Apr 27, 2017

United admits failures aboard Flight 3411 to Louisville


skinnylawyer / Flickr Creative Commons

Ahead of United CEO Oscar Munoz's appearance Tuesday before the House Transportation Committee, the airline today releases a report admitting "four key failures" aboard Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville on April 9, and 10 "significant customer-centric changes" to prevent such an incident from recurring.

Key quote: "We can never apologize enough for what occurred and our initial response that followed."

As part of an effort to "begin to earn back your trust," the 11-page reports cites these failures:

  1. "Calling on law enforcement to assist with policy enforcement when a security or safety issue didn't exist."
  2. "Rebooking crew at the last minute."
  3. "Offering insufficient compensation and not providing transportation/destination options to entice more customers to give up their seats willingly."
  4. "Providing insufficient employee training and empowerment to handle a situation like this."

Admitting "[a]ctions speak louder than words," United announces changes that include:

"Increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to $10,000." "Create an automated system for soliciting volunteers to change travel plans": "Later this year, United will introduce a new automated check-in process ... that will gauge a customer's interest in giving up his or her seat on overbooked flights in exchange for compensation." "Reduce the amount of overbooking." "Eliminate the red tape on permanently lost bags by adopting a 'no questions asked' policy on lost luggage." What's next: NBC's Lester Holt will have a United "exclusive" in the first half hour of the "Today" show this morning.

Disclosure: United is launching an advertising campaign that includes Axios.

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