United Airlines reached out to every MileagePlus member with an email on COVID-19, meant to assuage fears and calm frayed nerves.
The letter, written by outgoing CEO Oscar Munoz, talks about United’s current travel waiver, how aircraft are cleaned, and how filters onboard recirculate air.
Here’s the full letter:
I consider you part of our United family and your safety remains our highest priority.
We are in the business of serving people and in the midst of this coronavirus outbreak it’s important that we give you as much flexibility as possible when planning your next trip. But it’s also important that we give you as much information as possible about the procedures we follow to clean our aircraft and maintain a sanitary environment once we’re in the air.
Our teams are in daily contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), federal agencies and other global health organizations to share the most up-to-the-minute information to ensure the actions we’re taking are comprehensive and appropriate.
So today, I wanted to personally reach out and share a few of the steps we are taking for you, our customer:
Before you fly
To give you the greatest flexibility, when you book any flight with us now through March 31, you can change it for free over the next 12 months – any ticket, any fare type, any destination.
On the ground
Our team of in-house medical experts and industrial hygienists oversee our aircraft cleaning procedures to ensure they meet or exceed all CDC guidelines. Hard surfaces such as lavatories, tray tables, window shades and armrests are thoroughly wiped down with a high-grade disinfectant and multi-purpose cleaner. And when we are advised by the CDC of a person who has traveled on board and is potentially exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, that aircraft is taken out of service and sent through a full decontamination process that includes our standard cleaning procedures plus washing ceilings and overhead bins and scrubbing the interior.
In the air
Our aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art circulation systems, similar to those found in hospitals, which use a high-efficiency (HEPA) filter to circulate the air and remove more than 99% of airborne particles. We’re also adjusting our inflight service to limit person-to-person contamination. This includes handing beverages directly to customers instead of allowing customers to touch a tray and ensuring all flight attendants wear gloves during service.
More information on each of these efforts can be found on the United Hub.
I know I speak for every member of our United family when I say that we take the greatest pride in the role we play in the lives of our customers, personally and professionally.
I want you to know that you can continue to rely on us. So, the next time we have the privilege of welcoming you aboard our aircraft, you can know our commitment to you remains as steadfast as ever.
Will the letter calm nerves? Will it lead people to book? I’m not sure. I tend to think there are people like me who will continue to travel no matter what and there are those who simply will not travel until COVID-19 has passed. It’s almost like politics–I don’t see many undecided travelers; everyone is one camp or the other.
So I guess I’ll ask you, does this letter say sway your opinion one way or the other? Or was your mind made up long before this email arrived in your inbox?
image: United Airlines