United said it would match most of Independence Air’s new low fares from Dulles on competiting routes, plus they’d throw in 2500 bonus miles for the effort. United certainly has every right in the world to try to compete, but as a bankrupt airline currently being propped up by taxpayer-funded loans, this feels icky to me. Sure, United’s fares are now low—but you and I are subsidizing it.
Independence Air has rolled out its frequent flyer program, i-Club. First rule about i-Club is that you don’t talk about i-Club. Also, you earn one dollar for every dollar spent on the airline. Accumulate 1500 points, get a free ticket to anywhere they fly less than 1500 miles away. No blackout dates, no restrictions. Smells a lot like Southwest’s program, and that’s a good thing.