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United to Southwest Flyers: Get a “Courte-C” Call to Check In

Frankfurt, Germany - July 17, 2014: United Airlines aircraft logo at an aircraft in Frankfurt. United Airlines is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

United Airlines is offering a friendly reminder for Southwest Airlines flyers: Schedule a “Courte-C” call to check in when it opens or run the risk of boarding the airplane last.
United Airlines is using a unique tactic to try and win over Southwest Airlines flyers to the friendly skies.


The Chicago-based carrier is now offering a “Courtesy Call” to flyers to remind them to check-in for their flight, or potentially be stuck boarding the aircraft last.


“We Also Have No Change Fees, And Lie Flat Seats…And Airport Lounges, Anyone?”

Both United and Southwest have overlapping territories where they regularly compete for passengers, though often at opposing airports in the same city. While United has hubs at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Southwest operates flights from Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) and Houston Hobby Airport (HOU).


Because Southwest has an open seating policy, flyers are grouped into three boarding categories, numbered 1 through 60. The earlier one checks in, the better chance they have to get the seats they want on their flight. The later flyers check in, the further down on the list they go, which could cause parties to be separated.


With the holiday season coming up, both carriers are competing for travelers who are flying to reunite with friends and family. United is throwing the gauntlet down to their Dallas-based competitor with a free service: A “Courte-C Call” to remind Southwest flyers they need to check in for their seating assignment 24 hours before departure.


The United “Courte-C Call” Service aims to remind flyers of two things. First, it provides an actual reminder call to check in for their Southwest flight, while informing travelers that they could avoid the early check-in entirely by flying with United.


“Our Courte-C call system will give you a ring before your check-in time so you can do your best to avoid a less-than-desirable seat,” the website states. “Thanks to the airline that lets you choose your seat in advance. *cough cough* United.”


The airline also reminds flyers that they have “No change fees. And lie-flat seats. And…airport lounges anyone?” Southwest also offers no change fees on tickets, as well as two free checked bags per traveler – something new chief executive Bob Jordan is committed to keeping.


Advertising Comes after Southwest Experiences Years of Change

The new advertising is appearing as Southwest goes through a year-long change process, trying to attract more business flyers. In addition to welcoming new CEO Jordan, the “low-cost” carrier introduced a new fare category as part of a $2 billion passenger experience overhaul.


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phkc070408 November 5, 2022

So where does UA get the data for WN flyers and their upcoming flights?  Is all passenegr data shared across all airlines, or at least all US airlines?

rthib November 5, 2022

First time you have to change flights at the last minute you will see why business people fly southwest.Meeting ends early, I head to the airport and confirm myself on the next flight out, usually able to keep my business select but at worse I am in the first group. Even on a packed flight, Which means an Aisle seat at the front of the plane.Now try that on United. If you can change, you will most likely end up in a middle seat by the toilet. And remind million mile status gets you what? I'll take my companion pass with free ticket for my wife over that any day.

c1ue November 4, 2022

I look at Southwest airplane tickets regularly, but frankly they have literally never made sense for me vs. either United or a Frontier/Spirit type super deep discount airline.
Southwest tickets have not been significantly cheaper than United, they don't have things like the 1 million lifetime miles status which I have achieved with United, and their coverage is simply not great outside a specific set of domestic markets.
If I am fine with zero status, then why not Frontier where I can board first for $7 a flight? Or pay $65, round trip, for a San Francisco to Atlanta flight as I just did a few weeks ago?
Southwest is a fine airline, I am sure, but it seems like a Costco membership: makes sense for some people, but not for me.

uncivil_engineer November 4, 2022

Southwest Airlines has offered a friendly rebuttal for United Airlines flyers: Schedule a courtesy call with your healthcare provider in the event you are forcibly deplaned when United runs out of less-than-desirable seats.

tracon November 4, 2022

SW has free checked baggage.