United is already one of our more entertaining airlines when it comes to stories—they’ve rerouted direct flights without telling ticket holders, given us duct tape heroics, and hire Disney executives to improve customer service (we hope that means pilots dressed up as giant huggable pilots). Now comes news that they’re pledging to reduce waiting times for baggage from nigh-infinity to 25 minutes, as part of a comprehensive new “Customer Commitment” pledge to improve customer service and avoid Federal intervention.
Before you get too excited, the commitment isn’t binding in any way, cautions a United bigwig:
“While we may not be achieving this delivery time consistently, we are setting the standard to ensure our customers know they should be able to expect it from us,” [United CEO Glenn Tilton] said.
Not everyone (anyone?) is convinced this amounts to little more than empty promises in lieu of last week’s Federal report that “complaints over airline service reached a seven-year high in July.” One industry expert, Joe Brancatelli, put it this way to the Rocky Mountain News:
“Airlines are all running scared because they’re afraid of congressional action. These are just their benchmarks and goals. We’ve been here before. It’s obvious that the big airlines just don’t care. It’s not as if they’re doing this to improve customer service. They just don’t want a federal mandate. “
The new 12-Point Customer Commitment, which was last updated in 1999, is available for your amusement on the official United website. If you still have any complaints after this new set of guidelines, you’ll be happy to know that they’ll try to respond to you within 45 days.
“United sets delivery goal of 25 minutes for bags” [Deseret News]
“United moves to remedy complaints” [Rocky Mountain News]