* United reveals nine policy changes in aftermath of April’s fiasco
* Following Delta, United will also increase maximum incentive for bumped passengers
* Policy changes include more training for crew and less law enforcement involvement
United Airlines has taken further steps to help alleviate the public relations nightmare that ensued following the infamous incident last month, in which a passenger was forcibly removed from an overbooked flight after being seated. The announcement outlines new actions and says that despite the mishandled incident last month, “This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline.”
The scandal sparked outrage and generated virulent media coverage, worsening the backlash for the struggling airline. Now, United has announced 10 new policy changes to “improve customer experience,” including regulations on how overbooked flights and passenger bumping is handled. Most notably, the airline will follow the footsteps of Delta, who announced just days after the United scandal that it would increase the cap on monetary compensation offered to involuntarily bumped passengers to almost $10,000 from the original maximum of $1,350.
Until now, United’s compensation camp for bumped passengers tapped out at just $1,000, but as part of their new strategy, it will expand to $10,000 as well. Like Delta’s policy, the $10k travel certificate will not be offered on overbooked flights right off the bat, but rather will stand as the maximum amount, intended to diffuse issues if there are a lack of volunteers.
In addition to the expanded compensation cap, United also says that going forward, it will not “require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk.” The plan also vows to keep law enforcement involvement limited in terms of handling conflicts.
Other policy changes include creating an automated system that will automatically solicit volunteers to switch for overbooked flights, provide additional training to crew members, and make sure that airline crews are booked on flights at least one hour prior to the scheduled time of departure.