The United MileagePlus Explorer Card commercial gives us a Goofus and Gallant type situation regarding two travelers–coworkers, I assume. One traveler clumsily navigates the airport process whereas the other knows a few shortcuts. I cannot find the commercial online, so I’ll briefly lay out the commercial:
Goofus avoids checking bags to save the baggage fee and lugs around heavy bags.
Gallant is able to check his bag for free and wander the airport unencumbered.
Goofus searches for hidden power outlets and stays awkwardly perched against the wall.
Gallant hangs out in the United lounge, enjoying a beverage while he chooses from a cornucopia of outlets.
Goofus boards in a late boarding groups, risking having to gate check his luggage.
Gallant boards in an early boarding group, easily finding room for his minimal luggage (remember, he was able to check his bag for free).
Gallant’s “secret” is that he has the United MileagePlus Explorer Card. (Tada!)
I’ve been seeing this commercial since around December. So why bring it up now? I recently had an epiphany.
Although Gallant did have the “secret weapon,” he missed one of its secrets. Poor Goofus had to board late and potentially gate check his luggage, while Gallant sat on the plane, grinning and shrugging. But they were traveling companions! When people are “traveling companions” on a United Flight, they board at the soonest boarding group together, not separately. Gallant needed only walk with Goofus to get him on the plane.
(I’m at least assuming he didn’t know about this and didn’t intentionally leave his coworker behind. Otherwise, my whole narrative is thrown off and he is less gallant and more of a jerk! 😉 )
The benefits the commercial was trying to outline:
- First checked bag is free
- Two free club passes a year
- Priority Boarding
My guess is that someone from Chase made the commercial and perhaps was not as familiar with the ways these benefits interact with United’s rules. But if you do get a Chase MileagePlus Explorer Card, be a good travel companion, please! Let them board with you rather than teaching them about the card through boarding without them. Trust me, your friendship will survive the first better!