The case of United Airlines with Dr. David Dao became infamous due to the video evidence of the elderly man being dragged out forcibly. This proved to be a PR disaster but it amplified following United’s CEOs blatant attempt at shifting the blame entirely to the customer. Later the CEO Oscar Munoz did communicate regret but the damage was done by then. Airlines are known for taking overselling of tickets to reduce risk of flying below capacity, with the assumption that some passengers would not turn up, but when this calculated risk doesn’t work off, it leads to disastrous results. Something similar happened to the writer during her recent flight from Holland to the UK. Thus some observations have come out on such PR disasters. First of all, during times of crisis, any organization having a disconnected CEO can led to such disasters. Corporate training programmes must take into account such scenarios to test policies or procedures to be adopted at such times. The staff need to be given that kind of training along with the pertinent information. Most importantly, any company must practice what is preached, so if any airliner has asked for volunteers to give up seats, it mustn’t force on the issue to anyone unwilling.


Uploaded Date: 22nd May 2017

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