US Airways reveals service initiatives

26th Apr 2007

US Airways has
announced a series of customer service initiatives designed to improve
reliability and meet its customers’ needs.The initiatives include a major
increase in airport staffing, improved re-accommodation capabilities,
state-of-the-art kiosk technology and other product enhancements.

Chairman and CEO Doug Parker said, “The people of US Airways are dedicated
to meeting our customers’ needs.  We did not do that in the first quarter of
2007 and are taking the necessary steps to improve our performance.  Most of
our reliability issues were related to a difficult reservations system
migration and that project is now back on track.  That issue did highlight
some other areas of service improvement opportunity, including increasing
airport staffing, improving our customer re-accommodation process during
non-routine operations, and improving the product offering for some of our
most loyal and frequent customers.”

  Increased Airport Staffing

  US Airways has already begun an aggressive hiring plan to place more than
1,000 new team members in positions at airports throughout its system this
summer.  In addition to filling open slots, these new employees will allow the
airline to get ahead of normal summer attrition cycles as well as create new
customer service centers in the airline’s Eastern region.

  Improved Customer Re-Accommodation


  Approximately 80 of the airline’s new positions will create POC (Passenger
Operations Control) centers at the airline’s Philadelphia and Charlotte hubs
and at Boston and Washington National similar to what currently exists in the
airline’s Phoenix hub.  POC centers monitor all inbound hub flight activity
and identify customers who are on flights that for whatever reason, (weather,
air traffic congestion, etc.), might miss their connecting flights.  These
travel professionals interact closely with the airline’s System Support Center
to rebook passengers who may misconnect even before the inbound flight lands.

  The POC team prepares everything the customer needs, such as gate
information and a new boarding pass on US Airways’ next flight or, when
applicable, flight information for an alternative on another carrier.  The POC
staff also prepares meal vouchers and hotel accommodations if there are no
other flight choices that day.  The best part about this program is POC
personnel take the whole re-accommodation package to the gate and meet the
inbound flight.  Once there, they hand the customer their new flight
information as they deplane the aircraft.

  Improved Kiosk Technology

  Since moving to one reservations system in early March, self-service
kiosks in many of the airline’s eastern region cities have not operated with
acceptable reliability standards.  US Airways has begun a replacement plan
that will bring in 600 new state-of-the-art machines.  The first deliveries
will arrive in late May.

  Flexibility for Loyal Road Warriors

  Vice President, Sales and Marketing Travis Christ said, “In addition to
customer feedback we’ve received since our merger, we also recently surveyed
thousands of our Dividend Miles members.  Our Preferred frequent flyers have
told us they want more flexibility and more importantly, they want that
flexibility without feeling nickel and dimed every time their travel plans

  The airline has already begun programming and training for a new policy
that will waive the $25 standby fee at the airport for Preferred Dividend
Miles members.  Lead times for programming and training are not lengthy and
the airline anticipates this program will be up and running no later than

  On Board the Plane

  Beginning as early as June and continuing throughout the fall, US Airways
will make a series of upgrades to its in-flight experience focusing
specifically on its transcontinental and transatlantic flights.  Christ
continued, “Flight attendants and customers have provided helpful input on our
current product offering and have suggested ways we can enhance the in-flight
experience, including upgraded meals and an improved wine selection.”

  Among the enhancements:

    First and Envoy Class (Domestic and Transatlantic)
      *  Enhance the quality of meal and snack options as well as wine
      *  Add glassware and silverware on First Class meal flights
      *  Modify in-flight service procedures to enhance our customer’s
overall experience

    Coach and Economy Class (Domestic and Transatlantic)
      *  Buy on Board (Coach Class)—improve the food quality, expand the
product offering and increase the number of meals stocked on each
      *  Test premium beverages for sale such as wines by the glass
      *  Improve the quality and modify the complimentary meals in Economy
Class on transatlantic flights

  Boeing 757 Transatlantic Cabin Upgrade

  The airline is also improving cabin amenities on all Boeing 757s dedicated
to its transatlantic flights.  These fleet improvements will be on the line
beginning in May and include:

    *  Envoy Class
        *  Fully-electric seats with “new look” fabric, adjustable
headrests, 160 degree recline, 60” pitch and 110 volt adapter
free AC power
        *  New personal video and audio entertainment devices with
on-demand entertainment options

  Boeing 767 Fleet Cabin Upgrade

  As previously announced, the airline continues its $20 million capital
improvement plan to upgrade its 767 fleet.  Although the overhaul won’t be
complete until the first quarter 2008, improvements will include:

    *  Envoy Class
        *  New near lie-flat seats with “new look” seat fabric, drop-down
armrests, 110 volt adapter free AC power, oversized tray tables,
privacy dividers and built-in water bottle storage
        *  New personal video and audio entertainment devices with
on-demand entertainment options
        *  Refreshed cabin interior with “new look” sidewalls and dividers,
in addition to new overhead bin doors, lavatories and carpet for
a clean, modern appearance

    *  Economy Class
        *  New digital media file servers for better in-flight video and
audio entertainment quality combined with new LCD flat screens
        *  New leather seating
        *  Refreshed cabin interior with “new look” sidewalls and dividers,
in addition to new overhead bin doors, lavatories and carpet for
a clean, modern appearance


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