Overall we’ve seen quite a bit of innovation in the airline industry the past few years, both good and bad. However, quite possibly the least innovative airline has been United, as they’ve literally just copied whatever Delta has done.
United copies everything Delta does
You have to wonder whether the mid-level executives at United even have meetings anymore, or if they just have blanket waivers to copy whatever Delta does.
American is countering the trend
American AAdvantage countered the trend by announcing that in 2015 they won’t have a revenue requirement for status, or award miles based on revenue.
Beyond that, AAdvantage introduced some nice bonuses for premium cabin flyers in 2015. Full fare and premium cabin flyers are among the few that come out ahead with the new Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus programs, so this is a nice bone to throw to those high revenue flyers.
American AAdvantage is awarding the following number of bonus miles per premium cabin segment:
While there’s no guarantee American will keep the program mileage based in 2016 and beyond, I’m grateful that they’re not just blindly copying the competition.
United copies American for once
Well, United has literally copied the American AAdvantage promotion in its entirety. For travel through February 28, 2015, United will be awarding MileagePlus members the following mileage bonuses for premium cabin travel:
So why is United copying American here? Because while Delta has started awarding miles based on revenue as of January 1, 2015, United will only be awarding miles based on revenue as of March 1, 2015. So they’re trying to throw a bone to high revenue flyers in the meantime.
Sadly I think by United’s standards, changing who they copy is actually quite innovative.
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)