United Airline (NYSE:UAL) said on Thursday that it will reduce the amount of overbookings on flights and raise the incentive for voluntarily bumped passengers to $10,000.
“Every customer deserves to be treated with the highest levels of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect,” Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines, said. “Two weeks ago, we failed to meet that standard and we profoundly apologize. However, actions speak louder than words. Today, we are taking concrete, meaningful action to make things right and ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”
United Continental Holdings, Inc. is a holding company and its principal subsidiary is United Air Lines, Inc. (United). The airline industry leader is still working to distance itself from the April 9 incident where a passenger who refused to leave was seen on video being dragged off a flight.
United commits to:
- 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 $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.
Several policies are effective immediately, but others will go into affect during the remainder of the year. The full review of United’s changes and of what happened aboard Flight 3411 can be found at hub.united.com.
“Our review shows that many things went wrong that day, but the headline is clear: our policies got in the way of our values and procedures interfered in doing what’s right,” Mr. Munoz added. “This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline. Our customers should be at the center of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust.”