In June 2016, the US carrier United Airlines announced their plans to completely redesign the flight experience for passengers with the United Polaris Business Class. The goal was to provide medial support for the launch of the new premium class over a period of 18 months, targeting both business and leisure travelers.
Because of the US carrier’s fleet size, it took some time until the new United Polaris Business Class was available on the routes to Germany and Switzerland. But the idea was to generate media interest in the market starting from the first announcement.
The United Polaris Business Class concept was created based on over 12,000 hours of analysis – this is exactly what we focused on, placing the spotlight on the customers’ wishes, as highlighted by the findings, and on the resulting services. For this we presented different background stories using targeted media interviews and press releases. As soon as the first airplane was equipped with the new flatbed seats, we brought a number of journalists to the USA to take one of the first official flights with the new premium class between Chicago and San Francisco in February 2017. We celebrated the next live experience in Germany at ITB Berlin 2017, where we presented the new seats of the United Polaris Business Class during an exclusive media event for 20 selected journalists. As soon as the United Polaris Business Class was available on the routes to Germany, we organized targeted individual press trips and collaborated with the media in the areas of business travel, luxury travel, trade, LGBTQ, and lifestyle. We also organized interview partners for the journalists as well as individual guided tours through the newly created United Polaris lounges at the airline’s hubs.
That certain extra touch
At ITB Berlin 2017, we set up the flatbed seats of the new United Polaris Business Class at the booth. Thus, the journalists could see the comfort and functionality for themselves. United crew members were there to present all of the features and assist the media as they tried out the seats. A welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the tradeshow – sweetened by us with a glass of champagne.