United flight delayed? The airline is changing how it handles delay payouts

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United flight delayed? The airline is changing how it handles delay payouts

United Airlines is making a change to how it gives customers money back after flight delay — it won’t “proactively” give customers refunds for flights delayed less than six hours.

The airline detailed the change in an internal memo to employees.

“As always and in the frontline operation, you’re empowered to make great service decisions in the best interest of our customers,” according to the internal memo, obtained by USA TODAY. “When situations arise, and they warrant compensation outside of this guideline, do the right thing to take care of the customer,” the memo also states. “With the ongoing enhancements within the In-the-Moment Care app, you can issue compensation on the spot, recover service disruptions, and avoid sending the customer to a website or service desk.”

Skift first repored the memo and pointed out Delta has a similar compensation procedure. The trade publication also noted this could be a cost-savings effort on behalf of the airline, though United said that wasn’t the case.

“This policy empowers our employees to make more personalized service decisions for our customers when a disservice occurs,” United Airlines spokesman Frank Benenati told USA TODAY in a statement. “We will continue to analyze feedback on our policies and further invest in approaches that are most appreciated by our customers.”

The airline has made strides to improve customer satisfaction in the last year, including both launching and expanding its ConnectionSaver operation to help flyers make their flight connections. It also now lets consumers pay checked bag fees ahead of time and view a 3D feature to view seats during the booking process.

Want a close-up view of your plane seat? United is adding 3D views during ticket booking

Details on ConnectionSaver:United Airlines will now hold planes for connecting flyers – thanks to new tool