PR Disaster

This video explains the situation better than I ever could:

With hours, the United Airlines CEO…

ATTEMPT #1 — apologized for “re-accommodate” passengers

ATTEMPT #2 — described the passenger as “disruptive and belligerent.”

ATTEMPT #3 — “I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right. I promise you we will do better.”

Of course, few people believe him at this point. And words like “make it right” and “promise we will do better” mean nothing.

The good news for United Airlines is that people have short memories when it comes to this kind of thing. Wells-Fargo has been able to bounce back after employees created millions of fake accounts for customers in order to meet their sales quotas.

But for now, it’s a shit storm. The footage above has been seen hundreds of millions of times and United’s value dropped approximately $800,000,000 within hours.

It would have been a lot cheaper to pay the overbooked passengers a few bucks to give up their seats and take the next flight.

Don’t Let This Happen To You

It’s understandable how the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company can lose touch. It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be your customer, especially when you’re focused on big picture stuff and don’t regularly interact with customers. This can happen to any of us, even if we are the “company.”

But you’re an idiot if you think anybody is going to watch the video above and think it’s an appropriate way to treat somebody. And you’re an idiot if you think a short post on social media is going to make a situation like this disappear.

Should something like this happen to you, follow these two steps.


Originally published at 23 Hours.