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News : United Airlines Admits Problems, Vows Better Customer Service
Chicago, IL, USA, Oct 2, 2015 -- Oscar Munoz, the new chief executive officer of United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL), has made a candid admission that the airline has not lived up to the expectations of its passengers or employees.
The CEO, who took over last month following the resignation of Jeff Smisek, said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune that he would focus on fixing the company's employee relations, poor on-time performance and improving customer service.
Smisek's exit from the company stemmed from federal and internal probes associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Munoz noted that while the airline has made improvements following the United-Continental merger five years ago, the major problem is that in the airline's pursuit of profits, it seems to have neglected its customers.
In an unusual move, United has placed full-page ads in several U.S. newspapers to apologize to customers as well as employees and to announce a new website, UnitedAirtime.com, where people can ask questions and give feedback.
In the advertisement, Munoz said, "Simply put, we haven't lived up to your expectations or to the promise and potential of that day. That's going to change. We are committed to re-earning your trust."
He has also admitted that the journey of the airline after the merger has not been smooth.
Munoz has spent three weeks on listening tours, interacting with employees in different cities. He has said that the way to improving customer relations was by fixing employee relations first, adding that he realized the level of discontent after talking to some of the airline's employees.
Munoz noted that flight attendants who worked for United or Continental prior to the merger had different contracts, meaning that they could not be assigned to the same flights.
Munoz has also written a letter to the airline's employees, promising to give them the "right tools to deliver the service and reliability the airline is capable of."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Today's Tip of the Day - Capability And Reliability
United Air Lines, Inc., operating as United Airlines, is a major U.S. airline owned by United Continental Holdings (originally UAL Corporation), headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
About United Airlines, Inc.:
United Airlines, Inc., commonly referred to as United, is a major American airline headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It is the world's largest airline when measured by number of destinations served.
Published: Monday, October 5, 2015