US Airways Want’s My Help. What’s In It For Me?


USAirways sent me an email message this week asking for my help. The message was titled “Show Your Support for Our China Service”. It seems that USAirways would like to offer a Philly to China flight, but needs the US Department of Transportation to award the route to them. The DOT is apparently influenced by public opinion so USAirways would like me to “Get Involved” by signing their petition. From the email:

We need your help! The DOT heavily considers public support when they award new service. Please take a minute to sign our petition — it’s quick and you can do it online. We have to submit these petitions by August 2 and every signature counts.

Why should I do this? What has USAirways done for me lately (ok , ever). In the message, they list four reasons why I should support them:

  1. With service to China, we can grow internationally and offer you even more destinations
  2. We’d have a connecting flight from Charlotte to Philadelphia for more choices for the southeast U.S.
  3. We’re the only major U.S. airline without service to Asia
  4. Today, there are no nonstop flights between Philadelphia and China

Clearly, these reasons primarily benefit USAirways. They offer no other tangible incentives for me to support them. I’m sure there are rules prohibiting that sort of thing anyway.

This is the first time that USAirways has ever asked me to help them. Perhaps, if they had been engaging me as a customer, asking for my input on ways to provide better service, this request wouldn’t seem so self-serving, but they haven’t and it does. Perhaps USAirways should have taken the time to target this request to people who might find it valuable; perhaps people who have flown USAirways to other international destinations.

Email marketing is cheap, so companies might have a tendency to simply blast a message out to every address in their files. I don’t remember the last time I flew USAir and I have never used them for international travel, so why did they think I would be interested in helping them get the China service? Instead, my opinion of them went down just a little because they want my help without offering anything of value to me in return.

Did you get the e-mail? What do you think about this case?


3 comments so far

  1. Katie Konrath on

    I received that email too, and I have to say that the only new direct route it made me support was the one from my inbox to the trash.

    I don’t fly US Airways very much, but even so, I’m haven’t been too impressed with them. (Nor with any other major US carrier.) Plus, when I look up the news on US Airways, it’s all negative. Lower profits, late very frequently, a lot of lost baggage…

    As a customer, this email makes me think that US Airways would rather spend its money on a campaign to expand instead of improving the service they already provide. Doesn’t seem like such a great idea.

    And I agree with you! All the reasons they give seem self-serving. But doesn’t that sound great… let’s help US Airways expand so they can give bad service to more people!

  2. Cam Beck on

    Excellent points. Your approach to the situation clearly exemplify Ryan’s tagline for you. 🙂

  3. Katie Konrath on

    Ah, but that’s not me. A different Katie–who also has a great blog. But no worries… everyone always thinks that my last name begins with C.

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