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10/03/2009 – United Eliminates ‘E-Fare’ Specials By E-Mail
As airlines jockey to fill their aircraft in a declining global economy, United Airlines has taken an interesting route today by discontinuing their weekly ‘E-Fare’ alerts via e-mail.
The US airline market is cutting capacity, routes are being re-planned, aircraft are flying out with empty seats, and in general, US airlines are aggressively trying to fill those empty seats. United’s ‘E-Fare’ alerts were a simple and cost effective direct marketing tool placing the last minute fares for the coming week, or following week, in the mail boxes of United’s frequent flyers. These fares worked well for last minute getaways, mileage runners, or the random impulse trip from Dayton (DAY) to Huntsville (HSV). I know countless people who booked flights with United on a regular basis within an hour or two of receiving their ‘E-Fare’ alterts.
There was no notice of United eliminating their ‘E-Fare’ e-mails, just this message in an e-mail that was sent out today (obviously each recipient has their own name in their e-mail).
Welcome to your weekly E-Fares.
Thank you for having subscribed to our E-Fares emails. These weekly emails are being discontinued, and this is the last issue that you will receive. E-Fares will continue to be available on united.com Tuesday through Friday of each week. To see these fares, you can select the E-Fares link in the News & Deals section of the united.com home page or on the Special Deals page, whenever E-Fares are available. You can also use the united.com booking tool and look for fares marked with a blue star and the label “E-Fares.”
We hope that you will continue to enjoy available discounted fares each week through united.com.
This is an interesting move by United, as the ‘E-Fares’ are not going away, just the update e-mail is. United is making it harder for flyers to find last minute deals, potentially turning flyers away to other carriers who offer last minute travel e-mails to their frequent flyers.
With United facing stiff competition from many of its hub and focus airports, on both domestic and international routes, can they afford to abandon a low-cost consistent marketing tool such as this simple e-mail?