No Apologies From United CEO — Beating Our Guests is Standard Procedure!
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz continued to poor fuel on the fire after an incident involving a passenger who was beaten and dragged because United overbooked his flight and the passenger refused to give up his seat when the airline demanded he do so. Munoz himself offered no real apologies to the guest who was savagely beaten, other than a blank and indirect statement, “I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.” He then goes on to insult the passenger in the media, calling him quote, “Disruptive and Belligerent”, despite the fact he did nothing wrong other than board a flight he rightfully paid for.
That’s it Munoz, blame the victim! How’s that working out for you now?
Munoz statement to employees stated, “There’s lessons we can learn from this experience.” Apparently Munoz wasn’t referring to himself, as users quickly took to Twitter and other social media outlets to blast United and their ignorant CEO. Munoz then goes on to state, “Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this.” So you’re basically stating its standard procedure for your employees to harass, beat, and drag your customers from their flights because you’re an idiot and don’t know how to run your company?
United has overbooked flights and suddenly that’s the customers fault right? Sorry to tell you Munoz, but it doesn’t look like your ignorant statements and total disregard for your paying customers are working out in your favor.
What Munoz and his airline failed to realize is that, in this modern day and age the technologies that drive the internet make it virtually impossible for anyone to hide from their misdeeds. As if the initial meltdown wasn’t bad enough, Munoz and his executives made the awful mistake of mocking the victim of their own failed policies. The results have been a massive backlash across social media, and the continued hammering from independent journalists like myself and others.
Because of the explosive growth of social media, businesses are quickly held to account for their actions, and in the case of United, they made more missteps after the incident occurred than they did when it first happened. For United, its going to be a hard lesson learned in social accountability, especially considering the number #United related hashtags have been tending for several days on Twitter, and don’t appear to be letting up.
And wait, before we go any further, if you book your fall flights with United right now, you can get a family member beaten and dragged for half price!
Let’s take a look at what Twitter users are saying right now:
It also appears other competing airlines have taken the opportunity mock United as well, with Southwest producing a marketing banner that states, “We beat the competition. Not You.”
Oscar “The Bigot” Munoz later goes on to state in a Twitter post, “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United.” I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened.”
That statement came following the backlash and outrage of thousands of Twitter users, that later turned into a full blown social media assault of the company online. So its an upsetting event, but you have the nerve to insult the very person you victimized?
Even major media outlets are mocking and bashing United and their CEO over their handling of the situation; as was the case with this article from Yahoo finance titled, “How to reduce your chances of getting dragged off a United flight”, featuring a smiling stewardess accommodating customer.
United Airlines ( ) "deplaned" one of its paying passengers late Sunday, dragging him from his seat and down the aisle…finance.yahoo.com
Notice that nowhere does he apologize to the man who was beaten half to death on his company’s plane. Here’s the actual video of the incident as it partially unfolded. You can hear the cries of other passengers screaming in disgust.
Meanwhile, images of the aftermath pretty tell a much bigger story. In the image below, you can clearly see the passenger appears visibly distraught.
Other United passengers who boarded the flight don’t seem to agree the man was either disruptive or belligerent in anyway. With many coming out to defend him, including a school teacher who called him quote, “A very sweet man.”
A fellow passenger on United Airlines flight 3411 told CNN that the customer dragged from the flight was pleasant…finance.yahoo.com
While Airlines typically have the right to remove passengers according to their terms of service, beating and dragging your paying customers because your company is run by idiots that couldn’t manage a hot dog stand much less an airline, is totally unacceptable! As if this situation wasn’t bad enough, United’s CEO Munoz continued to make insensitive remarks about a man who did nothing wrong other sit in a seat he paid for.
As well, a company’s terms of service, that while being a contractual agreement between them and their customers, is not an agreement that overrides the law. There isn’t a law written anywhere that states if a guest on your airline doesn’t give up a seat they paid for that the airline in question has the right to beat them into submission.
At the very least, Munoz should be fired. Even if he’s not, United and its CEO have a horrible PR problem on their hands, and given the circumstances of what happened, I doubt any of this will be easy to fix. Meanwhile, it looks like social users are more than sticking up for this poor guy who obviously had the worst flight anyone could ever possibly imagine.
Written and published by Daniel Imbellino — Co-Founder of Strategic Social Networking and pctechauthority.com. Many thanks for reading. Be sure to check out Strategic Social Networking Community on Google+ to connect with tens of thousands of IT professionals and learn effective strategies to grow your social presence online. You’re also welcome to follow Strategic’s brand page on G+ for the latest social media and IT industry news.