United to Become More Customer Centric … Sure

United Airlines had its first ever global media event last week to kick off a “new United.” The CEO wants the media to start asking what’s next instead of what’s wrong. Maybe.

According to the Chicago Business Journal, a group of United’s top execs explained in great detail how the airline is evolving into a customer-centric carrier. Given that airlines are my go-to example of how to be non-customer-centric, this seems beyond a stretch goal for the airline.

They mentioned five key things they are going to do and I accept that at least two of them are actually customer-centric. The other three are also customer-centric, but they will impact fewer passengers.

The one that got my attention is bigger overhead bins to allow more bags to be carried on. I might add that the headline for the article in the Journal was about bigger overhead bins,

They also are using their brains to figure out if they can hold an outbound flight to allow late arriving, connecting passengers to make that connection without impacting the flight. They tout this as a big deal. Readers of this blog will note that Southwest does that often, as I cited in an example.

They are going to introduce a new, hot breakfast item, wow. A redesigned business class and developing more sustainable fuels. That’s nice.

I commend them for their efforts. Are they really becoming more customer-centric? Don’t know. If they don’t change the metrics by which they manage, it won’t really matter. But time will tell.

Mitch

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