United Airlines Teaching Compassion to Employees

United Airlines has a new training program to teach compassion to customer service and other employees.
United Airlines has a new training program to teach compassion to customer service and other employees. (Photo courtesy United Airlines.)

United Airlines’ multiple customer service failures that triggered headlines in the past year appear to be the motivation behind the airline’s new four-hour training program to help its employees learn compassion.

The consequences of a passenger being violently dragged off a regional jet at Chicago O’Hare Airport have been far-reaching. Many airlines have changed bumping policies, several have given greater authority to gate staff, and the two police officers involved in that incident were fired.

Nor is United the only airline expanding its customer service training in the wake of that and other bad incidents.

In addition to enhanced customer service training, American Airlines has also improved its safety training. This was in response to the NTSB’s investigation of a fire on board American flight 383 on October 28, 2016. Although all 161 passengers and nine crew were evacuated and survived, the NTSB found that crew members did not follow standard procedures. One mistake contributed to a passenger’s serious injury.

The somewhat chaotic evacuation of that burning jet reinforces what aviation professionals have long known: passengers do not follow instructions very well. People dragging carry-on bags as they evacuated were caught on video. The NTSB faulted the crew for not coordinating between the flight deck and passenger cabin better.

Read more about the American Airlines changes and its response to the NTSB’s findings about Flight 383 on Paddleyourownkanoe.com.

More on United’s new customer service training is at CNBC.com.

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