An e-mail letter went out to United MileagePlus members today from CEO Oscar Munoz which you can read below followed by my commentary.
Dear MileagePlus member,
Since the year began, a lot of exciting things have happened, and I wanted to reach out to you and thank you for your continued business and trust in our airline. We at United know that to deliver a truly exceptional experience, we must have an energized team to serve you, from booking to landing.
That’s a lofty goal, but I know that we have the heart and drive to get there. As I travel our network meeting with employees, I see and feel a new energy and enthusiasm that I am calling the new spirit of United.
This new spirit is the passion of our employees for what this airline can achieve, and we’re seeing it where you have said matters most – getting you to the places you need to be comfortably and on time. We’re posting record on-time and baggage-delivery performance. And we’re introducing several new destinations to United’s unrivaled global network – including several new routes to Asia, bringing back popular European summer destinations, and we’ve also applied to fly to Cuba.
We are elevating our inflight dining experience for both domestic and international flights. Don’t just take it from me – the Chicago Business Journal recently crowned United the champion of its hotly contested airline food fight series. Excitement is also brewing for the July launch of the acclaimed Italian premium coffee brand, illy, on our flights. And we aren’t even close to finished. Just wait until you see what we have in store for you next.
Know that the new spirit of United you sense as a frequent customer is real, and it’s only going to grow stronger. We will continue to double down on building a team that is ready to deliver the experience you deserve. And I, along with our supportive Board of Directors, promise United will keep striving to make improvements, both significant and subtle, as we continuously work to earn your loyalty and trust with every flight.
I, and the whole United team, want to hear how we are doing directly from you, and hope you will take some time to visit United Airtime and tell us about your experience. Whether it’s complimenting one of our employees or telling us how we can improve, we want to hear it all.
We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon!
President and CEO, United Airlines
It is a nice letter, though Munoz does not share anything new. United’s operational performance has thankfully been on the upswing and domestic meal service has improved. illy coffee is coming and the route network is getting better. These are all things to celebrate.
As for improvements Munoz states, “And we aren’t even close to finished. Just wait until you see what we have in store for you next.” That sounds nice…I’m anxious to hear what is coming. I believe United’s biggest missed opportunity is failing to make its Global First product something special — and something its competitor AA is now doing. Adding little touches like better alcohol, pajamas, and a distinct menu (currently the only difference between first and business class meals are a hot appetizer and a cup of soup in first class) could transform first class from “Employee Class” to something more would be willing to pay for.
But operational reliability is the right focus — nothing is worse than delays, cancellations, and lost baggage.
United is on the upswing and though we did not learn much from CEO Munoz today, I look forward to seeing if United can start innovating again.
image from United Airlines