United Airlines has announced ten changes with an aim to improve how it flies, serves and respects its customers.

The changes are the result of the airline’s examination of its policies and procedures in the wake of the forced removal of a customer aboard United Express flight 3411 on April 9.

The airline has committed to limit the use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only and will not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk. In addition it will increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to $10,000 and establish a customer solutions team to provide agents with solutions such as using nearby airports, other airlines or ground transportations to get customers to their final destination.

Other actions will include: ensuring crews are booked onto a flight at least 60 minutes prior to departure; reduce overbooking; provide additional annual training for employees and to empower them with the ability to resolve customer service issues; create an automated system for soliciting volunteers to change travel plans; and to eliminate the red tape on permanently lost bags by adopting a ‘no questions asked’ policy on lost luggage.

While several of these policies are effective immediately, others will be rolled out through the remainder of the year.

Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of the ailrine, said: “Every customer deserves to be treated with the highest levels of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect. Two weeks ago, we failed to meet that standard and we profoundly apologise. However, actions speak louder than words. Today, we are taking concrete, meaningful action to make things right and ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

“Our review shows that many things went wrong that day, but the headline is clear: our policies got in the way of our values and procedures interfered in doing what’s right. This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline. Our customers should be at the centre of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust.”

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