United Airlines has had its feet held to the fire these past few weeks, ever since video footage emerged of security personnel forcibly removing a passenger from an overbooked flight on April 9.
Following numerous announcements and official statements – including from United CEO Oscar Munoz committing to a “thorough review” of how it works with law enforcement and deals with overbooked flights – the airline has now listed out ten changes that it will be placing into effect with regards to how it flies and serves customers.
According to the announcement, the airline has committed to do the following:
- Limit use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only
- Not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk
- Increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to US$10,000
- Establish a customer solutions team to provide agents with creative solutions such as using nearby airports, other airlines or ground transportations to get customers to their final destination
- Ensure crews are booked onto a flight at least 60 minutes prior to departure
- Provide employees with additional annual training
- Create an automated system for soliciting volunteers to change travel plans
- Reduce the amount of overbooking
- Empower employees to resolve customer service issues in the moment
- Eliminate the red tape on permanently lost bags by adopting a “no questions asked” policy on lost luggage
The airline is bringing into effect some of these changes immediately, while others will be rolled out throughout 2017.
Following the announcement, Munoz said: “Every customer deserves to be treated with the highest levels of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect. Two weeks ago, we failed to meet that standard and we profoundly apologise.
“Today, we are taking concrete, meaningful action to make things right and ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”
A full review of United’s changes can be viewed here.