Just give us a few inches of legroom back in coach and we’ll call it even.
That may be the public reaction to United Airlines’ new CEO Oscar Munoz’s hangdog face in ads and video last week on an apology tour for “failing their employees and customers.”
Interestingly, in the video, Munoz asks for your ideas on the action they should take and invites people to go to UnitedAirtime.com and leave suggestions. He remarks that they’ve received “thousands” of ideas, yet on the site there are less than 20 comments. How about some transparency?
It appears more like a PR move than a commitment to change. By the way, if you want to skip the slick site and write directly to Munoz, here’s how.
Apparently, in the past five years, no problems were noticed in the executive suites. It was only after the previous CEO got caught up in a New Jersey corruption scandal that these issues came to their attention.
This sort of apology is too silly to even comprehend.
Will an apology get passengers more legroom, or good customer service? Will it stop the unlawful collusion to fix prices and cut services?
Will it keep the airlines from calling a flight cancellation “weather” when the reason is maintenance? Will it stop the airlines from turning a profit on your lost luggage and a crippled mileage program?
No, we didn’t think so.
Does the apology address the outsourcing of 2,000 United jobs at 28 airports, or the contracting out of many flights to express and regional jets? What about the closing of so many mainline stations that you can barely call them an airline anymore?
Does “sorry” mean United will invest in new computer hardware to address system “glitches” that ruined travel for hundreds of thousands of passengers over the summer? Does it mean reliable and functional Wi-Fi onboard? What about inflated fees for ticket changes, and overbooking flights?
Or does “sorry” mean continued focus on stockholder value and inflating profit with junk fees and idiotic layoffs?
We’ve been railing about this for years. America is no longer the leader in the customer flight experience. Instead, we’re the leader in “hocus-pocus” fares, smoke and mirrors fees, and financial shell games.
At this point, it may be too late to turn the United ship around.
FlyersRights' audio interviews last week:
With New Hampshire NPR:
With Ralph Nader:
Tweet Of The Week!
From the -'How About More Legroom Department' - Forbes is touting a great, new "economy aircraft seat" -but with a deceptive photo - of a SPACIOUS upgraded seat! Thanks to Ira Goldman -inventor of the 'Knee Defender' for the catch:
My husband is Executive Platinum and I am Platinum in the "new AAdvantage" system; I assure you that having status counts for virtually NOTHING when there are issues with flights! Recently a delay due to a mechanical problem forced me to miss my connection; I tried to stand-by for every available subsequent flight to my destination; I have status, a club membership AND had purchased "discounted business" seats but I couldn't get on any flight in any class! And, at the end of the day (after over twelve hours in CLT) when it became clear that I was not going to make it to my destination in time for my meeting, I almost couldn't get home!!! The flights are so oversold that premium customers can't even get on a flight despite missing their connection due to the airline's problems. BUT, heaven help us if we have a problem.
Your comments about the travel of our elected officials are very pertinent and I will add a suggestion that I passed on to Mr. Elliott previously--the only way that airline travel will improve is if airline executives (including Mr. Parker!!!) are required to fly in a middle coach seat which is NOT an exit row at least once a month. My heart goes out to the front line employees who are forced to implement the impossible rules that currently exist but at least they are paid for their suffering while we have to pay for the privilege of it!
This was on Facebook posted by Dr. Amy Myers. I thought that Flyer's Rights would find it interesting to read.
My husband and I just arrived to Nicaragua for a few days of R&R. Our vacation got off to a great start as we got upgraded to first class. ( please note we were upgraded bc my husband used to fly a lot. We did not buy first class tickets)
However our flight went south quickly. It was United Flight 1432. Two flight attendants were so rude.
It was a 3 hour flight and as you know how carry my Kleen Kanteen everywhere. We did not have time to fill up at our layover.
They announced our descent and I hopped up to go to restroom and get a bit more water before landing. I asked the attendant to fill my water bottle She told me there was not enough to fill my water bottle as she held an unopened liter bottle. I looked the unopened bottle and simply said " aren't we about to land" She shoved the whole water at me and said "take it"
I went to my seat. A few minutes later the male attendant came up to my seat with attitude and said they were going to "write me up" and I replied politely " for what? asking for water". Yes and he said. And all but pulled out his hand to wave it in my face. Telling me there was only a limited amount for the plane . Again I said" I understand and we are about to land"
I am sure had I wanted another Coke or HFCS filled drink I would have been given all I wanted to drink with no issue. But heaven forbid I wanted WATER on a 3 hour flight!!
If water is limited on your flights, United, then ditch the cokes and make more room for water.
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Do you how desperately this country needs a Passengers' Bill of Rights? Which allows for passengers to be treated like humans even when things don't go so well? Airlines prefer you to sit entire flights on the tarmacs during delays with no food or water, or simply denying access to information.
We are commited to solutions for promoting airline passenger policies that forward first and foremost the safety of all passengers while not imposing unrealistic economic burdens that adversely affect airline profitability or create exhorbitant ticket price increases.
All American air carriers shall abide by the following standards to ensure the safety, security and comfort of their passengers:
Establish procedures to respond to all passenger complaints within 24 hours and with appropriate resolution within 2 weeks.
Notify passengers within ten minutes of a delay of known diversions, delays and cancellations via airport overhead announcement, on aircraft announcement, and posting on airport television monitors.
Establish procedures for returning passengers to terminal gate when delays occur so that no plane sits on the tarmac for longer than three hours without connecting to a gate.
Provide for the essential needs of passengers during air- or ground-based delays of longer than 3 hours, including food, water, sanitary facilities, and access to medical attention.
Provide for the needs of disabled, elderly and special needs passengers by establishing procedures for assisting with the moving and retrieving of baggage, and the moving of passengers from one area of airport to another at all times by airline personnel.
Publish and update monthly on the company’s public web site a list of chronically delayed flights, meaning those flight delayed thirty minutes or more, at least forty percent of the time, during a single month.
Compensate “bumped” passengers or passengers delayed due to flight cancellations or postponements of over 12 hours by refund of 150% of ticket price.
The formal implementation of a Passenger Review Committee, made up of non-airline executives and employees but rather passengers and consumers – that would have the formal ability to review and investigate complaints.
Make lowest fare information, schedules and itineraries, cancellation policies and frequent flyer program requirements available in an easily accessed location and updated in real-time.
Ensure that baggage is handled without delay or injury; if baggage is lost or misplaced, the airline shall notify customer of baggage status within 12 hours and provide compensation equal to current market value of baggage and its contents.
Require that these rights apply equally to all airline code-share partners including international partners.