United Airlines: How the Twitteratti reacted?

Posted on : 05/18/2017
United Airlines has found itself in a bit of a pickle since it committed one of the biggest PR disasters in the recent history. It all started on April 9, 2017. All the passengers of United Airlines Flight 3411 had boarded the flight and the flight was ready to take off. Just then, the crew made an announcement that the flight was overbooked and that they needed to de-board 4 passengers in order to accommodate 4 staff members.
The passengers were initially offered vouchers of $400. When no one volunteered to give up their seat, they were offered as much as $800. With still no volunteers, the flight management decided to pick four random passengers. One of them was the 69-year old physician, David Dao. The doctor was in no mood to leave the seat as he had paid a fair price for it. Also, he had important patient appointments to keep the next day, which he understandably did not wish to miss. But, United Airlines overlooked all the rules of hospitality, or basic humanity for that matter. They went ahead and called the airport law enforcement officers to get the doctor off the plane. In the process, the old man suffered a concussion and a broken nose. 
The incident was recorded in its entirety by multiple passengers on-board. When the news hit the social media, in all its video glory…err…gory, it instantly went viral. People left no stone unturned to make United Airlines realize what a big mess they were in. Twitteratti, like always, had the most funny and interesting things to say about the incident. Here are some of the gems.
From The Everyday Passenger
Understandably, there was a public outcry about the incident and here is how everyday passengers vocalized their concerns.
  • Can't wait for the headline next week “United Airlines Flight Attendant Ordered To Murder A Child Because She Asked To See The Cockpit”
  • Air travel is one of the more expensive ways to be treated like a prisoner.
  • People who are afraid of flying are generally more scared of the plane than the staff, but United is changing all that.
  • You're blowing this one, @united. Take 2 Tylenol and then call the Tylenol people to ask how to handle a PR disaster.
  • You seem a LITTLE confused on the concept of "volunteer"


Some took the funny take on the issue:

  • @united can you send your people to get me out of bed?
  • United Airlines is pleased to announce new seating on all domestic flights – in addition to United First and Economy Plus we introduce.... [Fight Club]
  • In your defense you only said the SKIES are friendly, not the ground
  • If we cannot beat our competitors, we beat our customers
  • You can run, but you can’t fly
  • "We have Red Eye and Black Eye flights available!"
  • We have an offer you can't refuse. No really.
  • This response by .@united CEO sounds like a teenager response to an insult. "I'm gonna re-accommodate your face with my fist"
  • The #United incident could have been easily diffused if someone had offered the guy a Pepsi.


Celebrities Also Joined the Party

  • Getting on a United flight this morning. Excited to, I don't know... stay on? - Joss Whedon
  • Jet Blue's new slogan - extra leg room and we won't physically drag you down the aisle screaming in pain. - Billy Eichner
  • cannot wait to use “i will re-accommodate your ass” in my next fight - Christine Teigen
  • Having flown #united last week, I feel very blessed to not be tweeting this message from a hospital bed. – Josh Gad
  • *walks into dinner party, bloodied and bruised.*”Whoa, what happened to you?” “United overbooked again.” – Shannon Woodward
  • If Southwest Airlines doesn't jump on this United fiasco with a 'wanna getaway' spot, then what are we doing?- Michelle Beadle
  • Me: “I’m pretty sure that @united can't get any worse.”@united: “Hold my tiny airplane bottle of booze.”- Wil Wheaton
  • United. Fly the Friendly Skies. Friendly...like this boot on your throat. - Jeffrey Wright
  • Thought I was at a UFC fight last night but I was just flyin' United. – George Wallace


And Why Would the Competitors Stay Behind?
  • Royal Jordanian quipped, “We are here to keep you #united Dragging is strictly prohibited”
  • Emirates tweeted, “Fly the friendly skies with a real airline.”
  • Southwest Airlines posted a hilarious response to the fiasco, stating, “We beat our competitors. Not you.”
  • Air Canada also did not leave this chance to roast United by posting a cheeky tweet, “We might lose your baggage, but we won’t kick the shit out of you.”


And Here Our Absolute Favorites
  • PEPSI: We made the biggest PR blunder of any major company this year.

UNITED: Hold my beer.


  • United: We’re having a bad week. 

Sean Spicer: Hold my Pepsi.

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