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May 10th, 2005

A Brief Review of Ted

I haven’t flown much in my life. My first trip ever was in the 90s, and I mostly traveled for work last year. The majority of my flights have been on Frontier Airlines, a pretty solid line based in Denver. For our trip last week we chose Ted, United’s low-cost thingamajig.

Unlike Frontier, Southwest, jetBlue, and Song, Ted is pretty much just United with some different graphics. This surprised me because I expected Ted to have a weird, quirky vibe – like its viral marketing campaign in Denver back in 2003. (Ted was giving away free coffee in the mornings, had weird billboards, etc.) It was a little disappointing since jetBlue and Song do strive to set themselves apart.

The planes were new Airbus models and were pretty comfortable. There’s the usual economy and economy plus sections available and the plus sections only offer more legroom (which wasn’t important to me, since I’m the same height as Ryan.) Snacks and drinks are standard fare, but you can buy a Ted pack – a box of snacks – for $5.00, and there are five or six choices. It’s nice to have the option. In-flight entertainment included TV programs from the major networks with a few music videos, and an assortment of music channels. I give them credit though: this was the first time we had heard the Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff’s “Summertime” in years.

Unlike Frontier, Ted’s flight attendants didn’t bring any funny to the table: they were pretty standard folks. Nice and all but nothing to write home about. I’d say in general that if you’re expecting a quirky little offshoot of United, you’ll be disappointed. Ted is just United with a different name and a different logo.

Posted in Consumer Commentary

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