United Airlines has been in the hot waters for the past two days after they kicked out paying passenger so that deadheading crew could get to their destination.
Now, the United CEO Munoz came up with yet another apology:
The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.
I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.
It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.
I promise you we will do better.
United should use this as an opportunity to turn things around 180 degrees like what Continental did back in the 1990’s when their goal was “From Worst To First” under Mr. Bethune.
There is not much they can do immediately, but the airline should launch customer friendly policies when it comes to oversells and waivers. Too often the employees are also constrained what they can do: “this is what the computer tells” when using dumbed-down systems in place today.
Treat your employees with respect, give them the tools to required to get the work done and empower them to do what is right for the consumer. Eventually, the shareholders will be happy too.
The problem often is that many companies are just trying to hit their quarterly figures without paying enough attention to the long term. Surely, you can boost the profits in the short terms by jeopardizing the long terms success. The remuneration of the CEO and other managers should be tied to the long term. Usually failures are rewarded with huge bonuses and then with golden parachutes.