United Airlines Wants Customers To Outwardly Ask To Be Compensated For Delayed Flights
By Kelsey Marie
United is making changes to their policy on delayed flights and it’s not in the passenger’s favor.
The airline will no longer offer vouchers to passengers if their flights are delayed less than six hours. United sent a message to its employees saying the change is “based on feedback we’ve received.”
The change in policy has been confirmed by a United spokesman to Skift. This change also includes delays for reasons that are the airline’s fault like mechanical problems or a shortage of crew members. Like other U.S.-based airlines, United does not cover weather-related delays.
In the past, the airline would proactively offer vouchers to passengers if the delays were four hours or more. Although some passengers would get more on their vouchers based on frequent flyer status, every single person would walk away with a voucher.
According to the memo issued by United to its employees, vouchers will only be given to travelers if they ask for it.
“When situations arise, and they warrant compensation outside of this guideline, do the right thing and take care of the customer. With the ongoing enhancements within the In-The-Moment Care app, you can issue compensation on the spot, recover service disruptions, and avoid sending the customer to a website or service desk,” says United to its employees.
Currently, there are at least three other U.S.-based airlines that are still quite generous when delays occur.
“American [Airlines] proactively provides compensation if a customer experiences a controllable disruption to their travel plans,” says Ross Feinstein, American Airlines spokesman in an email to Skift.
Another airline, Sun Country, offers compensation to its customers. “If we provide travel vouchers as an apology for a delay, we will automatically send to all passengers on the flight,” says Jessica Wheeler, Sun Country Airlines spokeswoman.
However, considering that most airlines can be vague about their delay policy, most customers don’t anticipate getting a voucher.
JetBlue Airways, on the other hand, publicly displays its policy on its website. According to JetBlue, if there is a three-to-four hour delay and the airline is at fault, they will send passengers a voucher for $50. If the delay is four-to-give hours, a $100 voucher will be issued. Five-to-six hours results in a $150 voucher and longer than six hours will be $200 in travel credits. The policy goes into effect as soon as passengers are on the JetBlue aircraft.
Although United says this change isn’t a tactic to save money, it’s evident that it may.
“This policy empowers our employees to make more personalized service decisions for our customers when a disservice occurs,” says a United spokesman via email.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie