Rival Airlines Pounce On United's Bad Press
As United Airlines continues to grapple with a long-haul public relations disaster, rival airlines are pouncing on the opportunity to poke fun and promote themselves.
United has been roundly lambasted after a passenger was violently removed from a flight to make room for a crew member. The airline's initial response was widely seen as inadequate, and in recent days United has been trying to apologize.
Meanwhile, rival airlines have hastened to mock United and snag a little good PR for themselves — especially Middle Eastern airlines.
We are here to keep you #united Dragging is strictly prohibited 🚫 pic.twitter.com/CSjZD7fM4J— Royal Jordanian (@RoyalJordanian) April 10, 2017
We’re united in our goal to always accommodate our passengers, even with our app updates. pic.twitter.com/1K3q76qOp6— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) April 12, 2017
The major Middle Eastern airlines have a longstanding, bitter rivalry with U.S. carriers, which accuse them of having an unfair advantage in competition for international passengers. In fact, United CEO Oscar Munoz's comments about that issue — accusing the Middle Eastern competition of being "branding" for their home countries, instead of a real airline — appear in a new ad spot by Emirates.
Meanwhile, users on Twitter say some flight attendants for other U.S. airlines have been riffing on the controversy.
Attendant on my Southwest flight tells passengers: "We're going to need four passengers ... just kidding."— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) April 11, 2017
the steward on my @Delta flight messed up his speech and goes "at least we're not @united " 😂— mei (@ashunf_) April 13, 2017
But we should note that an official-looking "Southwest: We beat the competition. Not you" image was notproduced or endorsed by Southwest, the company said on Twitter.
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"Welcome to Southwest, where we beat our competitors...not our customers." - the announcer on this #Southwest flight is SAVAGE. pic.twitter.com/LIG9LiVfvG— Patrick Quinn (@PatrickQuinnTV) April 11, 2017