Airlines Are Vain (and Why You Should Be Too)


In the early days of the internet (circa 1994), travel agents were as plentiful as coffee shops. It seems every neighborhood had one. But, once the airlines started to create websites on the internet, they quickly figured out that they could increase profits by selling direct to consumers.

At this time, Google did not exist and no one had yet successfully indexed the internet. Consumers had to remember what URL to type into a browser to find a company’s website. Oddly, at the time, many of these multi-billion dollar airlines did not own a vanity URL.

United Airlines used “” as its web address. Northwest Airlines, now part of Delta, used “” (For fun, type these into your browser. They are still redirecting to the airline’s vanity URLs: and

Why vanity URLs are still important

Eventually, United bought from its previous owner. The company realized that vanity URLs are important for brand awareness and the customer experience. This is still true today despite the fact that many websites are found through search or by clicking on a link.

If your brand is not a household name, you must rely on search (read Google) to be found online. Startups, small businesses and multinational corporations are spending big bucks to be found through SEO or paid search. Create a strong brand and associate a vanity URL that consumers can remember and just type into their browser to help contain your marketing costs.

Create a strong brand vanity URL that consumers can remember and type into their browser. Share on X