United Responds to Flight 3411 Questions, Plans to Push Credit Cards On-Board
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: United Explorer Card
In today’s United Airlines quarterly earnings conference call, much attention was understandably focused on the horrifying incident on-board United Flight 3411. Each member of United’s management team expressed their concern about the Bumpgate situation. United said it was too early to see if the incident has caused a drop in bookings, which are historically lower before the Easter holiday. In response to each question about United’s policy changes due to the situation, management referred to the report that will be released on April 30th.
One analyst called out the financial performance of United’s “considerably less valuable” MileagePlus program, particularly compared to the American Airlines’ AAdvantage program. Specifically, AAdvantage expects an additional $800 million in revenue from sales of points vs. growth of just $300 million for United in the same time. The analyst wanted to know what United was doing to close the gap.
United’s management mostly side-stepped the question, blaming it on “different disclosure policies.” Yet, management admitted that both American and Delta’s growth rates are much higher. Onto solutions, United management first pointed the finger at Chase:
The good news is I believe that our partners at JP Morgan Chase understand that and understand how important it is to get us on the same growth trajectory. We kinda had a reset of the relationship here in the past few months and they committed to getting us the same kind of growth rate. And, look, we actually ought to be growing faster; we are growing faster as an airline.
Credit Cards to be Offered On-Board
Then, United quickly backtracked, putting some blame back on the airline. One key point he mentioned was “we weren’t allowing [Chase] to offer the credit card to customers on-board” — noting that this is both American Airlines and Delta’s “best acquisition channel.” United pledged to get this acquisition process “accelerated” in the new few months.
So, that means you can look forward to credit cards (such as the United MileagePlus Explorer Card) being pushed by flight attendants on future United flights, as we’ve seen on recent AA flights. It’ll be interesting to see if the pilots get in on the action, as I experienced on a recent AA flight:
Unfortunately, the call ended before United could address all media questions — including our questions about when and where we can expect Basic Economy to expand and United’s current standing on Premium Economy.
Featured image courtesy of Scott Olson / Staff via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.