United’s Interesting Fly Two Get One Free Offer

United jumped into the Buy Two Get One Free fray today, annoucing the deal on flights from Boston and New York to California. The rules for this deal keep changing with each additional airline. American Airlines had no catch. Delta won’t let you fly on cheap tickets. Now United says that qualifying tickets CANNOT INCLUDE A SATURDAY NIGHT STAY.

Now, I’m of two minds on this. Part of me was thinking, “I hate you, United. I hate when companies say something is easy and free, and then there are a zillion restrictions. This is why people hate airlines.”

Then, before I typed that, I thought, “Gee, that was sorta brilliant, right? Why give free tickets to cheap bastards who are flying for nothing? Aren’t you really trying to entice people to pay higher fares? Aren’t you really after business travelers on these California routes? Sure you are! This is brilliant!”

So there you go. I will end up leaning on my first thought, that United is pulling a bit of a bait and switch, leaving leisure travelers high and dry without a free ticket.

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