The Chicago-based carrier is now offering a “Courtesy Call” to flyers to remind them to check-in for their flight, or potentially be stuck boarding the aircraft last.
“We Also Have No Change Fees, And Lie Flat Seats…And Airport Lounges, Anyone?”
Both United and Southwest have overlapping territories where they regularly compete for passengers, though often at opposing airports in the same city. While United has hubs at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Southwest operates flights from Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) and Houston Hobby Airport (HOU).
Because Southwest has an open seating policy, flyers are grouped into three boarding categories, numbered 1 through 60. The earlier one checks in, the better chance they have to get the seats they want on their flight. The later flyers check in, the further down on the list they go, which could cause parties to be separated.
With the holiday season coming up, both carriers are competing for travelers who are flying to reunite with friends and family. United is throwing the gauntlet down to their Dallas-based competitor with a free service: A “Courte-C Call” to remind Southwest flyers they need to check in for their seating assignment 24 hours before departure.
The United “Courte-C Call” Service aims to remind flyers of two things. First, it provides an actual reminder call to check in for their Southwest flight, while informing travelers that they could avoid the early check-in entirely by flying with United.
“Our Courte-C call system will give you a ring before your check-in time so you can do your best to avoid a less-than-desirable seat,” the website states. “Thanks to the airline that lets you choose your seat in advance. *cough cough* United.”
The airline also reminds flyers that they have “No change fees. And lie-flat seats. And…airport lounges anyone?” Southwest also offers no change fees on tickets, as well as two free checked bags per traveler – something new chief executive Bob Jordan is committed to keeping.
Advertising Comes after Southwest Experiences Years of Change
The new advertising is appearing as Southwest goes through a year-long change process, trying to attract more business flyers. In addition to welcoming new CEO Jordan, the “low-cost” carrier introduced a new fare category as part of a $2 billion passenger experience overhaul.
Source: frugal travel guy