United Airline’s new CEO is on a tour of sorts to apologize to employees, passengers, and potential customers for the last few years of poor customer service, divisive leadership, and a merger with Continental that still hasn’t completely clicked.
In the three weeks since Oscar Munoz took over following former CEO Jeff Smisek’s abrupt departure in the wake of the Chairman’s Flight scandal, Munoz has met with United employees in Chicago, Denver, Washington, D.C. and Nashville, and is planning visits to staff in Newark and Dulles. Over the weekend he wrote a letter to employees in which he promised to “give you the right tools to deliver the service and reliability I know we are capable of.”
Today United took out a full-page ad in many U.S. newspapers to apologize to consumers and announce a new website UnitedAirtime.com, where people can ask questions or share ideas on how the airline can improve its product. “This site is our way to connect directly with United’s customers and employees to answer your questions and get your feedback about how we can become the world’s best airline,” it reads.
The full text of Munoz’ advertising message is below.
To our passengers, my fellow employees and the communities where we live and work,
Today marks five years since Continental and United Airlines combined. Over that time we have added destinations, invested in our fleet and upgraded our airport experience, but the journey hasn’t always been smooth. Simply put, we haven’t lived up to your expectations or to the promise and potential of that day.
That’s going to change. We are committed to re-earning your trust. We want to be the first choice for every trip you take. We want to be an amazing place to work. And we want to be a great neighbor. That means we have to innovate. We need to do the small things well. We have to deliver meaningful, everyday improvements.
Accomplishing these things will not be easy, but we will put in the hard work needed to get there. My singular mission is to engage our passengers and employees every step of the way. I want to hear and implement your good ideas. I promise to show that we’re listening and report on our progress.
My goal is for you to look forward to flying United, and to be as proud to work for United, as I am to lead United. So please, tell me what we can do to make that happen at UnitedAirtime.com.
United also posted to YouTube a video of Munoz reading a version the letter that further encouraged people to post comments to United and promised the Munoz would respond as well.