New Look, New Outlook Too?

Logo of United Airlines

Aviation geeks, or Avgeeks as we are known, get very excited when an airline unveils a new paint scheme for its aircraft.  Otherwise known as a livery, there’s just something about a new design that gets us excited.

This week, United Airlines unveiled its new look under the mantra, “out with the gold, in with the blue.”  The heavy focus on blue is a change from its old design, which featured gold left over from the Continental Airlines regime.  United and Continental merged in 2010.  United was known of its iconic tulip on its tails, but it was retired during the merger.

The branding comes at a time when United is seeing strong revenue and expansion. This includes service between Newark and Cape Town, South Africa.  The carrier is trying to emphasize its focus on customer amenities, including a new premium economy cabin.  It’s also reintroducing the popular Stroopwafels.  

Still United Airlines has to shed its reputation of the past, including the infamous video of a man being dragged off a jet.

As the airline integrates its new design, its CEO Oscar Munoz is making the media circuit.  He is not shying away from discussing the consumer frustration that is still rampant today.

“It’s become so stressful,” Munoz said in an interview with ABC’s David Kerley. “from when you leave, wherever you live, to get into traffic, to find a parking spot, to get through security.”

Munoz added, “by the time you sit on one of our aircraft … you’re just pissed at the world,” and improving the flying experience won’t ultimately depend on “what coffee or cookie I give you.”

At the end of the day, this is about consumer interaction and corporate awareness as to what’s happening on the front lines, not just a new paint job.