Flight delayed? How about providing passengers with a detailed reason explaining why? Sure seems like the obvious thing to do, and yet airlines are notoriously vague when it comes to providing information beyond "mechanical issues" or the ever popular "weather" delay.
Starting today, United will begin testing a new program in both Houston and Phoenix to inform passengers via text when their flight is delayed, specifying exact reasons for the delay.
“We have situations where our customers are super-frustrated because we can’t tell them what’s going on — a maintenance delay, weather, or rolling delays. They’re frustrated with that, or they think we’re lying to them,” said United president, Scott Kirby.
An initial test was conducted last year at Newark Liberty, according to Skift.com, on a day of weather delays. While weather in the Newark area was fine, thunderstorms in Virginia and the Carolinas caused trouble for Newark-bound flights from Florida that were forced to fly around and arrived late. Waiting passengers in Newark were given details about the storms and detours.
For those passengers waiting by floor-to-ceiling windows of blue skies, Googling their arrival city weather only to see more blue skies, this new effort to be so straightforward regarding delays is sure to be appreciated.
The program, officially known as "Every Flight Has a Story," will be tested from January 22 through February 16. No word yet on when it might roll out to the rest of the country.