Things with United Airlines seemed to cool down after the airline kicked two young women off of its flight for wearing leggings. However, just this Sunday, the airline suffered another fiasco.
It was Sunday evening that a video of a man being dragged off of a United flight began floating around social media. The man was removed from the flight not only because it was booked but because United had to make room for its own employees.
This incident follows behind one that happened just a few weeks ago. United prevented two girls from boarding their flight due to the fact that they were wearing “form-fitting” leggings. While this and the recent incident has most of the internet in quite a stir, United says that it always attempts to “do a professional job.” “But not everyone on the plane is professional,” is what former United Continental Holdings Chief Executive Gordon Bethune told CNBC.
As far as the two young women were concerned, United said that they were “representatives” of the company and dress code was mandatory for their travels. But what are the airline’s views on Sunday’s incident?
Bethune also went on to say that the man’s “immature” display was quite upsetting and that it was now up to United to issue an apology. He told a source that it would be best if United CEO Oscar Munoz made an apologetic statement. “I’m sure there will be reconciliation…some effort to show they care about passengers,” Bethune continued.
And it didn’t take long after the incident for Munoz to make a statement. He said, the whole thing was “an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.”
Yet while some can hardly believe that this kind of thing would be allowed, experts say that this isn’t too uncommon for airlines. Andy Swan, who founded the social media monitor LikeFolio told a source that many airlines have a “low happiness level” when it comes to their passengers.
Public relations complications like this one are “nothing new” Swan even said. That could have something to do with the fact that United Continentals stock wasn’t all too negatively affected by the incident. In fact, shares actually rose by 1 percent.
The reality is, travelers buy their plane tickets based on whichever airlines offer the lowest prices. Unlike retailers or fast food chains who have to fight their way back to customer satisfaction, things like brand image don’t really faze airlines like United.
Munoz also said in his statement that United would be working “with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened.”