“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.”
In this case, my guess is a gate agent was stuck between a directive to make 4 seats for that crew, and a rule that only let them offer $1000 to get one of those seats, and no path to ask for help when no one volunteered.
Kinda dumb…for the billion dollars in stock value United lost today, they could have chartered a LearJet to get that crew where it needed to be…about 100,000 times over.
My own vote, as a former United premier who has flown the airline maybe 3 times in the last decade, is to re empower the airline’s (and its United Express franchisees’) customer facing employees and start treating them well again. Might have to empty a building of headquarters workers who make rules that prevent these employees from doing the right thing for their paying customers…