Wednesday, April 11, 2007

American Airlines New Women’s Website – Point/Counterpoint

American Airlines has come out with a new website and (obviously) a new marketing campaign aimed at women travelers ( While we applaud almost everything that contributes to the equality of the sexes, we’re not exactly sure what to make of American’s effort. Do women really want or need different booking or destination information? Is there some added value for the female traveler in using a sex-specific website?

Kenneth’s (male) take:
It’s obviously a work-in-progress. Will there be sections of the website that are actually useful for women (those “personal” travel hygiene tips)? Will there be an interactive component of the site, such as a woman-to-woman forum?
Also obviously, the site isn’t designed to offer special discounts just for women – that would be completely discriminatory.
So my take is that it’s simply an American Airlines marketing tool – trying to get more women to fly American. Which, as a former marketing consultant, makes sense to me. Differentiate yourself from the pack, even if it’s with only the sizzle and not the steak.
This is not a knock against American. We’ve generally had good travel experiences on the airline. But my final take is that this is a good marketing gimmick for American, while at this time offering information of questionable value which can probably be found better elsewhere.

Francesca’s (female) take:
I’m sorry, but to me the new women-specific marketing campaign of American Airlines is insulting and offensive to women and men alike. The battle of the sexes was decades ago, and if I recall from my history class, it ended nicely in compromise.
Women have been treated equally and fairly in most walks of life since this treaty’s conception, so why stir up old grumblings now? What inequality is there now while traveling? What “privileges” do men have over women on a plane? Being a very happy, independent, well-traveled, and fulfilled-in-life woman, I feel used like a pawn in the game which big companies play to stay on top.
I’ll be traveling to the shower now to “wash that airline (man) right out of my hair.”

So, are we missing something here? Let us hear your thoughts.

Old postcard 1930s, Luzern (Lucerne), Switzerland