April 27, 2017
United Announces 10 Changes after Dragging Incident
United will soon be implementing 10 changes in response to the video showing passenger Dr. Dao being dragged off United flight 3411 after refusing to give up a seat he had paid for. The airline is implementing these changes in order to prevent a similar incident from ever happening again. This announcement came on the same day that United settled its lawsuit with with Dr. Dao, who suffered a concussion and was hospitalized for his injuries. Here are the changes coming to United following their comprehensive review:
- Use of law enforcement will be limited to safety and security issues.
- Customers seated on the plane will not be required to give up their seats involuntarily unless there’s safety or security issues.
- Voluntarily denied boarding compensation will be increased to $10,000.
- A customer solutions team will be established to provide agents with creative solutions such as using nearby airports, other airlines, or ground transportation to get customers to their final destination.
- Flight crew must be booked on their flights at least 60 minutes before departure.
- Employees will receive additional annual training.
- An automated system will be created for soliciting volunteers to change travel plans.
- The amount of overbooking will be reduced.
- Employees will be empowered to resolve customer service issues in the moment.
- The red tape concerning permanent lost bags will be eliminated by adopting a ’no questions asked’ policy.
The changes will be rolled out throughout 2017. Employees will also be able to provide compensation to passengers directly from their company iPhones via a new app starting this summer. In addition, United will compensate passengers for permanently lost bags with up to $1,500 without requiring passengers to prove the value of the bag’s contents.
Overall these are great changes coming from United and are all customer friendly. I doubt any passengers will be involuntarily denied boarding when the airline starts offering up to $10,000 compensation for voluntarily switching flights. That being said, some of these changes are no brainers which should have been in effect a long, long, long time ago. Welcome to the 21st century United.
H/T: Business Insider