United Airlines thinks you’re a fool if you fly Southwest

United Airlines plane in the sky

United Airlines

Southwest Airlines. Such a terrible company.

Honestly, do these people even know what they are doing?

All these smiling flight attendants cover the abyss of failure. Are they even aware of what is really going on? Southwest passengers are suffering so much that they probably just don’t have the energy to express their displeasure.

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What? Did you think it was all my opinion? how could you

No, that seems to be the feeling on the United Airlines group, which has suddenly found itself on the wings of humor.

Or should it be condescending humor?

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I only ask because the airline has just launched a website announcing a new service, revealing United’s view that Southwest customers are pathetically stupid.

The site is called NotGroupC. And oh, what fun it is.

It begins with the story of a Southwest flier who forgot to check in 24 hours before his flight and ended up in the dreaded Group C — especially dreaded right now because the planes are so full.

You may have to use the worst seats on the plane.

Now, in a show of magnanimous generosity, United is offering to give those Southwest customers what it calls a “Courte-C Call” to remind them of their potential doom.

Why would United want to do this if not for the happy hope of siphoning off a little customer data? Oh, because it claims to be “the airline that lets you choose your seat in advance.”

“What a good pocket!” I hear you’re excited. “United has come a long way from being the airline everyone hated because it pushed heavy passengers who didn’t like being bumped from their seats.”

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But in this case, United is rushing to far-flung destinations. The site reminds Southwest customers United has “no change fees. And seats. And… airport lounges anyone?”

Because I really need sleeper seats and an airport lounge when I fly from San Francisco to LA.

Please correct me if I’m being overly lenient, but it never occurred to me to check in 24 hours before a flight. Rather, it heightens expectations.

It’s clear, though, that United think it’s a terrible imposition, akin to exfoliating your armpits.

Will your average business traveler be amused by all this? Anyone? Maybe. Today, many are moved by sheer cruelty.

You know, the kind of cruelty that forces you to fly basic economy and prevents you from choosing seats. Unless you pay more, that is. God, isn’t that what United do? Why, it is. And it’s much more draconian in its Basic Economy offering than, say, Delta or American. How did it happen?

However, here’s the (only) part that really entertains me. The Points Guy thinks the campaign is running in three markets – Denver, Houston and Chicago.

In each of the airports in these cities where United and Southwest compete, United has a larger share of traffic.

So why would United want to lash out at South West, especially over something so trivial and dubious?

When you are the market leader, you are not a carp to those below you. It’s not like Apple has too many ads mocking Microsoft these days, is it?

However, here the market leader is mocking a smaller player. What could have caused it?

It couldn’t be fear, could it?


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