'2000 National Airline Quality Rating' Does Not Reflect United's Commitment To Investment and Innovation in Customer Service

Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from United Airlines

    CHICAGO, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (NYSE:   UAL) said today
 that the "2000 National Airline Quality Rating" released by researchers at
 Wichita State University and the University of Nebraska does not reflect
 United's commitment to investment and innovation in customer service.
     United Airlines' President Rono Dutta said:  "This report does not reflect
 the reality our customers are experiencing today nor does it credit the
 industry with the real progress that has been made in working through customer
 issues with the Department of Transportation's Inspector General."
     He added:  "United's performance in 2000 was severely impacted by a labor
 dispute during the critical summer months.  Since then, our operational
 performance has improved dramatically.  At the same time, United's standing in
 the monthly U.S. Department of Transportation rankings has also steadily
 improved."
 
     United's Performance
     -- On-Time Performance:  As measured by the U.S. Department of
        Transportation, United ranked 6th of 11 major carriers in on-time
        arrivals, with 76.2 percent of flights arriving on time -- up from 61.4
        percent overall in 2000.  United has invested $182 million in 2001 to
        support operational improvements that will positively impact its on-
        time performance, such as an increase in spare aircraft.
     -- Mishandled Baggage:  United's currently ranks 4th of 10 majors with a
        rate of 5.37 mishandled bags reported to the DOT per 1,000 customers.
        United's improvement over the year 2000 -- from 9th to 4th --
        represents United's largest gain in any of the four categories measured
        by the "2000 National Airline Quality Rating."
     -- Denied Boardings:  In this category, United has experienced another
        notable gain -- moving from 7th place in 2000 with 1.43 involuntary
        denied boardings per 10,000 enplaned passengers to 5th place of 10
        majors in January 2001 with 0.77 per 10,000.
     -- Customer Complaints:  United ranks 6th overall out of the 10 majors in
        customer complaints filed to the DOT, with 3.89 customer complaints per
        100,000 enplaned passengers -- up from 9th in 2000 with 6.30 complaints
        per 100,000.  Earlier this year, United introduced the industry's only
        dedicated, toll-free customer relations telephone line
        (1-877-228-1327).
 
     Our United Commitment
     In December 1999, United filed its voluntary customer service plan titled
 Our United Commitment(SM), with the DOT.  Since then, we've deployed a full
 menu of products and services -- many of which have been cited by the DOT as
 industry best practices -- to improve our customers' travel experience.  In
 its recently delivered report to Congress, the DOT Inspector General's office
 cited the industry's voluntary customer service improvements and providing
 valuable service to customers.
 
     United's Best Practices
     The DOT has cited many of United's products and services as airline
 industry best practices a few examples include:
     -- Proactive Flight Paging.  Customers can sign up for a free service to
        be informed of flight delays, cancellations and gate information via
        their personal computer, cellular phone or pager.  United was the first
        airline to offer customers with hand-held wireless devices, the ability
        to retrieve current-day arrival and departure information via a direct
        connection to United's reservations system.
     -- Mobile Customer Service Chariots.  These wireless mobile check-in units
        enable customer service agents to perform the same number of functions
        as they would from a check-in counter.  United proactively deploys
        these portable Customer Service stations to the areas where they are
        needed most at airports.
 
     United's New Initiatives
     On March 1, United announced a $150 million investment to launch the
 industry's most comprehensive deployment of airport innovations designed to
 make our customers' air travel faster and easier.  These high-tech innovations
 include:
     -- United EasyCheck-In:  In 2001, United will deploy 800 time-saving self-
        service check-in units for E-ticket customers at 25 airports.
 
     -- United EasyInfo:  In 2001, United will deploy high-graphic gate-room
        flight information displays at all five hub airports:  Chicago O'Hare
        International Airport, Denver International Airport, Washington-Dulles
        International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and San
        Francisco International Airport.
     -- Customer Advocate Center:  Currently, this new service supports 350
        daily departures at 15 domestic airports in United's system.  The
        Customer Advocate Center proactively resolves customer problems that
        often arise when unforeseen issues cause flights to be delayed or
        canceled.  By the end of 2001, this service will support nearly 2,000
        daily departures.  United is also working on incorporating new
        electronic messaging to notify customers about their re-accommodation
        in advance.
 
     The Aviation Infrastructure
     A key driver of customer dissatisfaction is delays and cancellations
 caused by the nation's aviation infrastructure.  While airlines can continue
 to focus on improving service to customers during irregular operations, United
 points out that it will take all stakeholders working together and led by
 Government, to address infrastructure needs.  Growing passenger numbers and
 the increasing strain on the system indicate a critical need for solutions
 that will allow the system to meet demand.
     United Airlines serves more of the world's business centers than any other
 airline.  It operates more than 2,300 departures each day on a route network
 that spans the globe.
 
 

SOURCE United Airlines
    CHICAGO, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (NYSE:   UAL) said today
 that the "2000 National Airline Quality Rating" released by researchers at
 Wichita State University and the University of Nebraska does not reflect
 United's commitment to investment and innovation in customer service.
     United Airlines' President Rono Dutta said:  "This report does not reflect
 the reality our customers are experiencing today nor does it credit the
 industry with the real progress that has been made in working through customer
 issues with the Department of Transportation's Inspector General."
     He added:  "United's performance in 2000 was severely impacted by a labor
 dispute during the critical summer months.  Since then, our operational
 performance has improved dramatically.  At the same time, United's standing in
 the monthly U.S. Department of Transportation rankings has also steadily
 improved."
 
     United's Performance
     -- On-Time Performance:  As measured by the U.S. Department of
        Transportation, United ranked 6th of 11 major carriers in on-time
        arrivals, with 76.2 percent of flights arriving on time -- up from 61.4
        percent overall in 2000.  United has invested $182 million in 2001 to
        support operational improvements that will positively impact its on-
        time performance, such as an increase in spare aircraft.
     -- Mishandled Baggage:  United's currently ranks 4th of 10 majors with a
        rate of 5.37 mishandled bags reported to the DOT per 1,000 customers.
        United's improvement over the year 2000 -- from 9th to 4th --
        represents United's largest gain in any of the four categories measured
        by the "2000 National Airline Quality Rating."
     -- Denied Boardings:  In this category, United has experienced another
        notable gain -- moving from 7th place in 2000 with 1.43 involuntary
        denied boardings per 10,000 enplaned passengers to 5th place of 10
        majors in January 2001 with 0.77 per 10,000.
     -- Customer Complaints:  United ranks 6th overall out of the 10 majors in
        customer complaints filed to the DOT, with 3.89 customer complaints per
        100,000 enplaned passengers -- up from 9th in 2000 with 6.30 complaints
        per 100,000.  Earlier this year, United introduced the industry's only
        dedicated, toll-free customer relations telephone line
        (1-877-228-1327).
 
     Our United Commitment
     In December 1999, United filed its voluntary customer service plan titled
 Our United Commitment(SM), with the DOT.  Since then, we've deployed a full
 menu of products and services -- many of which have been cited by the DOT as
 industry best practices -- to improve our customers' travel experience.  In
 its recently delivered report to Congress, the DOT Inspector General's office
 cited the industry's voluntary customer service improvements and providing
 valuable service to customers.
 
     United's Best Practices
     The DOT has cited many of United's products and services as airline
 industry best practices a few examples include:
     -- Proactive Flight Paging.  Customers can sign up for a free service to
        be informed of flight delays, cancellations and gate information via
        their personal computer, cellular phone or pager.  United was the first
        airline to offer customers with hand-held wireless devices, the ability
        to retrieve current-day arrival and departure information via a direct
        connection to United's reservations system.
     -- Mobile Customer Service Chariots.  These wireless mobile check-in units
        enable customer service agents to perform the same number of functions
        as they would from a check-in counter.  United proactively deploys
        these portable Customer Service stations to the areas where they are
        needed most at airports.
 
     United's New Initiatives
     On March 1, United announced a $150 million investment to launch the
 industry's most comprehensive deployment of airport innovations designed to
 make our customers' air travel faster and easier.  These high-tech innovations
 include:
     -- United EasyCheck-In:  In 2001, United will deploy 800 time-saving self-
        service check-in units for E-ticket customers at 25 airports.
 
     -- United EasyInfo:  In 2001, United will deploy high-graphic gate-room
        flight information displays at all five hub airports:  Chicago O'Hare
        International Airport, Denver International Airport, Washington-Dulles
        International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and San
        Francisco International Airport.
     -- Customer Advocate Center:  Currently, this new service supports 350
        daily departures at 15 domestic airports in United's system.  The
        Customer Advocate Center proactively resolves customer problems that
        often arise when unforeseen issues cause flights to be delayed or
        canceled.  By the end of 2001, this service will support nearly 2,000
        daily departures.  United is also working on incorporating new
        electronic messaging to notify customers about their re-accommodation
        in advance.
 
     The Aviation Infrastructure
     A key driver of customer dissatisfaction is delays and cancellations
 caused by the nation's aviation infrastructure.  While airlines can continue
 to focus on improving service to customers during irregular operations, United
 points out that it will take all stakeholders working together and led by
 Government, to address infrastructure needs.  Growing passenger numbers and
 the increasing strain on the system indicate a critical need for solutions
 that will allow the system to meet demand.
     United Airlines serves more of the world's business centers than any other
 airline.  It operates more than 2,300 departures each day on a route network
 that spans the globe.
 
 SOURCE  United Airlines