United Airlines puts business first?

Inside-out thinking continues to prevail at United. Their new business1 program was clearly designed by employees thinking they know what people want, instead of researching it. For instance:

We understand how important it is to be reliable, especially in business. That's why Business1SM arrival times are guaranteed. If your flight is more than 30 minutes late, you'll receive 500 redeemable Mileage Plus? miles.

Whoopee. 500 more miles that I can't seem to use except during a lunar eclipse. And the disclaimer and restrictions section is longer than the announcement itself.

I can just hear a group at United sitting around a conference table asking, "What do business people want? On-time arrival and newspapers. Yep, that's it!"

Well, of course we would like to arrive on time but we understand when there are problems. All we really want is an honest appraisal of flight status, a comfortable seat, friendly service, and the freedom to check our bags without waiting an hour to get them back.

Oh wait. I've described JetBlue and Independence Air, haven't I?

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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