United Airlines set a new bar on callous behavior of a company in the treatment of their customers.
The Airlines Industry, especially in the developed countries, is a far cry from the glory day of old when all customers were treated like royalty and the Airlines and their staff went out of their way to make sure the customers came first, and had a pleasurable experience when flying.
Those days are a distant memory, obviously and for some practical reasons.
But in the West, especially in North America, the airlines are downright callous in their attitude to their customers. Now, to get a decent experience and shades of past pleasure in flying, one comes closest to that experience when traveling with an Asian airline where competitiveness and cultural values still make customers 'King' (at least in this writer’s experience).
In North America, airlines started to go broke decades ago and most of the iconic airlines disappeared.
To survive, airlines merged, consolidated, and morphed into bare bones service airlines, and they constantly cut costs. And in most cases, in cutting costs to the bone, customer service essentially fell by the way side, and at most times was never picked it up again, except for lip service.
In this incident, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Oscar Muñoz set a new low bar in a senior most officers’ response to what was essentially the most inexcusable behavior of a company towards its paying customer.
The customer had fulfilled all his contracts: paid his fare; arrived in time; was properly attired; and was well behaved; but in spite of all that he was grievously abused because the company put its needs, and the needs of the company’s staff, ahead of the customers.
That is wrong on so any levels, where good business practices are concerned, that books can be written on the actions of United Airlines and its staff – ‘How To Do It All Wrong’.
To compound their problems with the public outrage that followed, United’s CEO tried to blame the faultless customer, falsely, rather than take responsibility for his staff’s appalling behavior.
The thick-headedness and insensitivity of the staff and their CEO at United Airlines, speaks of a company culture that is truly scary in its ignorance and callousness. United Airlines and its CEO need to pay a commercial price for such inexcusable practices, as do other airlines that treat customers so shoddily. And a customer that has paid the fare and lived up to their side of the bargain should not be bumped, because that is breaking a legal contract between an airline and its customer – you pay and we fly you.