If you thought United had a great year, you're in great company. From unveiling a jetbridge to what's next, to building a dream team, to putting new mobile devices in employees' hands and new coffee and snacks in the hands of our customers – we've had an amazing 2016. As the clock winds down on this year, see below to read more about 10 ways we wrapped up a stellar 2016:
We have a jetbridge to what's next.
Last month we told the world and our investors that we have all the right pieces to be the best airline in the world. We rolled out a strategy built on earning employee trust and elevating leadership, running the industry's most reliable operation, creating the world's leading network, delivering a highly competitive and profitable customer experience, powering our business through technology and building our future through financial strength. We have the right strategy, the right leadership team and the world's greatest employees, which will make us the best airline in the world.
We built a dream team.
CEO Oscar Munoz returned from his heart transplant reenergized and ready to help us soar on the wings of this new spirit of United. We have begun turning promise into proof as the team has focused on restoring trust and re-earning the loyalty of our employees and customers. We started with an impressive team of industry veterans: EVP and General Counsel Brett Hart, EVP and Chief Operations Officer Greg Hart, EVP and Chief Information Officer Linda Jojo, Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Mike Bonds and SVP Finance, Procurement and Treasurer Gerry Laderman. To the mix, we added President Scott Kirby and EVP and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Levy, and EVP and Chief Commercial Officer Julia Haywood, bringing a powerful combination of industry perspective and experience to our leadership team.
We're all pulling on the same end of the rope.
In one year, we reached agreements with all domestic unionized employee groups: the Air Line Pilots Association, Association of Flight Attendants, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Association of Machinists and Professional Airline Flight Control Association. We're now able to work together as an airline that is truly united as a team.
We keep getting better.
We had our best-ever Thanksgiving operational performance, despite having the highest load factor and more weather delays than any other Thanksgiving timeframe in the last six years. It's no wonder that employees have achieved 12 months in a row of performance bonuses and a record number of no-cancellation days.
It's amazing what snacks and a great cup of coffee can do.
Customers are once again enjoying free snacks on board after we brought them back to our flights in February with the delicious Stroopwafel. And award-winning illy coffee is gracing the skies on every United and United Express flight.
We're keeping the Beat.
Our new customer satisfaction score is called United Beat, and we get it from a survey that's shorter, more focused and mobile-friendly. It measures the percentage of satisfied customers and will help us make informed decisions about when and where to act to improve the customer experience. We also named Kate Gebo our chief customer officer, with responsibility for all of our customer-facing teams from booking to landing, including Contact Centers, Customer Experience, Food Services, Inflight Services and Airport Operations. Together we're working to take United to new heights of customer service delivery.
From Terracotta Warriors to the charm of Old Havana, we're connecting the world.
We've placed 50,000 mobile devices in our employees' hands.
Our flight attendants can use their LINK devices to process Economy Plus upsells, customer service representatives can use their Mobile Agent Platform for in-the-moment customer care, and ramp service employees are using new SmartScan technology to scan bags in real time using Wi-Fi or cellular data to ensure we're following bags from the bag room to departure to arrival to transfer to the claim area.
Two words: Rio Olympics.
We took pride in flying the US Olympic and Paralympic Teams to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where Simone Biles, Michael Phelps and so many other athletes stole our hearts with dramatic, gold-medal performances. From employee volunteers to Olympic-level sendoff events, we celebrated our more than 35 year partnership with Team USA.
From price-sensitive to posh, we're reimagining the customer experience.
To serve a broad customer base, we're rolling out Basic Economy for those seeking ultra-low airfares. For intercontinental travelers, we rolled out our most significant product transformation in more than a decade in United Polaris, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing experience that puts the legacy of the weary intercontinental business traveler to bed for good. It features Custom-designed bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, luxe spa products, an elevated dining experience and an exclusive portfolio of United Polaris business class lounges – the Chicago United Polaris Lounge is the only lounge of its kind offered by a U.S. airline to business class customers.