For the second part of the notes from Q&A's at the megado.
United does realize just how bad their social media operation is. However, they tried spinning it that they are working to improve as the general company is starting to gain an understanding of how important social media can be for shaping the image of the company. In fact, the social media team has grown greatly since the merger closed. At the time of the merger, there were only 2 employees dedicated to social media, and that number is now up to 6, and they are actively working to bring on more.
Another deficiency acknowledged is in the current design of the team. Right now there are no reservations agents working on the team to address issues, and the social media team exists solely within marketing, and can only perform marketing activities. This is noticed mostly when a customer tweets during IRROPS and gets no response. Right now they are training reservations agents to be able to join the team so that the twitter account, to help passengers with issues during their travel experience. Also, in the discussion, many of us were encouraging that even the marketing people just acknowledge tweets and messages posted as a way of just building the brand and creating a more personable feeling among the team.
This portion of the panel was quite contentious. We were the second group to go through this panel, and as there are a multitude of complaints that various passengers have experienced with marketing, and specifically the website, this portion was very confrontational.
We were finally able to get acknowledgement of bugs existing in united.com in mistake meal displays, as well as different pricing offered for serviced depending on if someone logs in. Including the difference in the day of departure upgrade price.
A common complaint was the regional jet experience, from buy on board, just to the proliferation of regional jets. Currently, they are working to expand the buy-on board program to include all flights, even though some United Express flights will have a limited selection. They are also working to ensure that these will join the cashless cabin policy that currently exists on mainline flights.
Also, power is being installed on all aircraft. Due to cost, the installation on parts of the fleet not undergoing a complete product refit, power outlets will only be available in front of the exit row. Great for elites, but not so much for the average passengers not willing to pay for the premium seating options.