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United Airlines Awards $125,000 In Cash To Employees For Excellent Customer Service


HOUSTON, Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today awarded $125,000 to employees across the company for excellence in customer service as part of the company's Outperform Recognition Program. The company held a celebration at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

Launched in June 2012, the Outperform Recognition Program invites eligible customers who are MileagePlus® members to nominate eligible employees for service at the airport, on the phone, on a flight, or at any other point in their experience with United and United Express. Employees from all work groups, including pilots, flight attendants, ramp and customer service employees, may be nominated.

The airline randomly selected 16 winning employees from more than 9,000 customer nominations submitted during the first four-month nomination period of the program.

"We're committed to recognizing and rewarding our co-workers when they do an excellent job for our customers. It's our job to provide our customers with the best experience possible when they're traveling with us," said Jeff Smisek, chairman, president and CEO of United. "The more than 9,000 nominations customers submitted are all great examples of co-workers who make it their priority to deliver outstanding travel experiences every day."

Jane Doucette, a Houston-based flight attendant of 18 years, won the Grand Prize of $50,000 in cash for service she provided to customer Jonipher Kwong of Honolulu during a flight to Los Angeles this past summer.

"I'm a big believer in recognizing people when they do great work. The more someone is recognized when they get it right, the better they'll perform," said Kwong. "Jane 'outperformed' during my flight from beginning to end – I felt the whole flight was all about me. She knew just how to personalize it."

For submitting the winning Grand Prize nomination, the airline awarded Kwong with a voucher for two round-trip tickets valid for international travel to anywhere United flies. Other customers who submitted winning nominations received frequent flyer mileage awards.

The following employees also demonstrated outstanding customer service and received cash prizes:

  • $25,000 to Carmen Madrigal, international sales employee from Monterrey, Mexico
  • $10,000 to Lisa Mayo, United Express flight attendant from Denver
  • $5,000 to Brian Ciampichini, customer service director from Albany
  • $5,000 to Susan Harrington, reservations agent from Houston
  • $5,000 to Sonia Stefanic, flight attendant from New York
  • $2,500 to Renee Bergeson, customer care agent from Salt Lake City
  • $2,500 to Michelle Guerriere, reservations agent from Houston
  • $2,500 to Maria Homolova, customer service representative from Los Angeles
  • $2,500 to Lavonda Moore, flight attendant from Los Angeles
  • $2,500 to Kathryn Powers, reservations agent from Chicago
  • $2,500 to Alessio Rodriguez, flight attendant from London
  • $2,500 to Suzanne Ramos, customer care agent from Salt Lake City
  • $2,500 to Tina Smith, customer service representative from Denver
  • $2,500 to Maegan Thomas, United Express customer service supervisor from Arcata, Calif.
  • $2,500 to Tricia Vecchio, customer service representative from Washington, D.C.

Below is a sample of comments that customers submitted about the winning employees:

  • "Alessio is an angel. He was pleasant, smiling and made my flight from London fun. He is why I will fly United."
  • "Brian consistently makes travel smooth and effortless in Albany. I go out of my way to choose United because of him."
  • "Renee was absolutely wonderful in helping us with our flights to Europe. Diligent, mindful and responsive. A true gem!"
  • "Tina got me a seat next to my wife and gave me the biggest laugh of the trip. A joy and blessing to my wife and I!"
  • "I would like to recognize Michelle for her professional, helpful and friendly manner in resolving my ticketing issue."

The current Outperform Recognition Program nomination period runs from Jan. 2 through March 31, 2013.

For more information on the program, including the Official Rules and eligibility requirements, customers can visit Customers can nominate employees using United's mobile app,,, as well as United's Facebook page.

The Outperform Recognition Program builds on the airline's additional employee reward and recognition programs, such as awarding cash payouts for meeting on-time performance goals. Employees can also win brand new cars for achieving perfect attendance.

About United
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,557 flights a day to 378 airports on six continents from the airline's hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. United is upgrading its cabins with more flat-bed seats in first and business class and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any other airline in North America. United now has 180 airplanes featuring DIRECTV®, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has orders for more than 270 new aircraft deliveries through 2022. In 2012, United was the first North American airline to take delivery of new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. United was rated the world's most admired airline on FORTUNE magazine's 2012 airline-industry list of the World's Most Admired Companies. Readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for eight consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

SOURCE United Continental Holdings, Inc.

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