In need of an image makeover, United Airlines opened the year by holding employees accountable for lagging customer service. New baseline standards developed last year measure frontline workers on courtesy, graciousness and consistency.

United had been working with Forbes Travel Guide on standards for each of the carrier's work groups. The idea is to get impartial input from outside the organization.

The airline last spring hired Jayne Griswold from Forbes to serve as managing director of service and hospitality, reporting to customer experience VP Jimmy Samartzis. At Forbes, Griswold helped create criteria and measurement standards for hotels, restaurants and . . .

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