“Re-allocating” a brand, one decision at a time

At every point in the recent United Airlines debacle, people were following policies. Policies that had no flexibility, treated people like cargo to be displaced and sent later, and made physically dragging a passenger off the plane seem like a reasonable response to him refusing to give up his seat.

And while we can just sit in the coliseum of public opinion on social media and enjoy the hashtag frenzy, it’s worth taking the time to get below the easy zingers and look at how the hell this happened in the first place. Because the wheels were in motion long before four crew members stepped up to the counter and asked for seats.

Let’s work backwards from the tone deaf media statement by the chief executive, which failed to take responsibility, made the airline the injured party and turned the term “re-allocate” into an instant social media meme.

Next rung down the ladder of bad decisions was airport security, who escalated the situation. Continuing down, there was the decision to call security rather than accepting the doctor’s reasons and trying to find another passenger to take the voucher deal. Then to the decision to try and accommodate the flight crew even though the flight was already fully seated. Read more

Michel Hogan – Smart Company – 18 Apr 2017