In August 2020, United kicked off the elimination of change fees on non-basic economy tickets. Other carriers had no choice but to match it.
United shares that since then:
- 3.6 million people switched the time of day of their flight;
- 1.8 million people extended their trip altogether;
- 1.5 million people chose to fly to or from a different airport;
- 300,000 people changed from a domestic flight to an international one, or vice-versa
United says that equals more than $2 billion in savings, though of course not all of those trips would have been changed if they still cost $200 or $400 to make changes.
I’m not quite sure why it took United over 3 years, but I do love their Super Bowl ad campaign touting free changes.
Oh wait. I can’t. End of scheduling only runs through early January. Well, that will be an epic fail when countless people try to buy tickets for then. But maybe that’s better considering it’s never worth buying a ticket that early. Though with free changes, you can always refare when the price drops.
Of course, it’s not just Cleveland that gets the love. United also made market specific ads for Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City.
The rest of the country will see a general ad:
The cities chosen are interesting. Cleveland has service to more cities than any other United non-hub and Kansas City is in the Super Bowl and has special flights to Vegas added like United 1587 and 1989, giving a nod to Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes, and Taylor Swift. Chicago, Denver, and Houston are major United hubs.
Bizarrely, there is no 49ers ad. Is San Francisco such a fortress hub that United didn’t feel the need to advertise there? Though Houston is also a fortress hub and lands its own ad.
As for DC, well, I guess even believing can’t help the Washington
Redskins Football Club Commanders win it all.
As for me? How can I not root for Cleveland Heights native Travis Kelce? Well, that and my wife is from KC!
However, I’ll be sitting this one out for happier occasions, celebrating my brother Mendy’s engagement in Crown Heights this evening. Mazel tov to the happy couple and may you build a binyan adei ad!