What governments would do well to learn from United Airlines

April 12, 2017

You literally have to be living in a cave not to know the latest fire storm concerning an Asian senior citizen who had his face rearranged during a US domestic flight on United Airways just because he didn’t want to give up his seat.

United Airways is now struggling to contain PR fallout. From what I have been able to make out the CEO seems to have gone into hiding in his cupboard.

Meanwhile the PR mushroom cloud gets bigger by the minute.

Yesterday, the top trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. was #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos, with users suggesting slogans such as “not enough seating, prepare for a beating.

United Continental (UAL) shares, which weathered the storm on Monday, dropped by about 4% on Tuesday wipping out nearly a billion dollars.

Meanwhile, the video of the old man being dragged out of the plane like an animal has gone viral in China and is attracting millions of fuming viewers. China just happens to be key growth market for United. Matilah.

I wonder might there have been a wiser way to handle this incident. Why not just give in a bit and show some compassion to take off the edge from the mounting public ire….seems incomprehensible to me people who are supposed to be so thoughtful and smart can actually come across as childish and even silly.

This simply will not fly.


‘Why did United Airways stop at $800? Now if you stop there and don’t go further to the authorised $1,350…then in my book, you have not exhausted all the options that would have allowed you to solve this matter amicably. Would the Vietnamese doctor have deplaned voluntarily had the incentive being structured beyond the $800 mark. You may say probably not…And again I say, we will never know as United didn’t explore that possibility for some inexplicable reason.

My point is contrary to what’s being reported, there was still plenty of room for improvisation to sweeten the deal further somewhere between the $800 to $1350 mark. To put it another way, United Airways did not see the need to exhaust all the options for soft power before considering the hard options.

They went for it mechanically. And the results were catastrophic. Now it’s like the Amos Yee thing – who actually wins? Think very carefully….what do sane and reasonable see? I am not asking you what psychopaths who can’t seem to let go of power see…I know what those crooks can only see. I am asking you for the moderate view….the perspective from the sweet point where people are gainful functional, reasonable and even fair. Well all they see is a kid being ostracised because he took a jibe at someone’s daddy who just happens to be some god like figure.

You want to put me in jail for saying that…..one more time now.

Here we go again…what do they see.

‘Well all they see is a kid being ostracised because he took a jibe at someone’s daddy who just happens to be some god like figure.’

You want to say Amos broke the law and there is a rule of law that applies without fear and favor….then again I will ask, what do they see? And again…

Well all they see is a kid being ostracised because he took a jibe at someone’s daddy who just happens to be some god like figure.

We could go on doing this all day….but I think you get my point and it’s simply this…there will always be ONLY a few key things that come thru from any story along with the imposition of social norms and conventions….of course one can certainly try to alter the final outcome with round after round of justifications….but at the end of the day. These key things will determine the overall retelling of that story.

Why that should be or whether it’s even logical is not really important. What’s important is ONLY those key things will stand out and if those are the constant it’s just incredibly stupid to say, we will do it our way and fuck the rest of whole wide world if they don’t understand us….think about it.

Is that reinforcing failure?

Come on man! Who after all gives two shits on a lazy Sunday about your navel gazing conception of the world? They don’t or more precisely they don’t have too because they’re really so many options out there and I think that’s why the application of soft or smart power is so jugular in our age. As a story that reads of a coldheartedness mindset that is so utterly devoid of compassion that is fixated solely on the profit motive and very little simply cannot fly these days….it’s like a fat elephant strapped with two jet engines….it just reads stupid.’

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