United Captain writes note to passengers after delayed departure

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I wrote just a couple of weeks back about how ANA’s flight attendants brilliantly handled a frustrating delay out of Beijing, simply by keeping the cabin well informed and demonstrating a positive attitude.  Did one of United’s Captains, John McFadden, read that post?  Sure looks like it.  According to an article by ABC 7’s Mark Belcher from Denver, United Airlines passengers received a hand-written note from the pilot after the delayed departure.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t ground-breaking at all.  This is not United re-inventing customer service or the passenger experience.  Other airlines have and do this on a regular basis.  However, it does show personal interest from the cabin crew.  Especially now with so much bad media, United needs more pilots and cabin crew wanting to go above and beyond for the customer.  Let’s not forget that the note didn’t prevent the delay or make it be any shorter.  Still, the passenger referred to in this article was pleased and felt appreciated, even in an unfortunate situation.

This is the full article:

Anxious passengers aren’t always easy to calm down, especially when there is no end in slight on a delayed flight. One United Airlines pilot is receiving recognition for finding a simple way to calm his passengers.

According to Brian Heikes, who travels with United frequently, a pilot took the time to write to most passengers on his United flight as they were trapped during a delay.

“He, the pilot, made a point to keep the passengers on the plane up to date on the departure and comfortable,” Heikes said. “With all the bad press about the airlines there is actually good stuff that happens, too.”

The pilot, identified as John McFadden, wrote a personalized note to Heikes which read, “Thank you for your understanding and flying on United.”

That made all the difference to Heikes.

“This pilot … understood that his passengers are real people and wanted to make sure we knew what was going on,” Heikes said. “Big shout out for John!”

United Airlines has frequently been in the headlines in 2017, especially after police removed a passenger from an overbooked flight in Chicago.

Airline officials have repeatedly said the company has moved past the incident.

In recent weeks, Angelina from Angelina Travels had a terrible experience on board when she was downgraded after having cleared the upgrade list and having already taken her seat in United First.  After the fact, someone took interest and turned around her day.  This highlights the same point as the experience in this post.  When United employees care about the customer and act accordingly, the results are great.  However, there seems to be many that either don’t enjoy their jobs, or flat out don’t care.  Let’s hope that moving forward, and with a much needed culture shift, the majority of United’s front line associates can all get on the same page…and that’s one where the customer comes first.

*Featured image from thedenverchannel.com by Scripps Media.

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