Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Math is Hard! Let's Go Shopping!

Shortly after I got married five years ago I tried to buy a pair of plane tickets on the American Airlines website for Kathy and me; I was prevented from doing so since Kathy had kept her last name, and therefore the website wouldn’t recognize her as my spouse. In the end we had to make the reservations over the phone (paying ten bucks more for the privilege, if I remember correctly.)

I was reminded of this yesterday, when I read that American Airlines has been recently diving into gender-based niche marketing. With some decidedly mixed results. It seems that they launched a women’s version of the website last week, complete with pink background and fewer of those ‘search’ tools that the fairer sex find so difficult to use. It included the following text:

‘..Check the latest carry-on regulations, find advice on travel safety and wellness, and pick up tips for a stylish and efficient travel wardrobe…’

Needless to say this went over like a lead balloon. The Consumerist tracked the sad story here, here, and here, by which point the airline finally gave up on the idea. One would think that American Airlines learned something from this. Sadly, no:

African American site Coming Soon!