4 crisis communications lessons from United’s worst week ever

The airline has delivered a master class in mishandling a PR firestorm over a passenger it had ‘re-accommodated’ on a recent flight. What can communicators learn from this debacle?

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Which of the three statements issued by United CEO Oscar Munoz should we believe?

Monday he said: “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.”

Later Monday, in a statement to employees, he said, “While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.”

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He went on to say, about the man dragged off the flight, “Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.”

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