United Airlines customers severely impacted by recent flight disruptions will receive 30,000 complimentary miles from the airline.
United Airlines said in a July 1 email obtained by FOX Business that the free Mileage Plus miles it was giving affected customers and each other person on their flight reservation could go toward “flights, Wi-Fi, onboard food and drinks, seat upgrades and more.” Another email detailing the procedure to redeem the free miles will come soon, according to the message.
The complementary miles were offered to travelers who had to deal with getting delayed to the following day or never arriving at their final destination as part of a flight scheduled between June 24-30, according to United.
The airline had thousands of flight cancellations and delays last week. In the email about the 30,000 miles, United attributed the “rough experience” many of its customers faced in connection to those disruptions to “really bad weather, air traffic control issues and some of our own operational challenges.”
CEO Scott Kirby also discussed the disruptions to United’s flights in a July 1 memo to employees, specifically mentioning “truly unprecedented severe weather” near the airline’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and subsequent “severe restrictions on flight operations” there.
Thousands of flights at Newark and other New York City area airports, including LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy, were canceled starting last Saturday after thunderstorms started rolling in.
|UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC.
United Airlines Holdings Inc
Kirby said the “level of disruption we experienced left our aircraft and crews scattered around the country and out of position,” with the company taking a “few more days” to recover upon the conclusion of the bad weather.
He identified a handful of steps to help prevent the level of disruptions from happening in the future, including making “improvements to our crew technology,” getting more gates at Newark and altering its flight schedule at the airport. Kirby also said that the company needs to collaborate more with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and “support FAA efforts to find long term solutions” to issues like staffing.
The flight delays and cancellations occurred the week preceding July 4, a holiday weekend that AAA projected will see more than 4.17 million people in the U.S. traveling by airplane and over 46 million others taking other modes of transportation.
Some 10.7 million air travelers have passed through Transportation Security Administration security checkpoints in the past four days, including an eye-popping 2.88 million on June 30, according to data published by the agency. In comparison, about 9.2 million people did so over the same dates the prior year.
FOX Business’ Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.