United Airlines Marketing Mix (4Ps) Strategy

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: April 19, 2020

Marketing Mix of United Airlines analyses the brand/company which covers 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) and explains the United Airlines marketing strategy. As of 2020, there are several marketing strategies like product/service innovation, marketing investment, customer experience etc. which have helped the brand grow.

Marketing strategy helps companies achieve business goals & objectives, and marketing mix (4Ps) is the widely used framework to define the strategies. This article elaborates the product, pricing, advertising & distribution strategies used by United Airlines.

Let us start the United Airlines Marketing Mix & Strategy:

United Airlines Product Strategy:

The product strategy and mix in United Airlines marketing strategy can be explained as follows:

United Airlines is a leading American airline, which not only connect cities in USA, but has a strong global footprint. United Airlines offers various services in its marketing mix strategy, which is basically based on the class of travel which customers need. Some of the various classes for flying offered by United Airlines are:

• United Airlines First Class - It is known as United Polaris First. It is only available in Boeing 767 and 777 flights. It has a seat that turns into a flat bed. The seats have LCD televisions for the entertainment of the flyers. They also provide Video-On-Demand feature as per customer requirements, adjustable headrests and an adapter for your iPod, power outlets etc.

• Business Class – It is called United Polaris Business. The Business Class passengers can avail priority check ins at separate counters. They are mostly suitable form business travellers and provide a middle ground between luxury and productive efficiency. They have power sockets and ports required for the electronic gadgets, a storage area for the stationaries. They provide United Airlines customers several additional benefits like Lounge facilities, beverages and multi course meals, priority baggage handling, beautiful mood lighting near seats which convert into flat beds etc.

• Premium Economy Class – They are called United Economy Plus. This class is available on all flights. These seats are locate in the front and back of the economy class and has slightly better recline and wider seats compared to the economy class. These seats are given as complimentary to certain loyal customers.

• Economy Class – They consist of slimmer seats and adjustable headrests. They also have personal and overhead entertainment, in flight Wi-Fi etc. Meals are complimentary for all international United Airlines passengers while snacks and meal boxes are available for purchase for domestic flights.


Image: Wikimedia


United Airlines Price/Pricing Strategy:

Below is the pricing strategy in United Airlines marketing strategy:

United Airlines have variable pricing as per the customer classes. The provide opportunities to book ticket online through their website and provide price discounts on special occasions. The prices are competitive and helps United Airlines to cater to customers belonging to various financial background. The fares also depend on the route and sector of airspace which the flight will cover. They provide a new fare option called Basic Economy for travellers who are on a budget.


United Airlines Marketing Strategy comprises of not only its Marketing Mix, but also segmentation, targeting, positoning, competition and analysis like SWOT. Also read United Airlines SWOT Analysis, STP & Competitors

United Airlines Place & Distribution Strategy:

Following is the distribution strategy of United Airlines:

United Airlines operate through a number of routes in the Asia-Pacific region. The major bases they operate from are Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, Guam, Denver, Washington DC, Tokyo etc. One can book tickets directly at the airport, through United Airlines’ website or through online travel agents. The flight network covers over 300 destinations out of which 138 are international destinations covering the five continents.

This achieved through by about 4500 flights daily.


United Airlines Promotion & Advertising Strategy:

The promotional and advertising strategy in the United Airlines marketing strategy is as follows:

United Airlines promotes its brand by not only TVCs, print ads, online ads but also through attractive deals for its flyers. Some of the channels effectively used by United Airlines are:

• Fare Deals – They sometimes provide promotional prices and other deals like one can enter promotional codes on their website to redeem offers. There are also region and route specific promotions which encourage new travellers to try out United Airlines. They have limited time sales and seasonal promotions as well.

• Veterans Advantage Discount – United Airlines provide up to 5% discount to the US military veterans and as well as to those active on duty, National Guards and Reserve forces. In order to avail the benefits one has to enrol to the program and then they receive a 10-digit code which can be used to redeem the discounts.

• Mileage Plus – It is the frequent flyer program of United Airlines. Under this program they provide United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase and United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase etc. that provides bonus miles on every spend. One can earn miles through traveling with United, from their home and financial partners and online partners, dining, hotels like Marriot and selected car rentals like Hertz. Later these miles can be spent on booking flights, shop online for fashion, technology and home goods with selected partners, to book hotels, cruise ships, cars, unique events, dining as well as subscriptions. One can also buy or share and even donate miles to their near and dear ones.


Since this is a service marketing brand, here are the other three Ps to make it the 7Ps marketing mix of United Airlines.


People:

The Chief Executive Officer of the company is Oscar Munoz. He brings with him years of experience and deep knowledge in various financial and strategic positions. There are various career opportunities in United Airlines and different level of staffs who collectively help in smooth functioning of the company and provide the best customer service. There are people working in operations and Corporate Support Center who move the business ahead through their hard work and efficient implementation of various strategies. The air hostesses and cabin crew are specially trained to deliver unparalled customer experience.


Process:

They deliver value to the customer through various ways. There are various programs to earn miles and spend them in all walks of life which proves to be very beneficial to the customers. United Airlines also started using low carbon aviation biofuel in eco skies flights to move forward their sustainability initiatives. The website is well designed with a very user friendly UI that facilitates rich customer experience. Customers can also use United App to book flights and get additional benefits.


Physical Evidence:

The United Airlines fleet consists of Airbus A319, A320, A350, Boeing 737 – 700,800,900, Boeing 757, 767, 777 and 787 which are some of the best aircrafts available in the industry. They have a motto of “Uniting the World” which is evident from their branding and logo which displays a globe like figure with connected lines. The luxury class has all sorts of amenities and special lighting to set the ambiance. Hence this gives an insight on United Airlines marketing mix.


About United Airlines:

United Airlines is one of the flagship carriers of US and its headquarters are located in Chicago. It ranks three by revenue among all the airlines in the world. United Continental Holdings, Inc. is the holding company for United Airlines. The company was founded in 1926. It is also the first airline in North America to use Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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