Customer service wins

By | Category: Travel rumblings
A United flight taxing on the runway

United – changing how staff are paid

The repercussions of the United Airlines incident where a passenger was forcibly removed from a plane are still being felt. This week there was a story of a passenger on Air Canada being removed and then came more news from United. Then on Friday came the incident on an American Airlines flight where a lady with a stroller was allegedlyhit with it by a cabin crew member.

Unlike the UK where it is frowned upon if a company has a person occupying the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive, United Airlines had planned that its beleaguered CEO, Oscar Munoz, would take both roles from next year. That will not now happen according to a fling with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It is claimed that Munoz decided this himself but the word is that he was persuaded by the independent directors that this wouldn’t be a good idea for the airline.

But in the same filing there was more good news for the passenger. I quote, “United’s management and the Board take recent events extremely seriously, and are in the process of developing targeted compensation program design adjustments to ensure that employees’ incentive opportunities for 2017 are directly and meaningfully tied to progress in improving the customer experience.”

It means more of the airline staff’s salary and bonus packages will be based on customer service and satisfaction ratings. Those who fly with the airline will have a greater influence on how staff will be rewarded. Bad service and bad customer satisfaction ratings should mean lower pay cheques.

How will it work? The airline didn’t say. Suspicious and cynical passengers may think there will be a fudge and the filing is nothing more than platitudes. I hope they are wrong and I will be looking to see if there are changes in United’s customer satisfaction programmes.

Will the recent stories about denied boarding mean UK and European airlines will upgrade customer service policies.

In the same week the US Department of Transportation announced that there will be a tightening of compliance. The Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings is the body charged with monitoring compliance and investigates violations of the Department of Transportation’s (Department) aviation economic, consumer protection, and civil rights. The rights of passengers on US planes have been fewer than those airlines flying into and out of the EU in the last few years. Maybe this announcement will make things more even.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , ,