United Airlines is still suffering fallout from its disastrous handling of the UA3411 incident. In a letter to United’s “most valued” customers, CEO Oscar Munoz apologizes and vows to reform the customer service experience.
Here’s the letter, sent to me and many other United MileagePlus elite members–
I’ve heard a lot of understandable anger and disappointment from customers and, as one of our most valued customers, I wanted to be sure you heard directly from me.
The awful event that occurred on Flight 3411 has elicited many responses from our customers: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments. For me personally, I’d add shame. No one should ever be mistreated this way.
In addition to offering my profound apologies to the customer forcibly removed, as well as all the passengers aboard that particular flight, I also offer my sincere apology to you for not living up to the values you expect of us.
Our customers’ satisfaction must be the center of everything we do and your opinion of our service is the measure of our success. We know we did not measure up, and for that we will redouble our efforts to earn your trust.
This situation has provided a humbling learning experience from which we will take immediate, concrete action. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to make this right so nothing like this ever happens again.
First, United will not ask law enforcement officers to remove passengers from our flights unless it is a matter of safety and security. Second, crews traveling on our aircraft must book at least 60 minutes prior to departure. Third, we will fully review and improve our training programs to ensure our employees are prepared and empowered to put our customers first. Our values will guide everything we do. We’ll communicate the results of our review and the concrete actions we will take by April 30.
You expect more from us and I promise we can and will be better. I am committed to putting proof behind our promise.
Thank you for granting us the opportunity to re-earn your trust.
The Problem with the Letter
It is good that Munoz promises “United will not ask law enforcement officers to remove passengers from our flights unless it is a matter of safety and security”. As Lucky points out, the problem is that Dr. Dao was ostensibly removed for “safety and security”. He defied FA instruction and therefore put the safety of others at risk. Remember, that was the original narrative coming from the same Munoz.
Munoz prepares us for April 30, 2017 — the date United will unroll its new customer service plan that addresses far more than bumping passengers off flights. I look forward to that day and a wide-ranging program to make United a customer-service leader. I do how that the final policy will not include such a broad exemption to its new no-bouncer policy.