How Much More People Are Willing To Pay To Avoid Flying On United Airlines?


The incident the other Sunday when paying passenger was forcefully moved from United Airlines flight to make space for deadheading employee received plenty of play both on social media and TV last week.

Morning Consult

Many were saying that they would never ever fly on United Airlines again while others were canceling their tickets. People tend to have short memories and many buy their airline tickets on price. How the outrage has resulted in bookings is the million (or perhaps billion) dollar question.

You can access the Morning Consult report here and the New York Times article here.

Morning Star made a study on April 12 and it consisted of national sample of 1,975 adults. Those that had heard about the incident were willing to pay more or have transit versus non-stop to avoid flying on United Airlines.

Here’s an illustration from New York Times:

Morning Consult NYT

Here’s the Morning Consult full results:

Download (PDF, 92KB)


I guess that United Airlines can hope that traveling public would soon forget this incident (memory is often short) or something even more outrageous would surface online. The Morning Consult result show that people that were aware of the incident are at least in theory (remember the weren’t using money here) willing to pay more to fly on other airlines.

On more serious side, United completely lost the plot last week when they tried to put out the fire. It took days before the CEO Munoz made an apology that sounded as one.

We should learn more tomorrow (Tuesday) when United has conference call about the first quarter results. I am sure that everyone is eager to hear what kind of financial impact this “re-accommodation” has caused/will cause in coming months.

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