Bob\’s flight on United

Customer relations email from Bob Myers (rtm at gol dot com):

Date traveled: July 5, 2003
Flight number: 890 From Narita to Los Angeles

I have two comments about this flight.

1. […]

2. I was sleeping blissfully, as it were, when suddenly I was rudely awoken by a large, soft object whapping my side (even though I was not hanging out into the aisle, particularly). Imagine my surprise when I looked up and found the object in question was the rear end of one of your flight attendants—a very large rear end, large enough to literally reach out and thwack me as she maneuvered her bulk down the aisle (you see, she really didn’t fit if she went down the aisle straight, so she was walking sideways).

My question is: I know you employ many shapes and types, and I applaud you for it. But even beyond the question of your flight attendants hitting people with overgrown body parts, I would question this particular woman’s ability to react quickly in an emergency. What are your rules on this topic?

3. Oh, and finally, as a UA stockholder (I really am), congratulations on the visible progress you are making in cutting food costs in economy. It makes it easier for me to make the right decision anyway, which is just to skip the meals.

United’s response

Here’s an excerpt from what I got back from United two weeks later:

Thank you also for your comments regarding our flight attendants. I apologize for the situation that you report occurred to you. However, we maintain a strong corporate commitment to a simple value to recognize, respect, and support our customers and our employees. Let me quote from our Equal Opportunity Policy:

United Airlines is committed to equality of opportunity. Decisions concerning employment, placement, compensation, advancement, training, and other related conditions of employment are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, veteran status, or sexual orientation except when a bona fide occupational qualification exists. In the selection and placement of persons in jobs within the company, we seek to select the person best qualified for each job vacancy.

Please be assured that safety is our primary concern, and the fair and equal treatment of our employees and customers is our guiding principle.

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