United CEO Oscar Munoz vowed to be a passenger on the first Boeing 737 MAX flight, when the airliner is cleared to fly again. Would you join him?
Speaking to investors this week, Munoz used a bit of reverse psychology:
Just because somebody says it’s safe, you as the flying public aren’t just going to get on the aircraft.
By inviting skepticism, he gains credibility to later argue the 737 MAX is safe to fly. And of course skepticism is warranted: even if the issue is more a PR problem than structural problem (that debate is ongoing), Boeing and the FAA are operating out of a trust deficit at the moment. Boeing appears to have cut corners while the FAA “outsourced” some inspections directly back to Boeing. People should not be faulted for being skeptical.
United’s plan to resume flying the 737 MAX includes:
- Educating both employees and customers why United feels safe putting the 737 MAX back in the sky
- Making it clear and transparent to customers that they are on the 737 MAX so there are no surprises
- Accommodating travelers who still feel too nervous to fly on the 737 MAX
On that last point, Munoz said:
If people need any kind of adjustments, we will absolutely rebook them.
This is an important gesture in instilling confidence as well. By proactively offering flexibility, I expect customers are less likely to exercise it.
I would also be happy to fly on the first 737 MAX flight once it is cleared to fly again and Munoz’s willingness to be on it gives me even more confidence.
Will you board another 737 MAX flight once the aircraft start flying again?