Jetstar asks families to give up free flights on CNY eve. Here's how they responded

Do you prefer to travel overseas during the Chinese New Year period to escape visitations and other family obligations? You might change your mind after watching this social experiment video released by Jetstar.

Instead of spending time with families on Chinese New Year Eve, an increasing number of Singaporeans are escaping the festivities back home and heading abroad.

In a 2016 report, travel agent Dynasty Travel saw a 20 per cent rise in Singaporeans going on holidays during Chinese New Year.

So when low cost carrier Jetstar asked some interviewees in a social experiment if they would accept a free flight that departs on Chinese New Year eve, the answer was a resounding "YES".

But when the same question was posed to their family members, the response was quite different.

One mother recounted: "There was one year when Gillian didn't spend Chinese New Year with us.

"We felt quite heartbroken that she was overseas.

"You want to personally give them their red packets and receive their New Year greetings," she continued, "but without that, it feels like your child is just missing from your side."

Touched, Gillian gave up the ticket. More stories in the same grain were revealed throughout the 2:25mins video, and the rest, like Gillian, retracted their initial answers.

Reunited with their families, the interviewees were later presented with a surprise: Jetstar offered each family an $888 travel voucher to enjoy a trip at a later date.

What would you do if you were given a pair of free flight tickets, for travel over the Lunar New Year period? We asked...

Posted by Jetstar Asia on Monday, January 9, 2017

The social experiment, which was posted by the low cost carrier on Jan 10, has garnered over 320,000 views and 520 shares on Facebook.

While the video was a sweet reminder to families on how important Chinese New Year means to them, some netizens expressed scepticism, suggesting the free tickets should be given to foreign workers in Singapore to return to their home country during the break.

A spokesperson from Jetstar said: "This particular campaign encourages Singaporeans or local residents to stay at home with their families and we're always looking for new ways to bring people together.

"With more and more Singaporeans choosing to travel over the Lunar New Year period, we wanted to convey a single-minded message about the importance of being with family at this time of reunion."

Jetstar told AsiaOne that a survey they did in 2016 showed a staggering increase of Singaporeans preferring to travel over the Chinese New Year period. Of the 4,000 respondents, 75 per cent pointed out that financial issues were a primary reason for staying in Singapore.

"This suggested that peak travel prices were preventing people leaving, rather than family values," said Jetstar's spokesperson, who added that they were in a unique position to change that.

If you're thinking of rescheduling your flight after watching the video, Jetstar is waiving admin fees if you wish to reschedule flights booked on Jan 27 and 28.

Perhaps it's about time to consider: Travel deals or family ties?

To fly or not to fly? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below.