United Airlines Considers Using Passenger Data To Sell Personalized Ads, Report Says

Topline

United Airlines is considering using data it collects on passengers to sell targeted ads, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources—the latest attempt by a major corporation to capitalize on the massive amounts of information it has on its consumers.

Key Facts

United may place these ads in its in-flight entertainment systems, where passengers watch movies, television and other programming, as well as its app, where passengers book flights and check-in, sources told the Journal.

However, an official decision reportedly hasn’t been made and United could still decide not to make the move.

The company would reportedly allow customers to opt out, as is required by privacy laws.

United declined to comment when Forbes contacted the company.

Tangent

This comes as companies across industries outside of advertising look to targeted advertising as a potential new revenue source. In 2021, a policy change by Apple to make it easier for iPhone users to prevent social media companies from collecting data on them outside of their own apps took a huge toll on the revenue streams of some social media companies, such as Snap and Meta. That gave an advantage to companies that already had lots of information on their clientele and didn’t need to rely on such systems. In 2022, Marriott, the nationwide hotel chain, made a similar move to the one United is considering when it partnered with Yahoo to sell targeted advertising on its in-room television screens. Walmart, Uber, Instacart and Home Depot have all also used its consumer data for similar programs, the Journal reported.

Key Background

The airline industry has a history of taking advantage of advertising to its passengers. United has long stocked its planes with Hemispheres Magazine, a travel publication produced solely for its customers which is packed with glossy ads. Competitors American Airlines and Southwest Airlines both offer extensive advertising services on their websites. United is one of the largest airlines in the country, having flown 148 million passengers in 2023 on its fleet, which has 929 aircraft.

Further Reading

United Airlines Weighs Using Passenger Data to Sell Targeted Ads (Forbes)

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/670423545/-CtilZcV3A8j0Rbk?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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