How is United Airlines working to be more business-friendly? Sure, a couple new routes will help, but the big changes are around policies that most consumers will never be exposed to but which matter tremendously to business travellers, particularly those who book through corporate travel agents. The new policies took effect recently and significantly relax restrictions around flight changes and disruptions and are nearly universally positive.
- The threshold for schedule changes is now 30 minutes from the originally scheduled arrival or departure time
- Rebooking now covers airports within a 100-mile radius of the original the origin or destination airport
- Rebooking can adjust departure date within a seven-day range before or after the original schedule to maintain full trip duration
- Travel agents can service any disruption resulting in delays 60 minutes or longer (including blue sky delays); no weather waiver is required
While the company knows that rebuilding confidence in its operational reliability remains the most important benchmark – and it is improving on that front YoY – these changes also mean that the corporate traveler segment is able to be better handled when things go pear-shaped. And fixing disruptions is arguably more important than preventing them in the first place. Either way the company is making progress in improving its behavior towards corporate travelers; hopefully it sticks around long term.
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Also published on Medium.