Magen David Adom's blood services are once again predicting a shortage of blood units this summer. But this year they have found a creative solution aimed at encouraging people to donate blood: Each donor will receive free membership in El Al airline's frequent flyer club, plus a gift of 20 frequent flyer miles.
Upon donating the blood, donors will be given a card containing a special link through which they will be able to log into El Al's website and register to the club for free, thus saving the $20 registration fee. They will also get the 20 points. Donors who are already members will win the 20-point gift.
From here on, each donation will earn the donor another 20 points.
Give and receive (Illustration)
"The summer months are usually characterized by a drop in blood donations," said Eli Cohen, El Al's VP commercial and aviation connections. "We, as a national airline decided to launch a campaign to encourage blood donations during the summer, and we are happy to give El Al passengers membership in the frequent flyer club and free points."
Prof. Ayelet Shenar, head of MDA's blood services, isn't this going a little too far?
"Not at all. People will not come to donate blood only to get the 20 frequent flyer points. But we wanted to remind all those who are going on a vacation they should come and donate blood before they leave.
"The idea to link this to flights and holidays stemmed from the shortage we see every year when people go on vacation and forget there are people here in need of blood."
According to Prof. Shenar, blood reserves were currently very low, and an even greater shortage was expected in August and September.