Speaking to Peggy Guse in March 2019 during International Women’s
Month we were struck by how closely her discussion of her team’s
accomplishments and ambitions dovetailed with the theme of the worldwide
celebration of “Women’s Day on March 6: “Think Equal,
Build Smart, Innovate for Change.”
FlyingTypers first profiled Peggy,
United Airlines’ Managing Director of Cargo Marketing, Customer
Service and Alliances, in 2013.
She then had 26 years’ experience
in the travel industry with leadership roles in the car rental, hotel,
and travel agency segments, with six years at United in management slots
in their Sales Strategy and Customer Experience groups.
But she was just two years into applying
all this experience to the world of air cargo, stating back then:
“This is truly a fascinating business
and I’ve only scratched the surface of what there is to learn.”
Six years later, Peggy has the mentoring
of many of the next generation of air cargo leaders and the deployment
of innumerable successful cargo innovations to her credit.
She is recognized in our industry as a major
contributor to United Cargo’s momentum toward, what her boss United
Cargo President Jan Krems declares, “is the best cargo team in the
business, which has delivered the number one belly cargo carrier in the
“Quality quality quality” is
another familiar Krems catchphrase, and Peggy has certainly delivered
that to United Cargo.
But the quantity and importance of what
she’s responsible for, is remarkable: United’s global Cargo
Customer Contact Centers, cargo joint ventures with ANA and Lufthansa,
the Cargo Business Transformation team’s key technology initiatives,
Marketing and eCommerce’s development and deployment of Cargo’s
“e” and digital transformation strategies, and too many more,
Peggy spoke forthrightly to us about what
her team accomplished in 2018 and their even more ambitious plans for
“2018 was a transformational year
for our team, but particularly for the Customer Contact Centers,”
Peggy begins. “Contact volumes in our Houston, Manila, and Tokyo
Centers continued to rise, but the crucial result was our key performance
indicators, and customer satisfaction remained strong.
Contact Before Takeoff
“We also launched dedicated Contact
Center teams to support our team and customers in EMEIA and Guam.
“In 2019, we plan to extend the regional
support to Latin America, expand our thriving Business Partner Program
for U.S.-based customers into international markets and continue to upgrade
our Interactive Voice Response system to provide customers quicker access
to the information they need.”
The Joint Is Jumping
“It was also a year of great expectations,
realized in our joint venture initiative.
A highlight came in May when we launched
the first phase of the UA-Lufthansa Cargo JV cooperation.
“The size and scope favored a phased
implementation, so we deployed the JV in stages throughout 2018. The UA/LH
JV now provides our customers greater flexibility and speed on more than
1,500 route options.
“We also celebrated the two-year anniversary
of our cargo JV with ANA in 2018.
“We began in July 2016 with eastbound
service from Japan to the U.S. and Canada, then added westbound routes
in February 2018.
“With eastbound routes from Japan
to Mexico added in May, the UA-ANA cargo JV network now includes 377 nonstop
flights a week to 16 destinations, plus further flight and truck connections.
Next Up For UA/LH JV
“There are exciting plans to sustain
our JV progress in 2019. Next up for the UA/LH JV is the launch of Phase
5, adding more cities in Eastern Europe to the geographic scope.
“We expect to complete the rollout
of all phases of the original plan this year.
“Next, for the UA/ANA JV, is gaining
approval for the addition of locations in Southeast Asia to our JV network.
“Along with network expansions, both
JVs are working toward adding more products – expanding beyond the
current General and Express products into specialty offerings.”
Proud Cargo Business Transformation
“I’m really proud of what our
Cargo Business Transformation team accomplished in 2018 in collaboration
with our partners in United IT.
“We pursued a parallel track of enhancing
our system’s functionality while improving its stability, and the
team achieved success in both areas.
“As we continue down these tracks
in 2019, our CBT team will also continue their progress with an ongoing
commercial initiative – a project that addresses the vital question:
‘What’s the best way to use
all our available Cargo Sales resources to elevate the quality of service
we deliver to all our customers?’
eCommerce & The Big Challenge
“Our eCommerce team has perhaps the
most challenging set of goals for 2019 – certainly the objectives
that have the greatest potential for reshaping the way we’ll do
business in the future.
“We’ve grouped these customer
and co-worker benefits together in our “digital transformation strategy”
– elements designed to enhance our digital channels and our customers’
experience with them.
Game Changing Benefits
“These benefits include online, self-service
booking capability for our specialty products, enhancing our customer
and partner messaging to promote the transition to e-AWB and paperless
processes, fully digitizing pre-acceptance requirements for PetSafe customers
and countless other upgrades.
“With all the milestones along our
technology roadmap, the ultimate goal is to “differentiate with
digital” – to deploy technology innovations to generate levels
of quality that will keep us competitive far into the future.”
The Constant Driver
Listening to Peggy articulate her vision
for the evolution of United Cargo, you can’t help but wonder where
all this drive, perseverance, imagination, and excitement for the job
Peggy seems pleased to give us a clue to the source.
Oh My Dad
“While many people are lucky enough
to have a mentor who impacted their career development, I’m more
fortunate than most. My mentor is a very unique individual who has influenced
every stage of my development: my Dad.
“He’s not an airline guy or
even a travel industry veteran – he’s spent his life building
an employee-owned and family-run retail business. But I’ve learned
that the values and attitudes Dad instilled in me apply to any position
in any industry.
“One of the first doctrines I remember
him expressing was, ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get.’
My experience and observations have proven how true that is.
“Another of his key principles is
‘Nothing’s more important than integrity.’
“Again, experience has taught me there
will be competing priorities and contingencies that seem more important
in the moment.
“But ‘inconsistent integrity’
is a contradiction, so I strive to always remember and apply Dad’s
Peggy Guse’s last statement provokes
the idea that one of the most impressive takeaways in speaking to her
again, refreshing a story we did six years ago, is her consistent sincerity
Goes Around Comes Around
In 2013, near the start of her career in
air cargo, Peggy deflected attention away from herself and onto what her
team planned to accomplish.
In 2019, with hard-won insight into our
industry and a multitude of successes to her credit, that generosity of
spirit hasn’t changed.
While she won’t call attention to
herself, we are pleased to celebrate her as a pioneer woman in air cargo,
a leader in what is an ever-growing sisterhood that is lifting our business
to new heights.
The Go Listen To The Peggy Guse Podcast.