Another day, another PR disaster for “United Airlines”.
The third largest carrier in America shut online forcibly dragging passenger, 69-year-old Asian man, believed to be a doctor – off the flight was overbooked.
It only happens a few weeks after the company, whose slogan is “fly to heaven”, was ridiculed for refusing to allow two teenage girls are on Board because they were wearing leggings.
Chief Executive Oscar muñoz has added fuel to the fire with his response, which does not mention the use of force. “This is an unpleasant event for all of us here in the United. I apologize for re-posting such to customers,” he said in a statement.
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But Mr. muñoz also sent an e-mail to employees calling the passenger who was depicted with a bloody face, “irritable and aggressive”.
Twitter responded quickly.
The organization, which totaled $2.3 billion last year (£1.85 billion) in net profits that are not alone in the club PR disasters.
The airline Delta has canceled thousands of flights Wednesday due to severe weather. This is not the first time.
Chief Executive of Delta, ed Bastian was forced to apologise after thousands of flights were delayed and canceled due to computer error and the failure of the authorities in August last year.
In February, Sikh American actor Waris Ahluwalia was removed from landing on flight the flight because he refused to remove his turban during a security check. The airline later apologized.
And southwest airlines flew in a PR storm in 2010 after American Director Kevin Smith kicked off flight after said he was too big to fly. He ended his boycott of the airline six years later.
As organizations have handled the situation better?
John Bailey, a specialist in crisis communications and has handled public relations for many of the biggest players in the aviation industry, including Malaysian airlines after the disappearance of flight mh370.
“Any airline that allows its employees the right to take such cruel action against the client can lead to trouble,” he says.
“Every passenger on the plane was a potential citizen journalist. What is surprising is the fact that organizations are responding so poorly for absolutely predictable reputational risks.
“However, enterprises tend to try to adapt to the new environment of telecommunications. Studies show that it takes on average 21 hours for making important external communications in a crisis situation, leaving them open for trial via Twitter'”.
Wes Finley, an American marketer who works at Facebook, said the United video went viral so quickly because “everyone could relate to the frustration doctor felt involuntarily booted”.
“Last week, widespread Delta’s cancellation policy has also left many people with a hostile attitude to air travel,” he adds.
Joseph Barrett, chief Executive of mutants of communications, said that the incident was handled “incredibly bad on almost all levels.”
“From the cruelty of man removal, General Director of the answer that contradicts itself and was in fact not an apology – it really is difficult to know what United airlines’ communication strategy is hoping to achieve, or they have one at all.
“It is also a reminder for brands that issuing a timely statement that admits mistakes and shows contrition, consistent and internally and externally is important.
“Assuming that internal letter to employees in a company as large as “United Airlines” will remain a secret was a big mistake. Their casual disregard for their customers, it seems to underscore opportunity for other brands to enter the market”.
Ironically, the main Executive Director of “United” Oscar Munoz was named PR Communicator of the year edition last month.
PR week called it “smart, dedicated and excellent leader who understands the importance of communication.”
The prize was made before the overbooking and incidents leggings. One would assume that he is unlikely to win more such awards in the near future.
The US government is also exploring this issue with the Department of transportation says it “remains committed to the protection of the rights of consumers”.
But all the online outrage over the behavior and response of the organization, which led to the hashtag #boycottUnited actually damaging the bottom line of the airline?
Well, his reputation has undoubtedly dealt a severe blow. The story went viral around the world, including on Chinese social media site weibo.
But experts say it’s difficult to Express in monetary terms, the reputational damage. Look at Samsung, for example. The tech giant reported stellar earnings Outlook, despite allegations of corruption and confusion of exploding phones.
Aviation analysts also think the demand for flights is likely to be affected by the incident.
The markets seem to be less sure, though. The organization of the continental shares initially fell on Tuesday 4%, before slightly recovering to finish 1%.
Le-follow on Twitter @BBCLeishaChi.