Major US Airlines
The Internet is here to make business transaction convenient. Who would’ve thought that shopping can ever be done at home, while sitting in front of a computer? With wire money transfer or a credit, anyone can shop for anything online. Today, flights can be booked and tickets can be paid online. In this case, the websites to be reviewed are United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta. First to be reviewed is the United Airlines website. The look and feel of this website suggests fun travel and easy transaction. As a customer types the URL of the airlines, promos and benefits welcome him. The site shows links for special deals, travel enhancements, earning bonus miles and promo fares for last-minute flights.
A customer will surely love staying on a website like this, but he may be easily deceived by the treats offered by the company. Locating the terms and conditions was not easy, especially for a busy booker who wants to get things done right away, because the terms and conditions are located at the bottom of the page in a very small font that’s hardly noticeable. Statements from United Airlines are about the company not responsible for many things like reviewing unsolicited ideas, copyright, information and contents which a consumer submits to the company. The company also says that there are a lot of links in the website which United Airlines does not maintain. It also does not provide warranty to services which other companies linked to United Airlines offer.
United Airlines promises its customers the right to expect and demand needs like honesty and courtesy from the staff. It outlines 12 ways on how it committed it is to its customers. The outline includes lowest fare, notifications of delay or cancellations, on-time delivery of baggage, fair limit of baggage liability, holding and cancellation of reservation, ticket refunds, attending to the needs of customers with special needs, meeting needs of customers, treating customers fairly, open record of travel itinerary, policies and rules, working with regional partners and quick responses to complaints and questions (United Airlines, 2008). In the website of American Airlines, the representation of legal, ethical and regulatory issues are all stated on the website. Intellectual property notifications, indemnity obligations and limitations and representations and warranties among many others are discussed. American Airlines allow only people who are 18 years old and above to access the site because of the financial responsibilities that go with it. The website is all about availing of the services and products offered by the airline company. The simple act of signing in, clicking on icons or ticking boxes on the website will mean financial responsibility on the part of the visitor.
The website shows what services and products are available at a given period of time. It is indeed used as a reference for visitors, in order for them not to visit the office anymore. American Airlines tells its users that the website is not for commercial use (American Airlines, 2007). The website of American Airlines also discussed 19 things which a customer should avoid when doing a transaction with American Airlines, all of which related to threats, violation of intellectual property rights, abuse of use, misrepresentation and commercial usage. A visitor’s communication with American Airlines is always monitored. The airline can always reproduce or publish anything you disclose to the company if needed and if highly necessary. However, this is applicable only with the information a visitor sends through electronic mail or otherwise. Since American Airlines also provides telephone conversations and on-line chats to costumers for reservations and inquiries, the company reserves the right to record and monitor the conversations that will take place for future references. Once a customer contacts the company, it automatically means that the customer is subject to having his or her conversations with the company monitored, recorded and transcribed for security purposes and future reference.
American Airlines allows forums, yet it strongly discourages its misuse. A part of the practice of ethics is to maintain healthy conversations in the forums, in which all messages and materials circulating do not violate the terms and conditions indicated in the site. The company has the right to remove topics and contents which may threaten, defame or harass the legal rights and the name of the company. Lastly, American Airlines highly discourages any content that may threaten, humiliate, harass or degrade other people on the basis of their religion, ethnicity, color, race, gender, sexual preference, ancestry, age and national origin among many other concepts prone to discrimination. On the other hand, Delta’s website seems to show a lighter treatment on legal, ethical, regulatory, security, confidentiality and international issues.
The welcoming introduction on the website is a notice of incorporated terms, where the terms published on the website may include but are not restricted to concepts limits on liability for material goods and even for death or personal injury. Legal notices on Delta’s websites are all about the transaction itself and how a customer will go about with the processes involved. The notices published guides customers every step of the way. Examples of issues discussed under legal notices include rules on changes to contract terms, refusal to passport, notice of overbooking of flights, liability for delay or cancellation, baggage limitations, time limitations, airline partners, international passengers, check-in requirements, currencies, identification and on smoking. Unlike American Airlines, Delta website seems to be focusing more on the confidentiality and security handling. Delta takes good care of every information a customer discloses. All the information a customer sends is kept and retained on the records of the company for future references. Delta assures its customers to safely keep the information a customer sends to the website by not selling a customer personally identifiable information to any third party to protect confidentiality and practice maximum security.
The only time Delta will have to disclose an information to a third party is when a customer is under legal process or subpoena or when the law requires the company to do so. The airline company may also provide domestic and foreign government agencies that have access to the documents and pieces of information a customer discloses to the company as part of Delta’s security regulations. This is in accordance with the security regulations of other countries, too (Carey, 2001).
American Airlines (2007). Legal Information. Retrieved July 13, 2008, from
Carey, Bryan (2001). Delta.com: Good Airline, Mediocre Web Site. Epinions. Retrieved July
13, 2008, from http://www.epinions.com/content_45779357316
Carey, Bryan. (2001). American Airlines Will Get You Where You Need to Go!. Epinions.
Retrieved July 13, 2008, from http://www.epinions.com/content_44042718852
Downing, J. R. (2004). American Airlines’ Use of Mediated Employee Channels After the 9/11 Attacks. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA Online <.PDF> Retrieved July 13, 2008, from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112945_index.html
United Airlines. (2008). A Message to Our Customers. Retrieved July 13, 2008, from http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1505,00.html?navSource=RelatedLinks