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United’s new CEO has been on the job for less than a month, but Oscar Munoz is already making an effort to improve communication. There’s still a ton of work to be done, and while I’m sure Munoz already has a full plate as he works to right the ship, he seems open to customer feedback. So much so, in fact, that United created a dedicated platform for customers and employees to interact with the CEO, called United Airtime.
In his video introducing the site (you can watch it above), Munoz not only promises that improvements are on the way, but that he plans to report back on his progress along the way. The full transcript is below:
Hi, I’m Oscar Munoz, and I’m the new CEO of United. And that means I work for you. So let’s be honest. The implementation of the United and Continental merger has been rocky for customers and employees, and while it’s been improving recently, we still haven’t lived up to our promise or our potential. That’s going to change. After joining the team, an employee told me United could be the best airline if we just turn lip service into action. I couldn’t agree more, and that’s the purpose of this site. I want to hear from our passengers and employees; your best ideas, and your toughest questions. I’ll answer them right here. And most importantly, I promise to report back on how those ideas are being turned into actions. I’ve already received thousands of emails, I’ve sat with passengers and met with hundreds of employees. You’re certainly not shy about sharing your advice. But you know what? That tells me you still care, and that’s a great place to start. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
United also uses the site for some back-patting, sharing stats that ultimately serve to emphasize just how bad the airline was a year or two ago. When it comes to catching up to the competition, United has indeed made some progress in the following areas referenced on the site:
- Stay connected – Wi-Fi is now available on most flights.
- Quench your thirst – We now offer free wine and beer for United Economy customers on long-haul, international flights.
- A giant stream – United currently has one of the largest offerings of free, streaming entertainment. Scores of television shows and movies are available for streaming direct to travelers’ laptop computers and iOS and Android mobile devices.
- Sit back and relax – Seats offering greater comfort in first-class cabins will debut on Airbus A319s, followed by A320s and Boeing 737s and 757s throughout 2016.
- Fewer cancellations – This year, 1.3 million more customers completed scheduled flights than in 2014.
- New additions – We have added 200 brand new airplanes to the fleet in the last five years.
United also shares some customer ideas, including one that recently appeared on Mommy Points: “Help me reach my Premier status, even when I’m temporarily grounded. In support of women who have been ‘grounded’ because of being pregnant and on leave who may not reach Premier status, I think it would be a great idea if United gave a grace period where we would have a few extra months to achieve the status we would have otherwise met.”
There’s also a Q&A, where United addresses questions ranging from “Is there any way to reconsider United leaving JFK?” to “Five years after the merger, there are still some tensions and cultural differences between United and Continental employees. What are you going to do to address the different cultures that have been merged to make sure all employees feel welcomed and improve employee morale?”
I have plenty of questions and suggestions of my own, which I’ll be submitting at the bottom of the United Airtime homepage — starting with a plea for United to bring back the old website, at least until the new site’s kinks have been worked out. I encourage you to do the same!
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