United Airlines says it will beat its competitors or reward its corporate clients United Airlines
A United Airlines plane takes off from San Francisco International Airport. The carrier promises to beat its competitors in reliability. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
Hugo Martin Hugo MartinContact Reporter
United Airlines is throwing down the gauntlet on its biggest competitors.
The Chicago-based carrier is so sure that it can beat either American Airlines or Delta Air Lines on reliability that it promises to compensate its corporate clients with credits for upgrades and onboard fees if it fails.
United will gauge its reliability based on its annual on-time performance rate and the rate of completed flights.
Delta Air Lines offered a similar guarantee to its corporate clients in September. The difference is that Delta promised to give its corporate passengers credits that can be used to pay for fares if it fails while United will give credits than can only be used for upgrades and on-board fees.
The challenge is a bold move by United, which has lagged behind most of its competitors in on-time arrival rates.
For the 12-month period that ended in September, United ranked near the bottom among all airlines in reliability, with an on-time arrival rate of 76.5%, compared with 85.6% for Delta and 78.4% for American, according to the latest federal transportation data