How does one bounce back from a PR nightmare? Well, if you’re United Airlines, you slash your prices!
According to Scott Keyes, who runs the website Scott’s Cheap Flights, there’s been a “noticeable drop” in prices since passenger David Dao was violently dragged from a flight earlier this month to make room for a staff member.
“I’m not privy to United’s internal numbers, but whatever drop in bookings they were seeing must have scared them enough to slash prices,” Keyes told Travel + Leisure. These “apology fares,” as he calls them, are as low as $274 for a trip to Trinidad and Tobago. And Cosmopolitan reports that flights from Boston to Sweden are currently going for $364, while a trip to Paris will only cost you $433.
Forcibly removing a passenger isn’t the only reason United has found itself in hot water lately. Last month, people were outraged to hear that a young girl had been turned away at the gate for wearing leggings, and on Wednesday, April 26, the world’s largest rabbit died while in the airline’s care.
Protesters at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
Although they can’t bring back the bunny, United is changing several of its policies as a result of the high profile incidents. According to the New York Times, the company will now offer bigger financial incentives for people who get bumped from overbooked flights. They will also "not require customers already seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk," as per a report the company released today.
In a full-page ad that ran in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, CEO Oscar Munoz apologized for the incident involving Dao. “We can never say we are sorry enough for the shameful way one of our customers was treated aboard United's flight 3411,” the text reads. “That day, corporate policies were placed ahead of shared values. And procedures got in the way of employees doing what they know is right.”
United took out a full-page ad in today's Washington Post pic.twitter.com/k05t8v9WsW
— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) April 27, 2017
In the meantime, we’ll be taking some time off to go to Europe.