Fly The Boring Skies

Ordinary triumphs again. United Airlines, just purchased by its employees, ran a contest to choose a name for the carrier's soon-to-debut short-haul, low-fare subsidiary. United's new airline-within-an-airline will battle such feisty rivals as Southwest Airlines. But of the 1,300 entries--many of them quite jazzy--the company settled on a very prosaic moniker: United Shuttle.

What happened to creativity? Rather than take a big risk, United ran the name suggestions by focus groups of frequent travelers. They overwhelmingly picked United Shuttle as the one describing the airline's "key product attributes," says a spokesman.

Too bad. Among the peppy appellations that the company spurned: Lite Flites, United Delight, United Jr., U-Save, and Fare-Thee-Well Airlines. One employee suggestion for this tail end of United Air, rejected out of hand, was a saucy play on words: Derrire.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.