United is currently my airline of choice for a very simple reason: they're the carrier I have the most history with. See, back in 1999, 2000 and 2001 when I was constantly travelling my employer repeatedly booked me on United flights. As a logical consequence of this behavior on the part of our travel department I accumulated all my "air miles" with United. After four years I have accumulated all these miles with United and for whatever reason I feel compelled to accumulate more with the same carrier "since I've already come this far," so I keep flying with United. Despite friends and coworkers urging me otherwise (I'm told very often that American has far more legroom and generally doesn't treat you like human waste) when it comes time for me to select an airline I almost always default to United -- I've already got a bunch of air miles with them so why stop a good thing now? Some day I'll have enough miles to buy a free beer on one of my flights! Looking at it this way I suppose you could say that's faulty reasoning and start to lecture me about how I've fallen into a vicious circle: I fly to acquire miles and I acquire miles with United because I've always flown with them. I ask you, though: can you really blame me for not wanting to switch over to American and loose three years worth of travel?
Today I was given proof that United enjoys teasing me no end. Why do I say this? Well, between help desk tickets I was checking my in-box and found an alert from United with new airfares. That's right, they just e-mailed me to announce a super-saver sale for holiday travel. One fare in particular screams "dump everything and run, this is a great deal" to me and is taunting me no end. The terms are simple: I must book my travel before November 17th and fly between November 20th, 2003 and January 6th, 2004.
So what caught my eye and is making me drool? Well, how about this: New York City to London round-trip for $332. Think about it, gang: round trip across the ocean on a Boeing 777, for $332. That's only about $100 more than the rate I was charged for the flight to Seattle that I never got to take.