United Has Original Marketing (Thanks to Cosmopolitan Las Vegas)

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United’s marketing efforts in 2014 have been to copy Delta. In 2015 they added a stopgap copy of American.

A flight into Las Vegas this week for CES surprised me (1) by a flight attendant handing me something that looked like a snack and (2) it turning out to be clever marketing. Credit seems entirely due to The Cosmopolitan. Maybe United let this on their planes after seeing it on other airlines?

The pack has the size and feel of a Kit Kat. I was hungry and as the only free thing on United with crunch is ice cubes, I was eager for a snack.

United Cosmopolitan Card Deck 2

Instead it contained a pack of discount cards for The Cosmopolitan and a mobile phone card carrier.

United Cosmopolitan Card Deck 1

There are only so many products that make sense for in-flight promos and appropriate routed to put them on. Las Vegas has relatively few connecting passengers and a large number of passengers all going to the same place, so a casino promo works.

In contrast, I fondly recall seat headrest covers that used to appear on Chinese airlines sponsored by companies with classic names like Xuzhou No 4 Hydraulic Press Machinery Industry Co, Ltd, for all those passengers that needed to pick up some industrial equipment.

I give this promotion a good rating. If only they could get that Wicked Spoon kimchi glaze bone marrow on the snack cart.

Readers, what clever or laughable in-flight promos have you received?

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united and cosmo have been giving these packs away for the past two years.


I asked a friend who flies DL, and he doesn’t get the Cosmopolitan promo. I really like the 2-for-1 at the Wicked Spoon. You need to get a player’s card first, but you can use one 2-for1 coupon every 7 days. So if you live there or fly into LAS regularly you can save up..


The Chinese company names in the old school trade booth side of CES are equally hilarious as are the owners.