Since it switched CEOs recently, United has been promising to be more attentive to customers’ concerns, and it has launched a new airport program to do just that. Meanwhile, American is testing a plan that allows customers to hold their reservations for up to a week without buying a ticket — but for a price.
In United’s program, passengers at the airport who have a grievance against the airline could receive a travel certificate worth as much as $125 as the airline’s way of saying “we’re sorry” according to the BrianSumers blog.
The certificates have been distributed to the carrier’s airport staff, with instructions to use them as compensation when customers encounter rude treatment, or when they have to wait a long time for a bag to be delivered, or when a customer does something that makes the employee’s life easier, like giving up a seat upon request.
Premium cabin flyers and top-tier elites (Global Services/1K) could get a coupon worth up to $125; Platinum and Gold elites can get $50 to $100 vouchers; and the ceiling for economy passengers is $50.
American’s new “extended hold” gives customers the option of putting a “hold” of three, five or seven days on a reservation before they buy a ticket, locking in the quoted fare. Like United’s FareLock, it is only available in select markets; when it is offered, the customer will see a drop-down menu on the booking screen with the extended hold options.
All airlines are required to give customers the right to hold a booking for 24 hours at no cost before buying or cancel within 24 hours for no penalty. The new American options are not free, however; the prices to hold a reservation longer than a day are $7.99 (3 days), $9.99 (5 days) and $11.99 (one week) — and those fees are non-refundable.
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