Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Sometimes, I hear voices.
They come at the most random times, in the most random places.
Why, only today I was watching a Golden State Warriors game when I heard a thousand voices shout: "Durant, what are you doing?!!"
Oddly, after that -- happily victorious -- game was over, I heard another voice.
It was that of United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz.
You see, I've just booked another flight on United -- the airline has a powerful schedule out of San Francisco -- and Munoz's words echoed behind my brows.
Last September, he was interviewed by CNBC's resident yoga-and-mindfulness instructor Jim Cramer and made big promises to customers.
Munoz vowed that, in 2019, United customers would see improvements "literally every week."
Well, it's now March, so I wanted to discover what improvements have been added literally every week.
Where could I go but United's own newsroom? There, I could surely find news of all these improvements.
Please let me tell you then, United customers, about these improvements.
Let's start with February.
Last week, for example, the airline opened a new maintenance complex in Los Angeles.
That's surely better than suing your mechanics, which Southwest has just managed.
United has also created a competition for female artists to paint one of the airline's planes.
It's hired an industry veteran to become its new SVP and General Counsel.
It also wants to have more flights to Japan.
As I recently wrote, the airline has inserted more than 1,600 seats in its fancier classes.
This is, though, partly because it wants to reduce the number of seats on its regional flights, in order to have less expensive pilots flying them.
Oh, and United announced it would open four new Club locations in 2019.
That's all the news touted by United in February.
How about January?
Well, United announced free live TV on 211 Boeing 737 aircraft equipped with seat back screens.
Then again, United is -- alongside American -- on a mission to remove seatback screens from its planes.
In January, the airline also donated $1 million to Feedback America's Shutdown Response Fund.
It upgraded its app, too and opened a Polaris lounge at LAX.
Oh, and the airline's first Boeing 787-10 began flying coast to coast.
And that was all the news touted by the airline in January. (Well, other than internal promotions and financial results.)
How, then, does that measure up so far to Munoz's promise of improvements for customers "literally every week"?
Does this satisfy United's customers? Have they noticed literal every-week improvements? Do they get on United planes and tell themselves: "My, this is so much better than even last week."?
Or are they hoping March will be see more exciting news than February?
Could it also be that CEOs sometimes say things on TV that their PR handlers -- and their customers -- wish they hadn't?
Ah, that Jim Cramer. He can get you all excited, can't he?