United Airlines has changed the way it handles its delay compensation for its passengers. It will now give vouchers for flights delayed for less than six hours on request. This model will replace the previous route of automatically offering them as United seeks to offer a more personalized approach.
A new initiative
Recently, the airline has been offering vouchers to passengers that were delayed by as little as four hours. Even if they didn’t ask for compensation, they would still be given some sort of cover. However, Skift reports that now for delays between four and six hours, passengers will have to ask the carrier.
Despite this seeming like an inconvenience, United affirms that its customer’s claims will be taken care of if they request compensation and are eligible. Agents can even issue the compensation via an app on the airline’s iPhones for on the spot compensation.
“When situations arise, and they warrant compensation outside of this guideline, do the right thing to take care of the customer,” United told its staff, as reported by Skift.
“With the ongoing enhancements within the In-the-Moment Care app, you can issue compensation on the spot, recover service disruptions, and avoid sending the customer to a website or service desk.”
Following this news, Simple Flying reached out to United for clarification on the change. A spokesperson for the carrier shared that this initiative was based on feedback and it will enable a more tailored service for its customers. Rather than a one size fits all approach, agents can review each situation on a case by case basis.
“This policy empowers our employees to make more personalized service decisions for our customers when a disservice occurs,” a United spokesperson confirmed to Simple Flying.
“We will continue to analyze feedback on our policies and further invest in approaches that are most appreciated by our customers.”
Ultimately, this revised method is only for shorter delays. Moreover, those that are postponed by over six hours will still be offered compensation. Also, naturally, the reasons have to be for controllable issues such as mechanical and crew problems.
The change in policy is similar to how Delta currently handles its short delay repayment scheme. It’s also not too far removed from what the majority of other US airlines implement.
Nonetheless, for those seeking to make a delay claim, it can be done via United’s app, on its website, or at an airport kiosk. The airline states that if a passenger’s flight is delayed by more then an hour, is canceled, or if a connection is missed, it will actively help them get back on track.
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