[Tourism] TRANSPORTATION: AIRLINES: NAMED AIRLINES: UNITED AIRLINES : TRANSPORTATION: AIRLINES: OVERBOOKING : POLICE BRUTALITY : CRIME AND CRIMINALS: ASSAULT : CUSTOMER RELATIONS : PUBLIC RELATIONS : LEGAL ISSUES: Videos of a Man Being Dragged Off a United Plane Ignite a Public Relations Crisis

 

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TRANSPORTATION: AIRLINES: NAMED AIRLINES: UNITED AIRLINES :

TRANSPORTATION: AIRLINES: OVERBOOKING :

POLICE BRUTALITY :

CRIME AND CRIMINALS: ASSAULT :

CUSTOMER RELATIONS :

PUBLIC RELATIONS:

Videos of a Man Being Dragged Off a United Plane
Ignite a Public Relations Crisis

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“FLY THE FRIENDLY SKYS OF POLICE BRUTALITY”

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Videos of a Man Being Dragged Off a United Plane
Ignite a Public Relations Crisis

By JULIE CRESWELL and SAPNA MAHESHWARI

APRIL 11, 2017

New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/business/ united-airline-passenger-overbooked-flights.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/l9tqzmz

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United Airlines on Tuesday faced a spiraling crisis from videos showing a passenger being dragged off an airplane, as consumers threatened a boycott of the airline and lawmakers called for an investigation. By the afternoon, after more than a day of changing statements, Uniteds chief executive apologized and promised a review of its policies.

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snip

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But the videos had already cast an unwelcome light not just on United, but on the airline industrys efforts to maximize profits. As companies push to make money from baggage fees, seat reservations and other services that were once included with a basic plane ticket, the videos added the potential for an even harsher indignity: sitting in a seat with a ticket and getting physically ejected from the airplane.

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The passenger, Dr. David Dao, was identified late Tuesday in a statement from his lawyers, who said he was undergoing treatment in a Chicago-area hospital for his injuries. Some videos had showed him with a bloody face.

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On social media, the firestorm swept around the world. Chinese social media users accused United, which does a lot of business in the country, of racism by targeting Dr. Dao, who appeared to be Asian. In the United States, customers showed pictures of their United loyalty or credit cards cut into pieces. And lawmakers called for an investigation.

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The last thing a paying airline passenger should expect is a physical altercation with law enforcement personnel after boarding, especially one that could likely have been avoided, the four top leaders of the Senate commerce committee said in a letter on Tuesday to Mr. Munoz.

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The disturbing images of a passenger being violently ejected from an airplane by security officers rippled across a consolidating industry. Today, four major airlines account for about 80 percent of domestic air travel. In recent years, as the consolidation has increased, passengers have been forced into a host of policies that ding their wallet and their comfort.

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But social media has proved to be a powerful outlet for complaints. United drew quick criticism for its initial response to the Sunday evening incident, with many people calling it tone deaf. On Monday, when Mr. Munoz apologized for having to re-accomodate these customers, the internet saw that as a joke. Nice to know re-accomodate on United now means drag you violently out of your seat, one woman posted on Twitter.

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A few hours later, United seemed to go on the offensive when it circulated a letter in which Mr. Munoz appeared to blame Dr. Dao, saying he defied the officers. Finally, on Tuesday afternoon, the airline changed course again, with Mr. Munoz saying that United would take full responsibility for the situation.

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For United and Mr. Munoz, who just last month was named Communicator of the Year by PR Week, a trade publication, the videos have turned into a crisis. They come on the heels of another incident about two weeks ago in which the airline was forced to defend itself about what some saw as a sexist policy after it barred two teenage girls wearing leggings from a flight.

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Its fair to say that if PR Week was choosing its Communicator of the Year now, we would not be awarding it to Oscar Munoz, the trade publication said on Tuesday.

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Megan McCarthy, a spokeswoman for United, said the flight was full and then crew members, who were scheduled to operate a flight Monday morning from Louisville to Newark, N.J., needed seats on the plane. If the crew members had not been allowed to board, Ms. McCarthy said, the Monday morning flight would have been canceled.

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Crisis communications experts criticized Uniteds initial response to the event.

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There are countless metrics you could look at to justify the cost of a higher compensation offer for those passengers on that plane, said Mr. Robinson-Leon, pointing to the price of crisis management, the loss in stock value, the potential for lost business and even the time of Mr. Munoz, who makes at least $1.2 million a year.

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Other corporations also chimed in. Emirates posted a short video to Twitter, criticizing Mr. Munoz for a snide remark he had made about Emirates and pointing out its customer satisfaction accolades.

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The Twitter account for Merriam-Webster said on Monday night that volunteer means someone who does something without being forced to do it.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
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[Tourism] TRANSPORTATION: AIRLINES: NAMED AIRLINES: UNITED AIRLINES : TRANSPORTATION: AIRLINES: OVERBOOKING : POLICE BRUTALITY : CRIME AND CRIMINALS: ASSAULT : CUSTOMER RELATIONS : PUBLIC RELATIONS : LEGAL ISSUES: Videos of a Man Being Dragged Off a United Plane Ignite a Public Relations Crisis

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