United CEO Sends Apology Email to Top Frequent Flyers

Apr 18, 2017

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Update 4/27/17: Today, United CEO Oscar Munoz followed up with another email to frequent flyers, this time detailing steps the airline is taking to prevent a similar incident in the future.

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Can you believe it’s only been a bit over a week since that crazy United #Bumpgate fiasco? Since then, United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized on Good Morning America, the airline issued a refund to flight 3411 passengers, the victim’s daughter held a press conference and the airline changed its policy for crew travel (and Delta bumped compensation limits). At the same time, we’ve seen several other UA horror stories (some old, others that occurred following the incident with flight 3411). One thing’s for sure — many people aren’t thrilled with United right now.

While casual travelers can simply book a flight on a competitor, United’s frequent flyers will likely be giving up valuable benefits, from free upgrades and checked bags to expedited boarding and lounge access. So many will probably keep flying United as they normally would, regardless of the general public’s perception of the airline. Still, there’s no question that this incident may be enough to push anyone already looking to bring their business elsewhere over the edge. It’s these customers (and other elites) that Munoz targeted with a mass email last night (which I received as a Premier 1K member):

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In his note, Munoz reinforces his statement that the airline will require crew members to book at least 60 minutes in advance, giving gate agents more time to solicit volunteers — and, hopefully, eliminate the need to remove passengers already on the plane. Additionally, Munoz stated that the airline won’t ask police or other law enforcement to step in except when safety and security are at stake. This certainly makes sense given how officials handled this situation.

What do you think? Is this email too little too late? Should United offer an apology gesture to elite members, such as miles or a travel voucher? Weigh in below.

Click here for more United Bumpgate coverage.

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