Thursday, June 20, 2024

United Offers 30,000 Mile Compensation Amid Widespread Flight Delays and Cancellations

United Airlines is compensating customers affected by flight delays and cancellations over the weekend leading up to Independence Day on July 4. As Fox Business recently reported, United is offering these customers 30,000 free Mileage Plus miles, which can be redeemed for various services such as flights, Wi-Fi, onboard food and drinks, and seat upgrades.

Emails obtained by Fox Business confirm this compensation, which is available to passengers whose flights were scheduled between June 24 and June 30 and experienced overnight delays or cancellations. The airline faced significant delays during the Fourth of July weekend, with CNBC attributing some of the disruptions to thunderstorms that affected the East Coast the weekend prior. CNBC revealed that 47% of United’s mainline flights arrived late between June 24 and July 2, and 15% of these flights were canceled during that timeframe.

United experienced more than 900 flight delays and cancellations. FlightAware, a flight-tracking website, reported that a single day saw 4,881 domestic and international flights delayed, with an additional 148 flights canceled.

5G Signal Updates May Compound Flight Issues

Airlines also faced deadline issues to retrofit their planes with updated technology in order to leverage the stronger 5G signal. However, meeting the July 1 deadline proved unfeasible, given the task of retrofitting hundreds of planes with new radio altimeters, which determine an aircraft’s altitude above the ground. Consequently, these planes will be denied permission to land in situations of poor visibility.

During the flight chaos, United CEO Scott Kirby faced criticism for flying in a private jet from New Jersey to Denver while many passengers were left stranded due to the cancellation of 750 flights. After facing backlash, Kirby issued a public apology and acknowledged the need for better communication and support for affected passengers.

The incident sparked a broader conversation about the responsibilities of airline executives during times of crisis and the importance of prioritizing customer satisfaction. Kirby expressed regret for his actions, admitting that they were insensitive to customers who were waiting to return home. Kirby described this week as one of the most operationally challenging in his entire career in a note to employees.


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