We have some good news and some bad news for United Airlines.
First, the good: the company has gone multiple days without beating up any paying customers.
But now the bad: the company made news once again over the weekend for alleged mistreatment of two passengers.
In this instance, an engaged couple was on board a United Airlines flight, heading from Houston to Costa Rica for their wedding.
Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell tell KHOU that they were the last ones to board their plane and that they came across a sleeping man, draped across their assigned seats, upon arrival.
In response, Michael and Amber moved a few rows up in the economy cabin and asked if they could pay on the spot for seats in the Economy Plus section.
They were denied by flight attendants, who told the couple to return to their original seats.
“We thought not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump up into a first-class seat,” Hohl explained to KHOU, adding:
“We were simply in an economy row a few rows above our economy seat.”
This is where details become murky, however.
The engaged twosome allege that a federal marshal escorted them from the plane due to their refusal to seat in the seats to which they were assigned.
But United says this simply isn’t true, releasing a statement that details how Michael and Amber “repeatedly attempted to sit in upgraded seating which they did not purchase and they would not follow crew instructions to return to their assigned seats.
“They were asked to leave the plane by our staff and complied.”
This statement from a United Airlines spokeswoman says the company offered the couple a discounted hotel rate for the night, and rebooked them on a Sunday morning flight.
So there seems to be some disagreement here in regard to what transpired.
But the PR disaster is obviously not on the level of what happened between United and a doctor named David Dao.
As has been well documented by now, Dao was one of four passengers on a flight from Chicago to Louisville last week who was chosen at random to give up his seat because United had overbooked his flight.
When Dao refused to do so, he was dragged away against his will and the following video has turned United into an ongoing punchline:
After the incident triggered international outrage, United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized to Dao, his family and its customers, saying the carrier would no longer use law enforcement officers to remove passengers from overbooked flights.
(What a novel concept, huh?)
“I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard,” Munoz said in a public Mea Culpa, days after his initial apologies were considered tone deaf and insensitive.
“No one should ever be mistreated this way.”
Dao is almost assuredly set to file a lawsuit against United Airlines.
We expect the company to settle for a hefty sum and for the carrier to eventually be renamed Dao Airlines.
Just kidding. But only a little bit.
This doctor is about to absolutely own that place.