Celebrating a Year of Conversation and Progress - United Hub
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Celebrating a year of conversation and progress

By The Hub team, October 04, 2016

Dear reader,

Every time I take a United flight, I chat with fellow passengers and our flight crews, and I discover new ways we can enhance the quality of the service we provide. From big decisions regarding our route network and fleet, right down to our inflight meals, all of our efforts are focused on what our customers are saying they want.

And as a frequent United flier myself, I know what it's like when things don't always go according to plan. When that happens, I see where we still have room to improve, and I take it as a valuable opportunity to listen and learn.

There simply is no substitute for hearing directly from customers, which is why one year ago we launched Airtime to help us connect with you directly, answer your questions honestly and get your ideas on how we can keep improving each day.

Above all, those ideas aren't meant to be collected and put on a shelf, but put into action.

That's exactly what we did, and thanks to your feedback we have meaningful and measurable results that show we are headed in the right direction, including achieving our best on-time performance so far this year in our company's history.

I hope you will take a look at the “Our Actions" section on the Airtime site" and see the tangible progress we've made so far in turning your ideas into reality.

For example, you told us you needed reliable Wi-Fi in order to be more productive while you travel, and we are in the process of improving our wireless connectivity to each flight, and we now offer a wide range of entertainment options that can be accessed directly through our smartphone app. And you told us bluntly that the coffee we served in flight needed improvement, plain and simple. We responded by introducing illy's premium brands on board and brought back free snacks, demonstrating that we are committed to addressing every concern, no matter how small.

We are now in the process of reinstating early boarding for families with children two years and younger and implementing automated screening lanes and redesigned security checkpoints in order to shorten TSA wait times. Your ideas have catalyzed a series of exciting improvements across the system, and you are driving our progress toward becoming the best airline in the world.

Airtime has also been a game-changer when it comes to our goal of treating our employees with the same care and courtesy as we treat our customers. And we are continuing to address issues that directly affect our employees' ability to provide you with the best service possible, including redesigning all our uniforms for improved fit, comfort and durability.

Now, I have no illusions that our work is done. We are only as good as your last flight with us. When we launched Airtime one year ago, I told you that we needed to be honest about how we didn't always live up to our potential as an airline in the years following our merger. I promised that we would work to regain your trust and earn your loyalty again. We have begun to turn that promise into proof points thanks to your partnership and feedback. I hope you view the changes we've made as a demonstration of our commitment to serve you better with each flight. I look forward to hearing much more of your comments as you continue to fly the friendly skies.



Adjusting to Customer Demand, United Adds New Nonstop Service to Florida

By United Newsroom, August 12, 2020

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to add up to 28 daily nonstop flights this winter connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York/LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio to four popular Florida destinations. The new, nonstop flights reflect United's continuing strategy to aggressively, and opportunistically manage the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to destinations where customers most want to fly.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

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