American’s President Scott Kirby became the President of United Airlines. He found that United’s credit card program was lagging and also shared that in his experience onboard is the single most effective acquisition channel. So United started making these announcements too.
The President of American AAdvantage sees inflight credit card announcements as win-win, educating the consumer, since most passengers fly the airline no more than once a year and so for the majority it’s new to them. I think these announcements can be made better for the passenger experience. Regardless they aren’t going away because they’re effective regardless of how passengers feel about them.
Indeed United is going to make these announcements mandatory.
In an internal message sent to flight crews on Tuesday, John Slater, the senior vice president of inflight services, shared that as of September 1, United would start requiring its flight crews to pitch the card on every domestic and international flight that the airline operates.
…To motivate crews, Slater also shared that a promotional $100 kickback would be given to any flight attendant who acquired a customer — up from the current $50 bonus.
Co-brand partner banks are the biggest customers airlines have, so the move is in fact customer-responsive, whether or not it’s passenger-responsive.