United Upbeat On Outlook Amid Lingering Concerns Over Flight 3411

by Barbara Peterson
United Upbeat On Outlook Amid Lingering Concerns Over Flight 3411


In a conference call announcing a positive earnings report, United executives yesterday continued in full damage-control mode in the wake of last week’s removal of a passenger from a flight, promising a full review and possible policy changes by April 30.

Calling the episode a “watershed moment,” CEO Oscar Munoz said he’d take the necessary steps to ensure there would be no repeat of the “system failure” that led to the forcible ejection of Dr. David Dao from flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville, KY.  He also hinted of initiatives to come, which would “elevate the experience our customers have with us from booking to baggage claim.”

The ongoing controversy cast a pall over the strong results turned in by United for the first quarter of 2017, when it posted a profit of $96 million, beating expectations.  The carrier also posted gains in performance metrics, with fewer mishandled bags and a better flight completion factor.

United executives said that advance bookings are strong and that they’ve seen no fall-off in bookings in the past week as a result of the episode, though they cautioned it might be too early to tell.  “We just don’t have any quantifiable data,” said United president Scott Kirby. He added that the airline had contacted “our most loyal customers, and their response has been very supportive.” He’s seen no push-back in the leisure market either, he said. The carrier’s Basic Economy product, which just launched on flights out of Minneapolis, has been well-received, he claimed. “It is giving our customers more choice,” he said.

Asked whether United might curb the practice of overbooking, executives demurred, saying that that the recent incident and its causes were still under review.

In other news, the airline said it is continuing to make improvements that would pay off in higher customer satisfaction, citing, among others, the launch of a new online portal for travel agency and corporate customers, United Jetstream, which it said will simplify the travel management process and give users an “intuitive suite” of self-service tools.

Other changes include a re-designed and modernized security checkpoint at one of its busiest hubs, Newark Airport, and a new and expanded terminal at Houston.

“At the end of the day we will be a stronger company and have better customer service,” Kirby pledged.

  0
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Best Things to Do in Sheffield, UK

1. Holly Hagg

2. Will4Adventure

3. Crucible Theatre

4. Rivelin Valley Nature Reserve

Source: TripAdvisor

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=790331bd-ff88-e811-853f-782bcb667b27

Artificial Intelligence is the Future the Jetsons Told Us About

Customer loyalty is the ultimate reward for travel agents who tap into artificial intelligence. While still early in its application to travel, many companies are quickly realizing the need to implement AI to improve their travel customer service and trip planning.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Mounting European Air Traffic Delays Stir Aviation Industry’s Concerns
Mounting European Air Traffic Delays Stir Aviation Industry’s Concerns

IATA says airline delays have more than doubled through the first half of this year and could get worse as the busy summer season arrives.

Travelers May Have No Legal Recourse for 'Abusive' Screenings
Travelers May Have No Legal Recourse for 'Abusive' Screenings

An appeals court rules that TSA screeners are protected from claims of invasive screenings at U.S. airport security checkpoints.

Kenya Airways Launching First Nonstop Flight from Nairobi to U.S.
Kenya Airways Launching First Nonstop Flight from Nairobi to U.S.

Starting this fall, the new route will target the premium leisure market as well as the business traveler.

State Department Begins to Deny Passports to Tax Debtors
State Department Begins to Deny Passports to Tax Debtors

Citizens will not be prevented from traveling back to the U.S. because of back taxes, but it may impact travel once they arrive in the country.

FAA Refuses to Act as Shrinking Airline Seats Pose Dilemma for Travelers and Agents
FAA Refuses to Act as Shrinking Airline Seats Pose Dilemma for Travelers and Agents

The “incredible shrinking airline seat” is again a front page news story.

Southwest Airlines to Stop Serving Peanuts on Flights
Southwest Airlines to Stop Serving Peanuts on Flights

The announcement is good news for those who suffer from peanut allergies.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line