United Airlines has temporarily suspended transport of animals following the death of a dog last week. They announced this on March 20 in order to evaluate and improve their pet transporting procedures.
On March 12, 2018, a dog was forced into an overhead compartment on the airplane by a flight attendant who claimed the dogs’ carrier was blocking the aisle. After the owner pleaded with the attendant to not put her dog in the overhead compartment, the flight attendant proceeded anyway. When the plane landed, three hours later, the dog was dead.
United Airlines has been under fire for the past couple of years for their actions. Flashback to April of 2017 when a man was violently dragged off of a plane after the company overbooked a flight. Not to mention that United also has the highest number of animal deaths on their flights compared to other airlines, according to CNN.
Although United did release a statement, apologizing and taking responsibility, following the incident, the public's trust in them has been deteriorating since the April 2017 incident. Many people took to Facebook and Twitter to express their anger about United Airlines. Some people vowed to never fly with United again, while others came forward about other incidents with United that had yet to be resolved. (Just visit United Airlines Facebook page and scroll through the comments to see these comments, they’re everywhere!)
I believe that United did what they could with the situation at hand. However, United has some serious work to do in improving their service and crisis action plans. With these two significant issues happening within a year of a each other, is there any way people will be able to, or want, to trust United again? The public is generally pretty forgiving, but two mishaps in one year? Come on, United.
Do you think United’s response was appropriate? Is is just a coincidence that United keeps running into these issues? Read more about crisis management here.