Why Exactly Did United End E-fare Emails?

According to Today in the Sky, United is no United's New (Fake) Motto?longer going to send E-fare emails to its customers. E-fares, the ones that are for last minute weekend travel, will still be around on the United website, but they just won’t proactively tell you about them anymore. So what’s up with the customer unfriendly policy? I’m guessing it’s related to United’s new corporate motto, “If it’s broke, don’t fix it.”

I don’t get the E-fare emails from many airlines anymore, or if I do, I just delete them, so I don’t know the state of United’s emails. But there is really no good excuse for removing customer notification for a program that isn’t going away. Here’s how I imagine the conversation going over at United.

Marketeer #1: We’ve got a problem.
Marketeer #2: Just one? So we’re getting better?

Marketeer #1: Very funny. You know those E-fare emails? They don’t work well. We don’t send people the information they want, and it’s an expensive/inefficient system.
Marketeer #2: Hmm, well if it’s a bad experience, we should fix it.

Marketeer #1: Nah, that takes effort. Instead, I think we’ll just stop sending the emails. Then it won’t be bad anymore!
Marketeer #2: But, um, then won’t people have an even worse experience by having to search for the E-fares each week?

Marketeer #1: I’m sorry . . . did you say something?

I can fully understand if United wanted to ditch this program entirely. I mean, these last minute fares have been around for a long time and they likely aren’t generating a huge amount business. But if you’re going to keep the program, you’d think that United would want to at least make it user-friendly.


Updated on 3/12 @ 944a – United Spokesperson Robin Urbanski sent me a note saying the following. “They were discontinued because customers have asked us to reduce the frequency of emails and most go to united.com to find and book our special deals, including e-fares.”

So that appears to be the official stance, but I’ve heard differently from others.

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