United CEO’s Email To Employees About The “Offloading” Incident (Standing By Them)

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Yesterday (read more here), United Airlines was facing another PR fiasco when they weren’t willing to offer high enough compensation for passengers on a flight to St. Louisville to get high enough number to give their seats (to accommodate crew members traveling on positive space).


Now, the email that the CEO Munoz has sent to employees has gone public as well and the tone of the email could have been better.

Here’s the email that was sent out:




United Airlines has never been known for taking good care of passengers (any US airline?), but when I flew them as a 1K back in the 2000’s the airline was always able to get me to my final destination (often with the help of American Airlines or Delta).

The current United is basically the old Continental that has never willingly moved passengers to other airlines in case of irregular operations and has always been stingy when it comes to any form of compensation.

The airline should have not only offered vouchers but cash as well to get one more passenger willingly to take another flight and perhaps thrown in even a cab or uBer ride for this relatively short flight. Cannot fathom that there wouldn’t have been any takers if the offer had been raised high enough.

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  • colin

    UA have both highly skilled highly paid PR and Legal teams. What the heck was O. M. thinking sending this note to all staff.

    Anyone with half a brain would know it would be a)leaked immediately to press b)the letters tone reflects badly on UA,…. basically saying …well done guys, a screwy passenger, not our fault or problem

    Just shows O M is not a fit and properperson to run UA., or any other public service company. Even a junior fresh out of school would have known better than put those inane thoughts in writing

    • Karl Karlson

      second that!

    • Nana

      That’s because he thinks everyone else are stupid and he is SMART! He should pack up and leave his seat for someone else with a full brain, don’t you agree?

  • McCaron

    2-3 huge incidents within the same month with UA…
    looks like they don’t care anymore about their reputation ?

  • Alan

    UA is not willing to oversell their own flighs to accommodate because it will cost them more money. There are at least 3 flights on UA before the 3pm flight next day. the 3pm is probably the next flight with Y>0. UA is cheap, that is the problem. There are taxi, there is AA. and they can offer cash.

  • Jimbo

    4,5 hours of driving vs. 1h15m flight time, all the extra hassle in the airport, possible returning a rental car, taking a shuttle to airport sums up to 2-2,5 hours. I’m sure I would choose to drive anyway. More comfortable and cheaper most probably. Flying is the most painful way of transportation by far to anyone over 6ft and nowadays frustrating as well if you can’t go first class.

    • Tiger

      You gotta be kidding me

  • Emmanuel Kalispera

    This guy is a piece of joke! He’s defending what some stupid people did yesterday! I can’t believe it!

  • simplyfantabulous

    Given what this has done to United’s stock, shareholders would have been better off if they’d offered the guy $100 million in compensation to give up the seat.

  • Malcolm

    Some of the most telling critics are from China where United is trying to increase it’s business. Hard to figure out who are the most thuggish, the airline or the cops. Can you imagine the outcry if the passenger had been a female?

  • Lia

    I believe the passenger more than the staff as they are covering their abuse to a passenger. I have seen something similar and the staff on the flights start with, calm down, don’t need to be upset or angry. They do this to make the passenger look like it is their fault and they are trying to calm to that person. why do all airline stick up for their staff and not their customers who give them business.

  • Michael O’Sullivan

    Successful corporations show leadership from the top down. Overpaid at $ 6.7 million per year, until he took his current position, Oscar Munoz had never run an airline. And it shows. He has opened up United Airlines to tremendous liability including civil rights violations, appalling customer service, told his employees to continue treating passengers like this and affected their stock value. Did I miss anything? Time to get him off the plane, give him back his striped engineer’s cap and let him go back to playing with his choo choo trains.

  • Keen Poon

    Why was this particular passenger singled out to deplane?

    • Stephan Dupre

      i’d like to know this too…

  • bwitravelerman

    Flight was NOT overbooked, rather UA wanted to reposition four crew and choose to remove paid, boarded passenger who refused to deplane. Still do not understand how US thinks paid boarded passengers are a problem. US decided to go for violence rather than: (1) increase compensation to say $1,500 or $2,000, (2) find alternative travel arrangements for 1 crew member (another airline, a corporate jet, a later flight to final destination or near by city and taxi that person to location.)

    • Joe Zeiss

      Does not matter if the flight was overbooked or not- this was a paying customer on your airline! United> if you need to get a flight crew to a destination to operate a flight- that is YOUR problem, not a paying customers problem. Just a word of advice to airlines in general> If you screw up (overbook) a flight- dont give me a voucher as compensation to fly your ill run airline. Give me cash and let me make a choice who I will fly with. Who taught these people customer service skills anyway?? They should be slapped and sent home for failing the class !!

      • Nana

        I totally agreed with you. Compensation in cash is the most appropriate way to treat a customer who then can decide whichever way they want to get to their destination. The passenger traveled with his wife who had already accommodated UA at that point by getting off the airplane leaving her husband to go home by himself in order to fulfill his commitment back home. Why can UA see this and leave the man alone and find other alternatives to their own induced problem – over-booked.

  • Akos Lipcsey

    I don’t know if I have ever flown with United before, but damn well guaranteed I am never going to fly them for the rest of my life. If ppl followed, these guys would realize this is no way to be in this business.

  • Kingnukem

    United was right. Read up on who this guy really is – a mental case. United cannot offer unlimited money, makes no sense, and $1000 was far more than reasonable. Random selection is fair when $1000 is not enough, and there is always the next plane. Frankly, I appreciate what United did, and United is now my airline of choice.

    • LC

      Obviously wasn’t enough from a market standpoint since 0 passengers took the offer that Sunday night. And it wasn’t $1000. It was a hotel and an $800 voucher. Might have been different if they said $1,000 cash and hotel. I hope that you get the experience of being 1 full day late going to a vacation or back to work for the $800 voucher and hotel as a UA passenger in the future. That way, other people (like the rest of the airplane) will be less inconvenienced.

    • United offered $1,000 in vouchers not in Ca$h. I am sure that there would have been taker if they would have just raised the offer and in cash. The DOT max for IDB is $1,350. Why didn’t they offer that?

    • Joseph Merrick

      It makes absolutely no difference “who this guy really is”.

  • McCaron

    hey, so far, any update regarding this passenger ? is he suing the company ?

  • greg

    I have flown several million miles over the last 20 years. I’ve had the usual bad service periodically – lost bags, mixed up seat assignments and so on, but United always seems to be the worst. Plus on my last United flight (several years ago since I refuse to fly them) I had a lady assault me with her seat while the flight attendant watched. The lady repeatedly slammed her seat against my knees because “it was her right to recline” regardless of the fact that I’m 6’4″ and there was no room. Complaints to the attendant and airline were ignored.