Here's how United can fix this shitshow
The skies haven't been so friendly for United Airlines after videos showing a passenger getting the soul beaten out of him by airport security officials surfaced on Monday. The passenger, David Dao, had been randomly selected to be removed from the flight due to overbooking, but when he told aviation officers he couldn't give up his seat because he was a doctor and had to work in the morning, they responded by slamming his head into an armrest and dragging his limp body down the aisle of the in order to make room for an airline employee who "needed a ride."
We're sure you've seen the videos, many of which picture Dao with blood dripping from his face, saying “I have to go home.”
People could barely contain their anger over the incident, and that anger wasn't just limited to our little corner of the planet. According to Business Insider, Dao's beat-down was the number one trending topic Tuesday on Weibo, China's Twitter, attracting more than 100 million views.
To stoke the fire, a flaccid open letter to United's employees CEO Oscar Munoz seemed to place the blame on the victim of the assault, calling him "disruptive" and "belligerent," and questioning why he "defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did" — which, by the way, was by being beaten and dragged down the aisle — despite the multitude of passenger videos clearly showing otherwise. Munoz also expressed bonerific praise for the security officers who spilled blood, commending them for going "above and beyond." He's not wrong there — senselessly assaulting a customer who paid for a seat on that flight for a mistake the airline made is really going above and beyond that job description.
Justice hasn't been served yet for Dao, but karma has already been sinking her scaly talons into United.
On Tuesday, shares in United Airlines slipped by over 2 percent as parent company United Continental Holdings (UAL) dealt with the outrage caused by the video. At the time, that accounted for a little over a billion dollars lost. Since that initial drop, stocks have recovered a bit, but United's market value is still taking a hit.
Of course, yanking stocks out of United or boycotting their dumb asses isn't necessarily the best way to retaliate against the country's shittiest airline that isn't Spirit. Currently, United employs about 82,000 people, and with market loses from incidents like this one, it's possible they'd have to trim the fat in order to stay afloat, ejecting good people out of their jobs just like they ejected an innocent customer out of the seat he paid for. A much better solution would be to fire the security officers who did this (one has already been placed on leave), publicly apologize for being horrific hose beasts, and readdress their policies for removing passengers from overbooked flights.
Also, give Dao like $3 billion dollars and a farm full of puppies, please.
This is all extra sad/hilarious considering that United has desperately been trying to revamp its image after ranking near the bottom of airline customer satisfaction indexes for several years. It's been updating its fleet, threatening free snacks, premium coffee, better Wi-Fi and upgraded airport lounges for its customers, and gussying up its first class cabins for passengers who pay enough money to not be beaten up. However, incidents like this one, and another that occurred last month when two teens were ejected from a flight for wearing leggings, don't exactly scream "Our high prices and satanic customer service is super worth the spilled blood!"
Yeah! Best of luck with that.