Wow, is it just me experiencing a lucky streak, or has United’s customer service drastically improved in what seems like overnight? While I’ve usually dreaded calling United after the merger, during the last 24 hours I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with 3 United agents, and all 3 were incredible. I find that a bit ironic that it was just a few months ago that I ranted about my frustrations with United Airline’s [lack of] customer service during their post-merger woes in this post, and now I am finally believing that there’s light at the end of the tunnel with noticeable improvements in place.
With last night’s
frantic buzz exciting announcement about Singapore Airlines’ release of a vast amount of business class and first class award inventory to Star Alliance partners (which has been plaguing the blogosphere and this FlyerTalk thread), I was expecting pandemonium of all sorts at United. Even with 100% smooth operations, I still can’t believe that I stayed up until 4 am booking a ton of flight possiblities until settling on an awesome redemption (time flies when you’re having fun!). Here’s what made the cut:
As you can see from above, I’ll be flying from Newark to San Francisco in United first class, with a solid chunk of daylight hours to explore San Francisco for the day. Then, I’ll continue on from San Francisco to Singapore onboard Singapore Airlines’ first class Boeing 777-300 cabin, and I’ll have a nice 12 hour layover to see Singapore again. Finally, I’ll be flying from Singapore to Sydney in business class on Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380. I’m really thrilled about my itinerary; not only do I get to have fun layovers in SFO and SIN, but I also get to experience both the A380 and the 777-300. I still have not booked a return yet, but I’m leaning towards booking with American Airlines miles and utilizing a free domestic stopover to maximize the redemption value of the ticket.
Now back to the improvements with UA I’ve noticed: Not only have I realized that wait times to connect with a live agent have been less than 2 minutes dispite the suspected influx of calls, I’ve also noticed that the quality of the agents has greatly improved as well. The agents I’ve spoken to were very knowledgeable, patient, and even passionate about their jobs. For a second I thought I was on the phone with American Express! One agent in particular and I had a fun conversation about Sydney, and she went out of her way to offer me a bunch of trip suggestions. Her energy was so positive, and she was so pleasant that I was prompted to give United Airlines’ new Outperform Recognition Program a spin.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Outperform Recognition Program, it’s a new initiative in place that allows us (the customers) to pay it forward and reward a United employee for exceptional service by nominating them in the program. If that’s not much of an incentive for you to consider using the program, consider this: if the employee you nominate between June 1 and September 30, 2012 is a winner in the random drawing, you win too. Here’s a breakdown of the prizes:
Although I’d be much happier with any of the employee prizes, I think it’s a nice-enough incentive to get the ball moving with the program. To nominate a United employee, you must gather their first and last name, their location or department code, and the last 4 digits of their employee number. Don’t feel awkward about asking the employee for their information; for the most part they’d be honored to pass it along to you because after all, the nomination will increase their chances of winning a lucrative cash prize. Before you go ahead and start nominating every United employee you cross paths with to attempt to increase your odds of winning one of the 16 random prizes, do know that each MileagePlus member can only have 5 qualified employee nominations during the promotional period.
Here are the steps to nominate an employee:
- Download the United iPhone or Andriod app
- From the main menu of your mobile app select “More” from the list of options. This takes you to the Travel Services screen, where you’ll see Outperform Recognition in the list of services.
- Input your information on the next screen, followed by the employee you’re nominating’s information, along with a short explanation the service you’ve received.
You may further learn about United’s Outperform Recognition program here.
Have you noticed any positive changes at United recently? If so, would that inspire you to recognize an employee who has provided you exceptional service?