United Breaks My Brain A Bit, But At Least Its Trying A Little Harder To Say Sorry

CEO says airline will not use police to remove passengers in the wake of a video that showed a forcible removal of a Chicago passenger on Sunday

Probably a good idea, but here’s a better one. Count the number of seats in each plane, then sell the same number of tickets. It’s not rocket science, though maybe airplane science is more difficult somehow, I dunno.

United Airlines will no longer use law enforcement officers to remove overbooked passengers from aircraft in the wake of a video that showed a Chicago passenger dragged from one of its flights on Sunday.
“We’re not going to put a law enforcement official… to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger,” United Continental Holdings Inc Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz told ABC News on Wednesday morning. “We can’t do that.”
Munoz said the problem resulted from a “system failure” that prevented employees from using “common sense” in the situation and that Dr. David Dao, whom security officers dragged by his hands, on his back, from the cabin before takeoff, was not at fault.

It’s nice he’s finally apologizing, but one small thing.

“Munoz said the problem resulted from a “system failure” that prevented employees from using “common sense” in the situation…”

What does he mean by system failure? A computer system? I know that even the most sensible of people can get a little squirrelly when a computer gets involved, but with all these supposedly highly trained professionals on the case, how do we get from that to having the cops kick the shit out of a guy who knows not from your software package and just wants to go home?

Or maybe he meant system failure as in procedures put in place by the company he leads that don’t allow for enough flexibility to treat customers like dignified human beings, which is much, much worse. It’s also not a minor mistake. It’s the inevitable result of policies that are specifically designed to favour revenue and compliance over customer experience and morality.

Either way, it’s a shame that Oscar Munoz has no plans to resign. If he truly cares about the company, that’s his only choice. The company was awful long before he took the job in 2015, but this one’s on him. Truly good leadership starts from the top down, and there’s no possible way that anyone can ever have confidence in leadership again while he’s still on top.

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