It is no surprise the United Airlines is in the middle of a huge PR crisis. After a man was beaten and dragged off a plane, women were refused boarding for wearing leggings, a couple was removed from their flight, the list goes on and on. When one situation occurs, the next one quickly follows. The one thing after another pattern has left United in hot waters.
United has attempted to restore trust in the public but after more incidents it is definitely lacking. “How to make United Airlines Keep its promises”, an article published by USA Today discusses how United plans to improve their public image and rise out of this PR crisis. Christopher Elliot discusses United’s long history of PR disasters. “It’s all who you are, what you spend and your class of ticket. I don’t believe a word of what the airlines say that they’re going to do to fix their broken system” Elliot explains.
Perhaps the airlines feel that they don’t have to go above and beyond for passengers because people don’t really have a choice if they want to fly somewhere while paying a specific price. Elliot explains that it is difficult for companies like United to actually keep their promises because there is no legal issue with not following through with their word. Companies often use slogans like “the most trusted airline” because it gets people to open their eyes and pay attention. However, the advertisements will die down and the public will recognize that nothing has changed.
Ultimately, although the public expects a statement in the wake of a PR crisis, words mean nothing. A company must follow through to rise above whatever hot water they’ve been in.