United CEO Wants to ‘De-Stress the Travel Lifestyle’

Oct 11, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

United Airlines wants to “de-stress the travel lifestyle,” according to CEO Oscar Munoz.

“We want to make you, as our customer, feel good about flying us,” Munoz told CNBC in September. “And so our customer-centricity, our customer properties, are something we really want to sort of engage.”

The controversy-ridden US carrier plans to do so by implementing and rolling out new customer service initiatives every week. [TPG has reached out to the airline for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.]

According to Munoz, the initiatives will focus on ways to improve airline-passenger communication, including updates for irregular operations. The airline also wants to figure out how to notify travelers of delays far enough in advance that they may not even have to make a futile trip to the airport.

“How do we keep you informed? How do we keep you focused and directed when something goes wrong?” Munoz said. “But, more importantly, before you even leave your house, you know your flight’s on time, you know where you’re headed.”

Munoz also admitted that United customers have experienced “a whole host of communicative issues” with the airline in recent years, claiming that increasing baggage fees will help fund some of the planned initiatives.

“It’s important to reinvest in the business,” he said. “I think it’s one of the things about this industry that people, our customers, don’t always understand. All that money that we’re getting back is being piled back into the business… for the right things. We want to make you, as our customer, feel good about flying us. And so our customer-centricity, our customer properties, are something we really want to sort of engage.”

The airline no doubt is anxious to reclaim its reputation for “friendly skies” after a series of snafus in recent years. In 2017, United was sharply criticized for its handling of the #Bumpgate controversy, in which a man traveling on a revenue ticket was forcibly dragged off of a flight that was overbooked. In 2018, the airline has also faced lawsuits over a puppy that died in an overhead bin and multiple allegations of sexual harassment or assault, both from passengers as well as by employees. Furthermore, the airline has come under fire after flight attendants shamed a baby and its mother and landed a three-year-old in French immigration detention.

Featured image by Bilgin S. Sasmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.