One of the recommendations for brands in our recent Recession Handbook (downloadable here) is for brands to provide a real service during difficult times—giving consumers tools that help them cope positions the brand as an ally of consumers, supportive and dependable. Virgin Atlantic is doing just that as a “co-innovator” of Taxi2, a cab-sharing initiative for passengers arriving at airports (currently New York’s JFK and London’s Heathrow but there are plans to expand). Users can enter their flight information, and the system finds a potential sharing partner. It’s up to the passenger whether to agree to the match; women can even specify if they prefer a female travel companion. The program also has the potential of becoming a “carpooling/environmentally friendly” initiative. One doesn’t even have to be a Virgin Atlantic passenger to take advantage of it—but with this smart program, Virgin may well be attracting more passengers to its brand.