Posts Tagged ‘re-accommodation’



April 11, 2017

By now almost everyone has seen the video. United Continental Chief Executive Oscar Munoz apologized for having to “re-accommodation” a passenger. As a former airline marketing executive, are you kidding me! United’s response is almost a textbook example of what NOT TO DO! This is a classic case of how to take a PR problem and make it a PR disaster.

BLAME THE CUSTOMER – Gee, it wasn’t our fault that the passenger refused denied boarding compensation and would not leave the plane. He was a “disruptive and belligerent” passenger and he had to be dragged from his seat to protect others.

TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY – United said that its employees weren’t directly involved in the incident. We didn’t do anything wrong. We simply asked airport security to remove the passenger after he refused to disembark to make space for a “deadhead” crew flying to another assignment. Mr. Munoz said he “stands behind” the actions of United employees, CNBC reports. I believe that Munoz is the deadhead.

DOWN PLAY THE IMPORTANCE. Sure, the incident will just go away. I mean United only forcibly removed a customer that had paid for a seat. In an age of smartphone video cameras, it would be a good idea for airlines to avoid re-accommodation of a passenger by dragging their customers from the plane.

If you want to read more from other PR professionals on what should have been done, this is a good story:

YOUR GOAL THIS WEEK? Review with your employees on how to handle a customer that does not want to follow the rules. Oh, and cancel your United Airlines reservations.