TQM in United Airlines Essay

     The notion of Total Quality Management has paved the way for many businesses to adapt to the ever changing demands of the market. Because of this principle, many large companies such as United Airlines have already involved TQM to back up their goals in maintaining superior customer satisfaction by providing the best product packages and services.

     Why does an organization need to implement a customer targeted quality principle? Basically, the answer to this question will only divert in a single approach, to increase profitability.

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Of course, a business entity needs to strengthen its capacity to maintain a high level of business function. In order to do this, it should have at least a permanent group of client parameters which will support its operations for a long time. For a company, every aspect of its operations in the business primarily depends on how the customers influence its performance in the market share. That is why maintaining a group of customers longer than expected will sustain stability for the organization.

     In the aspect of maintaining a customer base, the company should know that it needs to involve the direct approach in satisfying the requests of the customers. It should be able to support the needs of the clients as well as to satisfy their demands for a good service. Apparently, an excellent form of customer satisfaction predicts the level of customer retention a company may achieve (Kotelnikov, 2008). If the customers get quality products and services, then most likely they will have a good relationship with the brand. Thus, the company will get credit for such attention and will be able to strengthen its grip in the market.

     Essentially, TQM has long been implemented by companies which are involved in the service sectors. The main reason for this is that business owners know that customer satisfaction can help produce larger profit generations when they are fulfilled with the services they need. Of course, this does not only involve the delivery of services but the functional rendering of quality service. For United Airlines, the value of quality has a direct contribution on the perception of the customers towards how the company projects its image to the commercial market. This ideal has let the air company to implement certain measures that will help it achieve the overall client-based satisfaction for many years of its operations.

     For United Airlines, the company has implemented a strategic TQM principle to make way for full customer satisfaction for its services. Since the organization is involved in the service sector, it has delegated its approach to sustain a better condition of flights to all of its passengers. This goal intends to keep the airline company operate at the maximum levels of quality while capturing a large share of margins in the airline industry segment.

     In order to help the company structure its TQM aspect, it has defined a 12-point customer satisfaction system. This format was established to help the organization be reminded of what their primary goal is aside from profitability (United Airlines, 2008). The list contains the most significant approaches that United Airlines can complete for customer satisfaction principles.

  • Lowest Airline Rate – United Airlines’ quality service does not come only in the aspect of direct physical interactions. It also provides an economic fundamental to achieve customer satisfaction. The company offers some of the lowest air fare rates to various destinations. This approach in quality management helps boost the company sales in terms of satisfying the clients about financial considerations. There are also special discounts and privileges for passengers who are going to buy airline tickets in bulk or during holiday seasons. This extends customer service in economical ways.
  • Customer Information – As part of the TQM principle of UA, one very good approach of the company is to send important messages and info about the status of flight schedules. Of course, if something is predicted to become a delaying factor of the operations, then the passengers should be made aware of it in order for them to adjust personal schedules. This will give the clients a perception of reliability and become more confident of the airline’s operations.
  • Baggage Delivery – United Airlines employ the service fundamentals of on time delivery of baggage for optimum customer satisfaction. The airline employs responsible and efficient staffs in order to take care of the passenger’s baggage for scheduled delivery per flight.
  • Baggage Limit – in addition to baggage delivery, the company also provides a fair structure when it comes to identifying baggage limitation principles for each of its passengers.
  • Reservations – The Company provides the option for the customers to have a seat reserved to them or to cancel it. This helps the customer to involve a thorough decision making approach about his trips.
  • Ticket – In cases when seats are requested to be cancelled, the company also provides an option for its passengers to have a ticket refund. This can optimize the trust of the clients to the company as part of the customer satisfaction program.
  • Special Passengers – One of the distinct quality management of United Airlines is its capability to accommodate passengers with varying needs. It is very likely that flight operations will attend to passengers with disabilities. In this aspect, the company has designated facilities and personnel who will cater to the needs of these special clients.
  • Customer Needs – On the part of basic customer needs, the company also employs a service commitment to help passengers get the things they need. A refreshing on flight drink or a very good TV program on board are just some of the customer satisfaction service offerings.
  • Customer Treatment – United Airlines also instructed its personnel to treat denied passengers with optimum respect. They are also provided with the information of the case why such acts are necessary based on the situation.
  • Current Flight Info – The staff of the airline also makes it a point to disclose information about other flight concerns such as cancellation policies, itineraries and technical aircraft configurations.
  • Coordination – The Company also employs the use of coordination techniques for regional operations so that it can easily manage customer service needs in very efficient ways. Since the company is involved in cross-continent operations, it is advantageous for it to have an open communications with airports and air facilities in different countries. This makes it possible for the company to customize its services based on passenger nationalities.
  • Customer Inquiries – One last customer service principle of United Airlines is its direct, simple and timely response to customer questions and inquiries about the operations of the airline. As a matter of fact, it is one of the pioneers in the airline industry which enable their clients to ask questions using different channels such as telephone, internet and mobile phones.

     For a company to maintain its optimal business operations, it should have the necessary capability to address the organization’s needs both internally and externally. In the internal matters, it would be appropriate to select a leadership who can inject principles towards quality management. This does not only involve schemes of profitability immediately in the market scope but should also address the long term possibility of growth.

     For United Airlines, the leadership principles employed by its administration has provided so many advantages for the organization. Because of the formulation of the 12-point customer satisfaction system, the admin was able to capture the true needs of the passengers when it comes to reliable and efficient airline operations. The leaders very well know that having a business in the service sector demands a direct approach towards the impressions of the clients.

If they will receive a very good service with all the aspects of quality, then most likely they will get the worth of their money. And if they experience these benefits, then it is not impossible for them to stick with the company as their major airline service provider. In the light of economic recession, Airline customer satisfaction falls while one of the reasons can be attributed to customer satisfaction (Boston, 2008). However, with United Airline’s TQM principle, it is less likely to experience client related dilemmas.

     Increasing the capability of the business towards economic strengthening goes beyond effective investment processes. Although it may be important to allocate the funds in the most diversified and profitable ways, the creation of TQM principles will ultimately predict how the organization will sustain long term market presence. In order for the business to flourish exponentially, it should always look at how its major clients will be affected with the use of business principles related to quality.


Boston. 2007. Airline customer satisfaction falls. Bsoton.com-Business. Retrieved January 23, 2008 from http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/05/15/airline_customer_satisfaction_falls/?rss_id=Boston+Globe+–+Business+News.

Kotelnikov, V. 2008. Customer Satisfaction. Ten-3 Business E-coach. Retrieved January 23, 2008 from http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/crosscuttings/customer_satisfaction.html.

United Airlines. 2008. Customer Commitment. United Airlines Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2008 from http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1506,00.html.

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