United Airlines (NYSE: UAL) announced today that business passengers have responded well to reductions in business fares introduced on January 6, 2003, positively impacting revenue by $20-$25 million per month.
“This is an excellent example of how United is responding to our customers’ needs,” said Doug Hacker, executive vice president-strategy. “Our new business fares are great for customers and good for United’s bottom line. Contrary to some reports in the media, the increase in business passenger volume has more than offset the lower fares.”
The airline initiated the sharply reduced one-way business fares to meet the pricing needs of increasingly cost-conscious business travelers. The new rules allow customers to get up to 40% off the unrestricted coach fares with no advance purchase. For customers able to purchase seven days in advance, the discount is even greater. There are no minimum or Saturday night stay requirements, though discounted tickets are not refundable.
“Passengers have reacted very favorably, because we gave them what they asked for - more affordable fares on the strongest route network in the industry,” said Chris Bowers, senior vice president-sales and reservations. “The new fares, coupled with other recent enhancements such as expanded flight availability through our marketing partnership with US Airways, are part of the formula that keeps passengers coming back to United.”
United tested the new fare concept extensively on numerous Chicago and Denver routes.
The fares apply to travel in markets to and from Chicago and Denver - the airline’s top two hubs - as well as over 11,500 markets reached through connecting service. Although these fares are non-refundable, confirmed changes can be made for a $100 service fee. Customers can also stand by for free on earlier or later flights on the same day they are ticketed to fly.
United Airlines was rated number one in on-time performance for 2002.
News releases and other information about United Airlines can be found at the company’s website, united.com