April 18, 2017
Here’s United CEO’s Apology Letter to Frequent Flyers
United is still suffering from its self-inflicted PR mess after footage emerged showing a doctor being dragged off on overbooked United flight, leaving Doctor Dao bloodied with teeth knocked out and suffering from a concussion. CEO Oscar Munoz sat down with ABC to address the controversy last week, and promised this wouldn’t happened again and that a full review was ongoing.
Mr. Munoz is still working on damage control, and sent a letter to United’s most valuable frequent flyers this morning to address the controversy. Here’s the full text of his letter:
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.
Mr. Munoz reinforced United’s commitment to not call law enforcement unless it’s an issue of safety and security. That’s great, but that was the existing policy when flight attendants called security to remove Dr. Dao when he clearly didn’t post a safety threat.
United is now requiring flight crew to book at least 60 minutes prior to departure. This should give the boarding staff enough time to deal with overbooked passengers before they actually board the plane. But it doesn’t change the fact that United is still consistently overbooking these flights.
While this is a good start, United is still conducting its review. Hopefully Mr. Munoz will follow Delta’s lead and increase its compensation to $9,950 for passengers denied boarding because of overbooking.
Featured Image Courtesy of AP