United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has unsurprisingly praised the flight crew of UA328, the 777 flight which encountered engine failure enroute to Honolulu last Saturday, but also outlined a chain of events he argues demonstrates a new spirit at United Airlines.
United CEO: Everyone Stepped Up After 777 Engine Failure
In a note (and video) to employees, shared with Live and Let’s Fly, Kirby thanked everyone involved for keeping passengers safe and making the best of the situation:
To everyone involved in the return of UA328, I want to thank you for your exceptional response under the most challenging circumstances. Our Flight Ops and Inflight crew performed calmly and professionally under intense pressure. At DEN, our teams were at-the-ready.
Our Tech Ops crew—securing the damaged aircraft while also retrieving debris. On the ground, Airport Ops—comforting and supporting customers. Behind the scenes, Denver leadership, partnering with the NOC to provide critical updates across the system.
From our Contact Center Agents making wellness checks to our team at HNL, standing by to welcome our customers after landing, we came together to navigate the best possible outcome.
He starts by praising the flight crew, who undeniably handled the incident professionally and with great skill. But he proceeds to count up all that went on on behind the scenes in order to comfort passengers and then get them safely to Honolulu. Kirby added:
Every choice we’ve made to build trust and make customers feel good about us is making a big impact.
I do wish Kirby would use the term “guest” instead of “customer.” Nevertheless, he’s right that it’s the little things, like comforting passengers upon arrival or welcoming them in Honolulu that actually distinguish one airline from another. I insist that schedule and pricing are important, but so is service.
In his video, Kirby shared that United’s response to the 777 incident suggests a new spirit of customer service is alive and well at United Airlines. We’ll address that issue tomorrow.
image: Hayden Smith/@speedbird5280 (with Kirby superimposed by me)