Has United Airlines Learned Anything?

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Friendly Skies?

After the recent incident with Dr. David Dao, United Airlines should be able to find solutions amicably. But this more recent situation makes me wonder. 
Anyone who has worked with the public will know that it’s no high school prom. People are mean and they are difficult. Not all of them, but there are people who are always trying to take advantage. That may be true of the honeymooning couple who changed seats — and United called the Sky Marshal to throw them off the airplane.
At the same time, it makes me wonder if United Airlines’ customer relation skills aren’t being challenged more now. Sure, people who don’t want to be beat up, will leave the airplane peacefully. BUT that Airline, which lost over $2 billion in stock value over the Dao problem is under a microscope now. I can’t help but think that the honeymooners could have been seated on a 1/2 full flight in the cheap seats that they booked. 
What constitutes “disruption”? If it hadn’t been for cell phone cameras, the Dao incident wouldn’t have ended the way that it did. I’m getting ready to book a flight to Europe, and first class seats are expensive. Do I really want to fly United? Maybe Lufthansa – they have a great reputation for customer service.

17 thoughts on “Has United Airlines Learned Anything?

  1. Lufthansa might be the better choice at that.
    Have a safe trip when you go.
    God bless.

  2. Living in Chicago, we are compelled to use United, no matter how much I hate them, and have hated them for decades. But the few times I have flown Lufthansa, it was dramatically different: they seem to care about their customers, while United only SAYS they care. When they clearly don't.

    And yes, dealing with the general public on a daily basis is no picnic. There are always a few bad apples that you can't please no matter what you do. Was Dr. Dao a bad apple? Probably. And those honeymooners? Maybe. The backlash against United has put a smile on my face, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving company.

    I'll still fly United, can't avoid them. I bought United stock a decade or two back, and they went bankrupt, and I lost every damn cent. Then they re-organized, re-issued new stock; go ahead and ask – Fredd, did they offer you any to make you whole?

    Ha. I hate those guys, always will. But that's our tough luck.

  3. Decades ago in a college business class I learned something that stayed with me and guided me as a manager over the years, something the textbook author called, "The Law of Industrial Effect".

    From a poor memory, "In any organization the workers will, over time, intuitively learn management's dominate desires and work to that goal. Matters not what management professes to be their goals.

    The example given was a bank teller being rude to a customer. The teller's management's highest goal/desire/need was for the teller's drawer to balance to the penny at the end of the day. The teller might be berated for being rude. The teller would be fired if the drawer didn't balance.

    Too often management doesn't even know what they want, haven't put in the necessary introspection, and are drones. United, anyone?

  4. Fool: yes, this law is a corollary of what is now called corporate culture. When everybody in the company wears T-shirts and jeans every day, nobody is over 30 and doing your own thing is cool, and they can tele-commute at will, it always amazes me that the suits in the executive suite are shocked that these guys spend most of their time on instagram, facebook and porno sites when on the clock. Shocked, SHOCKED….

    Duh, you dumb suits. Human nature hasn't changed much in a few thousand years: water seeks its own level, and slackers when given the opportunity will slack. Who knew?

    I have bashed United enough. They suck and everybody knows it. So does Bank of America, and every DMV office in the country. I am actually amazed that anyone is surprised by how crappy United treated that guy: they treat almost everybody else just as crappy, and knocking the guy's teeth out and giving him a concussion was just gravy for these drones at United.

  5. When you move to the Lone Star State, you'll be pushed into an American Airlines monopoly market…

  6. You do not want to fly United although, you could land a big settlement fee if you arrange a kick off. I came home with them from Chicago and I will never use them again. The plane had a TV the size of an iPhone, with no films on and was as tatty as a tarts knicker drawer. Pay for a recliner on a nice airline with pretty stewardesses serving free champagne. Thats more your bag 😉

  7. American Airlines has crapped on me plenty of times in the past, I'm sure they are ready for my patronage with open arms. They are all the same.

    Just like DMV offices, choose your favorite, much like choosing your favorite monster to face: zombies or aliens.

  8. I don't like either American or United. My preference is usually Delta in CONUS. I realize that Old NFO and I differ in this preference. United is my very last choice if choices of airlines are available. I realize in the Chicago market that United has a Monopoly.

    Though I have had a lot of bad experiences on Northwest…

  9. I spent $2000 dollars of somebody else's money to fly from LAX to DFW on American (first class) recently and there wasn't even a TV in the seat. Yes I had an I-Pad. The flight crew wasn't surely but the food was not good at all. You'd think that $2,000 would have got me a steak, a TV and a massage from a pretty stewardess.

  10. Got a million miles on Delta
    They treat me like a million bucks. The flight after I hit the mark, the stewardess left me a hand written note thanking me for using Delta.

    For a four year stint of FLL to DCA I flew Jet Blue non-stop sometimes less that $200 round trip they were worth twice that (but don't tell them I said so)

  11. Jet Blue is cheapening their seats…I don't know why because they were great – and still are a great value.

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