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Oscar Munoz, the new CEO for United Airlines, wants to enhance customer loyalty. One week after he was named CEO−in the wake of Jeff Smisek’s resignation amid internal and federal investigations of corruption−Munoz extended his hand to the airline’s MileagePlus loyalty program members.
Munoz emailed the program’s more than 95 million members late Tuesday, promising a more targeted approach to earn and retain their customer loyalty.
“We can do better, and will keep listening to our customers to become the top-performing airline,” Munoz wrote. “Getting you to your destination, on schedule, can make or break your ability to succeed in a work endeavor or to hug a family member at an important moment. If our performance has not met your expectations, I want you to know I’m committed to learning how to better meet your needs and desires.”
Munoz wrote that he’s excited about the “incredible opportunity” that the United team has to “improve the travel experience essential to the vitality of global business and to the personal lives of millions of people.”
United, according to the email, will focus on customers and getting them to their destinations on time (he admitted United still lags behind American, Delta, and Southwest in this area).
From listening to its customers, United Airlines changed its frequent-flier loyalty program and award miles based on ticket price rather than distance flown. The major shift in the loyalty program took effect on March 1, 2015.
In June 2014, United Airlines Public Relations Manager Karen May told Loyalty360 that the decision to change the loyalty program model was made after listening to customers.
“We’ve been hearing from our members that they want to be recognized for their spending at United,” May said at the time. “From listening to them, we decided to make changes to enable us to reward them in that way. We started hearing more and more from customers who spend more. They want us to reward them for their spending. We wanted to find a way to do that. This was the way. We’re making the change based on what we’ve heard from customers.”
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