Tuesday, September 15, 2015

United Airlines: A Letter from Oscar Munoz, New CEO, and My Response


I just received this email from Oscar Munoz, the new United Airlines' CEO:

Dear Jennifer,
I was recently named the president and CEO of United® and would like to take a few moments of your time to introduce myself to you, our valued customer.
I am excited about the incredible opportunity that the United team has to improve the travel experience essential to the vitality of global business and to the personal lives of millions of people. I want us to be your first choice for every trip you take, and we will put in the work needed to get there.
This goal can be achieved by delivering on three things that I believe are critical to any successful business.
First, we must focus on our customers. Getting you to your destination, on schedule, can make or break your ability to succeed in a work endeavor or to hug a family member at an important moment. If our performance has not met your expectations, I want you to know I'm committed to learning how to better meet your needs and desires.
Second, it’s all about teamwork. To get you where you want to go safely and happily requires thousands of us working together with a shared purpose.
Third, this is a company and an industry that demands innovation. We are embracing the changes, and will continue to innovate with the goal of providing our customers better performance, service and products.
Above all, our passion for the safety of our customers and our people will be at the core of everything we do.
My co-workers and I will work each and every day to earn your loyalty by holding true to these principles. We can do better, and will keep listening to our customers to become the top-performing airline. My goal is for you to be as proud to fly United as I am to lead United.
Thank you for flying United.

My response:

Dear Mr. Munoz,
United Airlines is one of my least favorite airlines.
On more than one occasion, you have seriously inconvenienced us, once bumping us from our last leg after a nine-hour transatlantic flight.
Your company was totally inflexible when we suggested that United pay to rent a car for the last 90 miles of our trip, which we were willing to share with another passenger who was going our way. Your company actually ended up paying more than the cost of the car rental.
Staying overnight was not an option because of an obligation – my husband is a professor, and he had a class the next day. We ended up renting a car on our own dime, arriving home at 3:30 a.m.
How was that a pleasant flying experience?
Quite frankly, I’m disgusted with the airline industry in general, with all your rules and nickel and diming to death – this tax, that baggage fee, now “snack” costs. What’s next? a Pee Fee for using the lav?
I’m tired of dirty cabins, broken seats, and stinky lavatories.
I’m tired of cranky and overworked airline attendants.
I’m tired of surly ticket counter people; at one airport, the agents made it very clear that they weren’t going to be “nice” to customers – why should they? They had just received notice that they were losing their jobs due to downsizing, and what did they care? 
I’m tired of being crammed into a seat with barely enough legroom, and I’m only 5'4".
I don’t give a damn about “innovation,” which, quite frankly, is a euphemism for saying, “How can we stick it to our customers even more and plump up our profits?”
Mr. Munoz, you’re going to have to do more than just say that you plan to make MY flying experience better; otherwise, your letter is just filled with empty words.
Yours,
Jennifer Semple Siegel


#UnitedAirlines #OscarMunoz

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