United vs. Southwest at Denver: The Fight Has Begun

United, the largest airline at Denver International, has started bombarding the city with ads touting its service over Southwest's - the same day that the latter started service from the city with 13 daily flights to 3 cities. In comparison, United has over 400 daily flights to dozens of cities.

And United is keen on holding onto its dominant position. Soon it will have TV, radio, and online ads highlighting the features that Southwest lacks: assigned seats, Economy Plus (economy with more legroom) and first class.

"We want to show our Denver customers how United is different and better than our newest competitor," said United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski.

The first ad appeared today and is, in my opinion, hilarious. It shows a confused traveler looking at a sign with twisted arrows. "With Southwest, you are kinda, sorta free to move about a few places in the country nonstop," it says, a direct play on Southwest's slogan.

Although the ads would seem pretty serious because they're aimed directly at a single airline, I bet they'll work, since United is dominant in Denver - more routes, better service.
In defense, however, Southwest has launched a campaign of its own announcing its low fares.