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United Is Willing To Shell Out Money To Improve Customer Service

How about $10,000 to voluntarily take a later flight?
Posted at 9:59 AM, Apr 27, 2017

The month of April has been one PR nightmare after another for United Airlines.

First, global outrage was sparked when video showed a United passenger being forcibly removed from a plane. The same day, a scorpion stung a passenger on a different flight. About two weeks later, a valuable giant rabbit being flown from London to the U.S. died while in United's care. 

So now, the airline is trying to win back customers by improving its customer service. 

Most of the steps announced Thursday adjust the company policies surrounding overbooked flights. For instance, employees can now only remove a seated passenger for safety or security reasons. 

United will also implement an automated check-in process that will ask customers if they're interested in giving up their seat if their flight is overbooked. 

The airline will also pay passengers as much as $10,000 to voluntarily take a later flight.

That puts United on par with Delta. But it's worth pointing out that the Department of Transportation caps compensation for involuntarily bumped passengers at $1,350, so it seems like it pays to volunteer.

One improvement United is making that doesn't deal with passenger removal: It will now give customers $1,500 if the airline permanently loses their luggage, no questions asked. 

"Our customers should be at the center of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust," United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement.