If you are active on Facebook or Twitter like me, I’m sure you have heard of the recent United Airlines ordeal! I woke up that day to numerous videos and news articles about that one unlucky United Airlines passenger who got dragged off an overbooked flight violently. Need a refresher? Here’s the video below.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
Obviously, that video went viral. I mean, who wants to be humiliated and dragged off the plane like a criminal? Especially when it is solely the airline’s responsibility to ensure all passengers who righteously bought a ticket actually has a seat on their flights?
Well, at this point, there really aren’t much United Airlines can do other than issuing official apologies and reflecting on their over booking issue for improvements. It will definitely not be easy for them to reestablish a positive reputation though.
Meanwhile however, it seems that other airlines are not afraid to add salt to United Airline’s wound, indirectly using this timely incident as a chance to advertise themselves.
One of them is Royal Jordanian. They tweeted on Twitter saying, “we are here to keep you #united, dragging is strictly prohibited”.
Qatar Airways also tweeted, “we’re united in our goal to always accommodate our passengers” and that they “[don’t] support drag and drop”, while promoting their mobile phone app.
The most notable one however, has to be Emirates Airline. They added a video on both Twitter and YouTube, quoting United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz and also their slogan. They mocked United Airlines by emphasising how they are awarded the best airline in the world, best economy class and best first class in 2017.
The best part? Quoting United Airlines’ slogan, “fly the friendly skies”, but adding “this time for real”.
Source: Emirates Airline
Of course, with big social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, it is much easier and cheaper for organisations to communicate with their potential customers as compared to the traditional newspaper, magazine or billboard adverts. While it may seem trendy and informal for such airlines to mock United Airlines, I think it is important for them to reflect on themselves before issuing such posts to avoid criticisms. Especially if that airline has previous bad records or issues like over booking or high delay rates, it is certainly not wise to mock others when they still have their own problems to face.
However, when done by an outstanding organisation like Emirates Airline who has been rated as the world’s best airline, I think it can be powerful and beneficial for them to remind potential customers of their great achievements, even in such a circumstance.
Do you agree with me? Do you think it is appropriate for organisations to mock others under similar situations like this United Airlines ordeal? Do you have a better or worse impression of Royal Jordanian, Qatar Airways or Emirates Airline after their posts? Share your opinion!