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United Airlines changed the one thing its passengers didn't like

It’s not just an important part of flying, it’s an important part of life in general for some people. So when your customers say they don’t like the way you’re serving it, you change it.

It’s not just an important part of flying, it’s an important part of life in general for some people. So when your customers say they don’t like the way you’re serving it, you change it.

That’s exactly what United Airlines did.

Speaking to KarryOn, United Airlines Managing Director, Alison Espley said the airline recently discovered that while for the most part its customers are thrilled with the service and inflight offerings, there was one thing they haven’t really been too fond of – the carrier’s coffee.

While to non-coffee drinkers it may seem like a small enough issue to resolve, Espley said it’s actually a very important part of the inflight service, with the carrier serving thousands of cups on over 5,000 flights a day.

Coffee

“Coffee is a very important part of flying and of course people’s lives.”

Alison Espley, United Airlines Managing Director

“So when our customers said that frankly they didn’t like the coffee we were serving, we changed it.”

The carrier teamed up with illycaffe to offer guests the Italian company’s premium blend both in the sky and in the United Club locations worldwide.

Rolling out this month, United will offer illy’s signature scuro dark roast and the coffee company’s espresso in United Club locations at the airline’s mainland U.S. hubs. Other lounge locations will offer illy in 2016, with the scuro dark roast coming to flights worldwide next summer.

And how have United customers taken to the change? They’re loving it.

“We think it’s a very strong and international brand and feedback so far in terms of the decision is extremely positive.”

Alison Espley, United Airlines Managing Director

United KarryOn

Meanwhile, in terms of inflight entertainment, Espley says the airline’s guests are impressed with what the carrier has on offer from 150 movies to 185 television shows as well as thousands of songs, 20 interactive video games, and even opportunities to learn languages.

She said moving forward, Wi-Fi is high on the list of priorities for travellers, with business flyers demanding relying on it for their jobs and leisure travellers enjoying it as a way to pass the time.

United is meeting demand for more inflight Wi-Fi by making the service available on more aircraft including its 787s, which will fly to Australia from next year.

“We focus on what opportunities are available and going back to the customers with what they’re asking for – at this point in time Wi-Fi is key,” she added.

Is coffee an important part of your flying experience?