United Airlines is a living, breathing public relations trash fire.
The American company’s core business strategy seems to be centred around quite literally beating the crap out of their customers and making sure it’s always caught on camera.
Bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off.
The incident with Dr David Dao (where he was dragged kicking and screaming from the plane for refusing to give up the seat that he paid for) was a major hit to their tag-line, “come fly the friendly skies with United”.
But it seems like the ‘let’s physically abuse the people that give us money’ tactic might have been in place for a while – with footage from 2015 emerging, showing a United Airlines employee pushing a 71-year-old man to the floor.
KPRC in Houston has released the security camera footage from Bush Intercontinental Airport after the man who was shoved, Ronald Tigner, filed a lawsuit.
The grandfather is seen briefly talking to a United Airlines customer service representative, before being pushed to the ground where he remains motionless for some time.
No United employee checks on him for three minutes as he lay there unconscious.
“This is just one of the most inhumane things I’ve ever seen in my life,” attorney William Hoke said.
“He was (unconscious). He lies there lifeless for minutes. Not one employee comes to check on him.”
“They literally left him there like a piece of garbage.”
When a United Airlines employee finally called 911, they reported that he “fell down”.
The man who pushed Mr Tigner, Alejandro Anastasia, was charged with injuring an elderly individual, fined and forced to attend anger management classes.
“Anastasia was looking at Mr Tigner and started smiling and said, ‘Can’t you see we’re busy?’ and there’s no one in the vicinity of these two employees,” Hoke said.
“And he tells Anastasia to wipe that smile off his face. That’s when Anastasia says, ‘I’ll kick your (expletives)’ and shoves Tigner to the ground.”
With thousands of Australians heading over to the States this winter, one word of advice: bring headgear.