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United Airlines Implements Playbook for Punctuality

The carrier has made considerable improvements in its turn times over the summer, ranking second only to Delta in terms of timeliness.

When it comes to punctuality, United Airlines has shown that practice, along with some help from a handy playbook, makes perfect. In fact, the carrier has made recent and considerable strides in improving its timeliness, but this is due in large part to the efforts of a man named Bill Watts, the airline’s turn performance director.

Watts’ role is to ensure that United’s planes are turned around at the terminal and back up in the skies as swiftly as possible. But Watts and his team have a secret weapon in their arsenal against tardiness: a publication called the Quick-Turn Playbook. This is essentially a document that details the processes and procedures that need to be followed by the carrier in order to promptly turn a plane around.

This playbook was developed after a study conducted by the carrier last year revealed that its main competitors were turning planes around six to ten per cent faster than United. The principles outlined in this playbook have now been instituted at all of the domestic hubs and it seems that United’s efforts have indeed helped to improve its timeliness.

The Chicago Business Journal reports that it now ranks second in terms of punctuality, just behind Delta Air Lines. The carrier’s Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) hub has shown the most improvement in terms of timeliness, followed by Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

But Watts, however, is quick to dismiss the notion that he himself is solely responsible for United’s improvement in punctuality; rather, he hailed good old-fashioned teamwork for the carrier’s success.

He was quoted by the outlet as saying, “Every group that is planning for, handling or operating the flight needs to be on the same page, communicating and working in conjunction with one another to successfully execute the mission and have our customers on the way to their destinations. It’s the ultimate test of teamwork at an airline.”

Playing off of this success, United says that it will now be developing another playbook for its United Express network, a document that will be implemented later in the year.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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