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United Launches Online Coalition to Win New Beijing Route

I2m_united_capitaltocapital In my inbox today, I recieved a plea from United to support their "Capital to Capital" initiative lobbying the US Department of Transportation to allow them to add a new nonstop direct flight from Washington DC to Beijing, China.  The email drives travellers to a website launched on September 12th for the Capital to Capital Coalition.  The site features testimonials from experts, an events calendar and an area with links to all the ways travellers can take action to support United.  Perhaps the most impressive part of the site (aside from the clear PR resources United has dedicated to this effort) is how the site frames the issue and positions United as the holder of the ideal solution:

America is the largest country without non-stop Capital-to-Capital service to China.  Washington, D.C. and Beijing are two of the most important capital cities – global centers of politics, economics, and culture. Beijing has non-stop connections to most of the major capitals of the world, including London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Delhi, and Moscow. … European and Asian countries, such as the U.K., France, Russia, Japan and South Korea, are vigorously pursuing their commercial and political agendas in China. The advantage to these countries of having a Capital-to-Capital service is significant. And the lack of such a service puts the United States at a competitive disadvantage. Today, there’s an opportunity to change all that.

After reading this, not supporting United almost seems unAmerican.  The interesting fact buried within the content of the site, however, is that the US Department of transportation has already decided to award one new route to China.  United’s campaign is not about creating the route, but about becoming the sole airline with the rights to fulfill it.  Clearly, having a monopoly on this route would be a big money maker for United, and something worth investing in PR to win.  Yet regardless of the "massaging" of message the site engages in, it is still an interesting lobbying effort for United and a campaign likely to help them generate support from their many frequent fliers to win the Beijing route.

To see the full text of the email promotion, click here.

4 thoughts on “United Launches Online Coalition to Win New Beijing Route”

  1. Pingback: maggie32rose
  2. And I just received an e-mail from Northwest Airlines asking me to sign an online petition to support their bid to be the one airline that is allowed to add service to China, but between Detroit and Shanghai. Their pitch mildly emphasizes convenience, but the United effort sounds much more effective in making you want to support them. Looks like the airlines are realizing they can use e-mail for more than just letting you know how many frequent flyer miles you have.

  3. Got this from continental a few weeks ago- totally different approach! Boring letter, even more boring site.

    Help Continental Secure New Shanghai Gateway
    Let us be your carrier to Shanghai.
    We’re asking for your help in supporting our proposed new route from New York/Newark to Shanghai, China, beginning spring 2007. Competition is strong with only one U.S. airline able to secure a daily flight to and from China next year.

    Show your support for Continental by signing your name to our electronic petition* that will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The DOT will base its decision on multiple factors including community support and the amount of business the new route will generate.

    Plus, don’t forget to tell your family, friends and colleagues about the prospect for Continental’s new flight to China.

    Sign the petition now.

    ***** You can see the petition here

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