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. 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.
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees