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United’s New 1 For 1

United announced a new promotion where you get a free coach ticket anywhere United or Lufthansa flies if you buy a first or business class ticket to Europe on either airline. Here’s what I don’t love about this promotion: Who is the target market for this? People who purchase their own biz class tickets to Europe are unlikely to be thrilled about using a free coach ticket on a long flight (they’d rather purchase an upgrade to business, which is not available with this free promotion). Perhaps it’s with business travelers? Not really, as most businesses that do lots of business class flying to Europe have set agreements with carriers (so, this wouldn’t be influencing the carrier someone flies to Europe). I guess it’s targeted at unmanaged business travelers who can afford business class tickets to Europe and who would later want to sit in coach for a free 12-hour journey to Tokyo. There are better ways to target these people, no?

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