If you’ve been waiting for United Airlines to issue an apology for having dragged a passenger off an overbooked flight, you’d better pull up a pew: you might be waiting a while.
Almost as if he was deliberately setting out to make a bad situation even worse, United Airlines CEO, Oscar Muñoz, sent a staff memo to his employees, accusing the ejected passenger of being ‘disruptive and belligerent’ after United staff ‘politely’ asked him to ‘deplane’. Finally, Muñoz laments, the crew was ‘left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight.’
— Ryan Ruggiero (@RyanRuggiero) 10 April 2017
It’s an interesting take on the incident, that’s for sure. Because to the rest of us, it looks more like a passenger – who’d bought his ticket just like everyone else – was yanked out of his seat by three security officers, knocked unconscious and dragged bleeding down the aisle while horrified passengers screamed at them to stop.
This man was physically abused and kicked off a flight – for which he had paid – all because United had sold too many tickets and no other passenger was willing to give up their seats to United employees who needed a ride.
‘Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this,” he wrote. “While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.’
The internet’s reaction to this tin-eared memo – especially coming after the previous ‘apology’ in which Muñoz said sorry only for having to ‘re-accommodate’ customers – was not good.
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) 10 April 2017
This letter explains why that United fiasco happened. The CEO thinks it was justified. I wouldn’t trust this company with my safety https://t.co/2D5k93dSiz
— Rusty Foster (@rustyk5) 11 April 2017
— Raleigh Mecklin (@raleigh_mecklin) 11 April 2017
That internal United letter is gross and does nothing but deflect and abdicate responsibility. So, par for the course.
— Tom Shea (@tomshea) 11 April 2017
I'm glad this letter is so terrible. I want them to be bad at PR. Why do we want companies to be good at PR? https://t.co/A7rbb7EcyV
— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) 10 April 2017