If you are active on social media, then you may have come across numerous complaints by people using air travel. You will find a post of complaints about poor treatment by the crew, excessive delays, poor in-flight amenities, and so much more.
While the shareholders can take measures to prevent some of these cases, sometimes others are inevitable. This year alone, data shows that airlines have been canceling flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, even with the pandemic, this does not mean that airlines should not take responsibility for their customer service.
The United Airlines announced plans of how it will fly, serve, and respect all its customers equally. This was after the case on flight 3411, which took place on April 9.
The United Flight Express Incident
On April 9, 2017, a Vietnamese- American passenger was forcibly removed from a fully boarded United Express Flight and got injured. Dao, the air traveler, refused to give up his seat, and Aviation security officers were called to remove him from the plane.
The airline needed to make room for four employees who needed to travel to the destination. When no one agreed to vacate their seat for the employees, the airline decided to involuntary remove four passengers from the flight.
The three passengers agreed to leave the flight, but Dao, who was selected fourth, declined the request. Video of the incident went viral on social media resulting in anger from the people. An official investigation was launched over United Airlines.
As a result, through the examination of policies and procedures, United Airlines announced to make ten substantial changes to its customer service.
The Measures put in Place to Improve Customer Service.
Below are some of the measures that United Airlines plans to put in place. While some of them will be effective immediately, others will be implemented with time. United Airlines commits to:
- Build an automated system where volunteers are asked to change travel plans.
- Establish a customer service team to provide agents with innovative ideas for, for example, using a nearby airport to bring customers to their final destination.
- Increase customer reward benefits up to $ 10,000 for volunteer refused boarding.
- Provide extra annual instruction to the staff of the airline.
- Limit law enforcement usage only to health and security issues.
- Ensure on-flight crews are booked at least 60 minutes before departure.
- Actually motivate workers to address customer support problems.
- Reduce the amount of overbooking
- Do not ask customers seated on the plane to intentionally give up their seat unless there is a risk to health or welfare.
Eliminate the red tape on permanently missing baggage by implementing a policy on lost luggage “no question asked.”
Oscar Munoz, the company’s CEO, said that “every customer needs to be treated appropriately and with the highest quality of service and a deep sense of integrity and loyalty.”
This is a great step; however, airlines must still take responsibility for their action and those of their employees.