Tell that to the passengers of the flight that gets cancelled because someone wouldn't give up a seat for a deadhead crew member. Then it becomes a passengers problem, but as long as you get where you're going that's all that matters right? Who cares about everyone else.
This is not the passengers problem, the airline needs to find alternative means of getting crew across. They could block seats in advance, on the day of check in, blocks can be made which the check in agents cannot override, denied boarding should happen at the counter or the boarding gate.
If you need to offload pax after they are seated, other than for last minute mechanical, increased fuel uplift or a cabin crew getting sick as reasons, then this is poor planning and lack of co-ordination between the affected teams... thus the airline's fault. When you are at fault, you find ways to appease the passenger, not be a brute about it..customer focused airlines know this and ensure this is done politely with appropriate compensation.
I say this as someone who works closely with the pax re-accommodation and ticketing teams.
I agree with this in theory, but there are too many things that change at the last minute in this industry. What if the original crew was coming from somewhere else but had their flight cancel, and had to be replaced by a crew from another base? Things happen and you have to adapt, but I agree it could have been handled differently.
That's when you offer bribes to passengers. Everybody has a price and in a plane carrying dozens to hundreds of people, you keep increasing the incentives until the cheapest of the bunch takes the bait. Presto...you get your seat freed up, the passenger leaves happily and voluntarily and your much more important person gets to fly. Most importantly, good will, (and reviews), are had by all.
It's how smart, customer centric businesses deal with problems. With a good business, the SITUATION, is the problem. With United, the CUSTOMER is the problem.
It seems pretty clear that United has some serious, institutional, cultural PR issues. If McDonalds, or Costco or any other customer centric business has an issue, problems are solved quickly and efficiently at lower levels, since the biggest enemy is time. The quicker a problem is solved, the less likely it can escalate into something unmanageable. If you get a big mac you're unhappy with, they simply throw it out and get you a new one. If you return something to Costco, they take it, throw it on a pile, and give you your money back. No questions, no fuss....you're in and out before you know it...and you have nothing but good feelings towards that business and odds are, you'll spend all of that money you put back in your pocket during that same trip.
United seems to look at every customer as a problem....a necessary evil to be tolerated but not respected. The solutions are so simple and start with respecting customers as people. Sure, some will try to screw you....but what's worse? Somebody manages to weasel a free meal voucher out of you, or having to deal with tens of thousands reading about you abusing poor, innocent passengers who were only trying to visit Gammy one last time......*sniff*.
The best solution to a problem is one that is solved so quickly and effortlessly, that nobody else ever hears about it. A business's corporate culture comes from the top...and it's looking like United's top might need a bit of trimming.
Last edited by JoeCanuck
on Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.