United: We fly friendly*

At a family gathering last night, I explained my job this way to a distant cousin: “I help our employees answer the question ‘Should we?’ after others have answered yes to the question ‘Can we?'”

I don’t know enough about the airline industry to explain why a passenger was dragged out of a United flight yesterday. But as an Ethics & Compliance Officer and a frequent flyer, I would love to read a statement from United addressing the following questions:

“Here is why we can and should

  • Overbook our flights, and then
  • Give seating priority to our employees over paying passengers, and then
  • Use the police to forcibly remove random passengers.”

If United follows a traditional PR model, we are likely to only get answers to the question “Can we?”

But if United wants to step into the new world of transparency, authenticity, vulnerability and trust, it will also answer the much more difficult question.


From United’s shared purpose statement

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