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United Airlines Announces Changes Following David Dao Incident

United Airlines Announces Changes Following David Dao Incident

United Airlines has announced 10 substantial changes to how it flies, serves and respects its customers. The changes are the result of United’s examination of its policies and procedures, and commitment to take action, in the wake of the forced removal of a customer, David Dao, aboard United Express flight 3411 on 9th April 2017.

United commits to:

  • Limit use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only.
  • Not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk.
  • Increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to US$10,000.
  • Establish a customer solutions team to provide agents with creative solutions such as using nearby airports, other airlines or ground transportations to get customers to their final destination.
  • Ensure crews are booked on to a flight at least 60 minutes prior to departure.
  • Provide employees with additional annual training.
  • Create an automated system for soliciting volunteers to change travel plans.
  • Reduce the amount of overbooking.
  • Empower employees to resolve customer service issues in the moment.
  • Eliminate the red tape on permanently lost bags by adopting a ‘no questions asked’ policy on lost luggage.

While several of these policies are effective immediately, others will be rolled out through the remainder of the year. The facts of what happened aboard flight 3411 and a full review of United’s changes can be found at hub.united.com.

Oscar Munoz, Chief Executive, said: “Every customer deserves to be treated with the highest levels of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect. Two weeks ago, we failed to meet that standard and we profoundly apologise. However, actions speak louder than words. Today, we are taking concrete, meaningful action to make things right and ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

“Our review shows that many things went wrong that day, but the headline is clear: our policies got in the way of our values and procedures interfered in doing what’s right. This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline. Our customers should be at the centre of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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