Once in a while even the CEO of an airline has a miserable flight experience.
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz shared of a recent flight diversion with CNBC. He did not disclose where his flight departed from, but shared that his Chicago-bound flight diverted to Grand Rapids, Michigan due to bad weather.
It was one of those days in Chicago where it was just difficult.
Munoz also shared he was sitting in the back of the plane. An incredulous CNBC host asked if he really flew economy class to which he responded:
It was a short flight!
He took the opportunity to communicate with the passengers around him, most of whom did not recognize him.
The more to the front of the cabin you are, the more people know you and recognize you. Toward the back there are a high percentage of people that don’t fly very often. We have to make sure people who don’t fly often are communicated to in a way that’s practical, reasonable and logical.
Overall, he hailed the delay as as net positive.
People shared food. They brought out bags of taffy. It was a wonderful event. You can make difficult issues easier.
You can watch the full interview below, covering a broad range of topics.
Munoz’s experience demonstrates that flight diversions occasionally happen for everyone. His glowing story about sharing and camaraderie is a perfect PR fluff story, but people are generally very understanding as long as the reasons for the delay or diversion are well communicated. And indeed, people often do band together when the going gets tough, even in a metal tube.
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