park asked for volunteers to help with cleaning a glacier, as volcanic ash from the an eruption made it look dirty.

To pull off a successful prank however, these criteria need to be met:

  • Running an April: The person you’re pranking needs to go from one location to another – i.e. run a fools’ errand.
  • Three thresholds: Typically, the prankster needs to make sure that the one they’re pranking crosses three thresholds for the April Fools’ prank to be considered a success.

The goal is to make people go to lengths at getting to a certain location, just to fulfill the prank criteria.

With our April Fools’ prank, we do feel that we accomplished just that, as those who fell for the prank had to:

  1. Download/open the app.
  2. Click on the belt on the app home screen to know more about the new feature.
  3. Click on a button to sign up for the Icelandair UP TO DATE.

We consider these to be 3 virtual thresholds, enough to be counted as a successful April Fools’ prank.

Those who fell for the prank were offered to participate in a raffle for a giveaway, since we lured them in under false pretenses.

So, whether you're the prankster or the prankee, April Fools' Day is a time to let loose, have a laugh, and enjoy the lighter side of life. Just remember to keep it fun, harmless and good-natured – similar to the spirit of Iceland.