Skip to content

United Encourages Crew to 'Show Personality' in PA Announcements

March 07, 2019
2 min read
United Encourages Crew to 'Show Personality' in PA Announcements
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.

It's a moment many frequent flyers dread — just after takeoff, the flight attendant activates the PA, pausing the in-flight entertainment and immediately waking anyone lucky enough to have dozed off after boarding "to share more details of today's flight."

Typically, it's a mix of a rehash of previous announcements and some additional info, including the flight time, meal service, drink options, lavatory procedures — and, if you're especially lucky, a "special offer" for a co-branded credit card, often incorporating some creative marketing claims.

If you tend to stick to one airline, and travel often, you may have even memorized these announcements word-for-word. How's that? Well, flight attendants frequently read a script, either from a company-issued mobile device or old-fashioned paper printouts.

Now, United's hoping to shake things up a bit, even encouraging crew members to work some "personality" into their announcements. Among the changes:

  • United's trimming the length of announcements by 20%
  • Announcements can be flexible, "allowing you to make it your own by showing your personality."
  • The airline's making its script easier to read, creating "a better listening experience for our customers."

United acknowledged the change, adding "Our new onboard announcements are a result of feedback from our flight attendants. They reflect a lighter and more conversational tone, as part of our larger effort to improve the customer experience."

Personally, I'm thrilled that United's trimming the announcement length — currently, they can take several minutes to get through, especially with translations on international flights. As for the option to add "personality," while Southwest's funky PA videos can be fun to watch online, in the moment I think I'd prefer that crew members use these new creative freedoms to make their announcements as short as possible, leaving the beverage list for the seat-back pocket rather than reading options aloud, for example.

Sign up for our daily newsletter
Featured image by Photo by Zach Honig/TPG.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers