Business Essay Assignment on United Airlines

BE200 – Marketing Management

Tutor Marked Assessment

Fall 2018-2019

Read carefully the following instructions and both cases study, and then answer each question in an essay format. To support your analysis use relevant material from BE200 covered so far and other resources such as AOU e-library articles.


  • Cut-off date: Submit this assignment no later than (Nov29/2018). All late submissions require approval from the branch course coordinator and will be subject to grade deductions.
  • Word count: you should discuss the questions in no more or less than the number of words mentioned for each question (plus or minus 10%).
  • Referencing: You must acknowledge all your sources of information using full Harvard Style Referencing (in-text referencing plus list of references at the end). Use E-library: to get journal articles on the topic (Emerald, EBSCO…).  Use at least 2 articles.
  • Plagiarism: Remember that you should work the information from references into your own original thoughts and INTO YOUR OWN WORDS. Plagiarism will lead to a significant loss of marks. Extensive plagiarism could mean that you failed your TMA. (Refer to AOU definitions of cheating and plagiarism at the end of this document)
  • Essay guidance: Your response to each question should take the form of a full essay format. Avoid using subheadings and bullet points. Use BE200 textbook, slides, case study and E-Library. Plan what you will write, and have a well-organized outline.
  • Using PT3 form: When you have completed your TMA, you must fill in the assignment form (PT3) posted on your moodle account, taking care to fill all information correctly.
  • Turnit-in upload: A soft copy of your TMA and PT3 form should be uploaded to Turnit-in via the link posted on your moodle account, within the cut-off date.
  • This TMA is 20% of BE200 Grade.

For textbook: Principles of Marketing (Arab World Editions) with My Marketing Lab – refer to chapters 1, 2, 3 and 5


United Airlines

Using segmentation to grow a business

United Airlines was formed in 1927 from four airlines – Boeing Airplane Company, National Air Transport, Varney and Pacific Air Transport. From its roots as a USA domestic carrier, United Airlines expanded into international routes to become the world’s second largest air carrier. With hubs in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and key international gateways in Tokyo, London, Frankfurt, Miami and Toronto, United flies to 117 destinations in 26 countries. These schedules are obviously subject to change. United employs more than 80,000 people worldwide and carries more than 210,000 passengers every day. Its customers have access to more than 729 destinations around the world through Star Alliance, the leading global airline network.

By offering a range of customer-focused products and services, United has become an industry innovator. In a service-based industry, customers and the services they require are at the center of any marketing strategy. Besides offering convenient scheduling throughout its domestic and international routes, United seeks to attract high-yield customers and to earn their preference and loyalty. It does this by providing a comprehensive network and an attractive frequent-flyer programmer with enhanced product/service offerings.

Within markets, not all customers are the same – they have different tastes and want different things. As a result, particular markets can usually be further divided into discrete segments. Each group consists of people with similar needs and requirements. The organization then develops strategies that are closely aimed at satisfying each customer group. This process is known as market segmentation.

Through segmentation, United Airlines can identify market opportunities and meet its marketing objectives. Segmentation gives an airline a better understanding of its customers, the services they require, where and when they want those services and how they would prefer to pay for them.

United Airlines segments its market so that it can:

Identify consumer needs and the proportion of customers who have those needs

Develop products and prices to meet these needs

Target communications at customers within each segment

Allocate funds to support and develop each market opportunity.

Market segmentation therefore enables United Airlines to maximize the efficiency of its marketing efforts by moving the company to use a different strategy for each market segment.

Segmentation involves dividing a whole market so that products and services can then be developed for each part of the market. Some companies divide a market geographically, while others divide markets according to demographic details such as age, gender or occupation. The criteria used to divide the market is known as the segmentation base.

United Airlines uses a form of psychographic segmentation to divide the market for its services. This involves identifying the social class, lifestyles, opinions, interests, behavior and attitudes of customers. Modern communication systems play a major part in this information-gathering exercise. With the help of questionnaires, United Airlines classifies its customers by their motivations. For example, some customers choose United Airlines because of price, while others choose the airline because of schedules, frequent flyer programmers or other forms of service.

For United Airlines, successful segmentation enables targeting to take place. Targeting provides the focus for the activities of the business.

It enables promotions and services to be aimed only at those who are most likely to respond positively to them. Passengers are communicated with through email, which is becoming a focus for closely targeted marketing.

The United Airlines business model can be compared to the classic 80:20 rule in Pareto’s Analysis. Based on experience of the airline industry, the model assumes that, for airlines offering a high level of service, 80of profit comes from 20of customers. The profit-generating customers are the ones who are prepared to pay a premium price for a premium service. They are the ones that the airline most needs to attract.

United Airlines recognizes that airlines need to be able to respond rapidly to changing customer requirements in what is a complex service industry. The company understands the role of technology in enabling it to amass the data it requires about customer requirements. In a heavily regulated and increasingly competitive market place with good prospects for long-term growth, United Airlines successfully uses market segmentation to target distinct customer groups from whom growth opportunities can be developed.

Question 1: (25 Marks)

a- Define Marketing environment. (5 Marks)

b-Explain how changes in the demographic, cultural, and economic environments affect united airlines decision. (20 Marks)

Word count: 300 words

Question 2: (35 Marks)

a- Define Market Segmentation, Market Segment, Targeting and positioning. (30 Marks)

b- Explain how united airline use segmentation to grow. (5 Marks)

Word count: 300 words

Question 3: (40 Marks)

a- Define SWOT analysis. (5 Marks)

b-Talk about its components. (20Marks)

With the respect to the article above

c-         As a united airlines owner or manager, apply SWOT analysis to your business. (15 Marks)

Word count: 450 word

Grades deduction for:

TMA Presentation: (up to 5 marks)

Up to 5 marks should be deducted for poor presentation or poor organization of the TMA outline and discussion or TMA presented without PT3.

Proper referencing: (up to 5 marks)

Referencing should be both in-text referencing, plus a list of references at the end using Harvard style. Up to 5 marks should be deducted for poor referencing.

Use of E-Library: (up to 5 marks)

A minimum use of 2 articles from AOU e-library is required to support the discussions. Up to 5 marks should be deducted for no use or poor use of e-library.


Word count: (up to 5 marks)

The answers should be within the specified word count. A deviation of 10% is acceptable; if more, a deduction up to 5 marks will be applied.

Arab Open University Definitions of cheating and plagiarism

Plagiarism means copying from internet, from unreferenced sources, from other students’ TMAs or any other source.  Penalties for plagiarism range from failure in the TMA or the course, to expulsion from the university.

According to the Arab Open University By-laws, “the following acts represent cases of cheating and plagiarism:

  • Verbatim copying of printed material and submitting them as part of TMAs without proper academic acknowledgement and documentation.
  • Verbatim copying of material from the Internet, including tables and graphics.
  • Copying other students’ notes or reports.
  • Using paid or unpaid material prepared for the student by individuals or firms.
  • Utilization of, or proceeding to utilize, contraband materials or devices in examinations.”

Penalty on plagiarism: The following is the standard plagiarism penalty applied across branches as per Article 11 of the university by-laws was revisited and modified to be more explicit with regard to plagiarism on TMAs. Penalties include the following:

  • Awarding of zero for a TMA wherein more than 20% of the content is plagiarized.
  • Documentation of warning in student record.
  • Failure in the course to dismissal from the University.

All University programs are required to apply penalties that are consistent with the