April 11, 2017 Last Updated 8:12 am

United Airlines has a man beaten up, reputation gets beaten up online; app update provides opportunity for flyers to vent

Morning Brief: Airline releases an update for its mobile app, providing iPhone and iPad owners perfect chance to weigh in on United’s PR disaster

The day belonged to United Airlines, in much the way the day belonged to Pepsi last week. Pepsi, however, is not likely to face anywhere near the blowback that United will – and if that might of happened, well, Pepsi can thank United to changing the subject.

I am sure you are aware of the incident, it was everywhere online, and only seemed to grow worse as the day went on as CEO Oscar Munoz responded, first with a tweet that said that he apologized “for having to re-accommodate these customers,” then with a memo that sought to defend the company’s actions.

“As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help,” Munoz wrote to employees.

“Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this.” That is precisely what has United customers so concerned.

Now, while many saw the response via Twitter and Facebook, there was another place where customers could show their disgust at United… the Apple App Store. It just so happened that yesterday United dropped an update for their mobile app, what a great opportunity for mobile device owners to tell the airline how they feel about it… and they are

Apple App Store:

Request a beating feature is awesome

This update allows you to request to be thrown off the plane with extreme force. This way, if United doesn’t randomly choose to toss you with brute force you can request it on your own. Be aware that you might have to pay for your own medical bills up front, but a good lawyer will get it back for you in the end. Suggest you wear a mouth piece and maybe a helmet if you plan on selecting this option.

Never over book again!

Passengers are horrified as security physically assault man after he refuses to leave a United Airlines flight that was overbooked. HOW DID YOU LET THIS HAPPEN? ugh…disgusting.

MarketWatch, Brett Arends:

What United should have done in response to that video of a man being violently pulled off a flight

Memo to Munoz: Are you kidding me?

Nobody cares if this was upsetting to the people at United. How about the upset to the paying customer — apparently a middle-aged doctor — who was dragged from your plane like this?

Nobody buys your insulting euphemism “re-accomodate.” You were throwing this guy off the plane, not for anything he did, but because you had deliberately sold more tickets than you had seats to make some extra bucks.

CNN, Brian Stelter:

United’s PR guy

Jim Olson has a reputation as a smart guy… a savvy guy with strong reporter relations… but I think it’s safe to say this was one of the worst days of his career. Maybe THE worst day. Why? Because of the brutal way this United passenger was treated yesterday. Videos from multiple angles went viral by mid-morning. Olson is the top P.R. person at United… a relatively new hire… he was one of Howard Schultz’s deputies at Starbucks before joining United last year.

Airline beat reporters say CEO Oscar Munoz is really United’s best spokesman. (He’s the one who received a PRWeek award last month.) Olson and the newly hired “chief storyteller” of the company, Dana Brooks Reinglass, have not impressed reporters in the first 12 hours of this P.R. crisis.

Ready for war? Syria, North Korea, does it really matter? Many in the press seem ready to go (as long as someone else actually goes) and the administration appears ready to go (as long as someone else actually goes).

Only the American public seems a bit hesitant. They’ve seen this movie before.

NY Daily News, Chris Sommerfeldt:

North Korea claims it’s ‘ready’ for ‘any mode of war’ as U.S. Navy ships approach Korean Peninsula

A North Korean official on Monday blasted the deployment of a battle-ready U.S. strike group to the waters off the Korean Peninsula — and pledged that the Communist dictatorship is “ready” for war…

…As the strike group approached North Korea late Monday, a spokesman for the isolated country’s foreign ministry called the U.S. decision “outrageous” and vowed that it could provoke “catastrophic consequences.”

“This goes to prove that the U.S. reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario,” the spokesman said in a statement, using an acronym for the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “If the U.S. dares opt for a military action, crying out for ‘preemptive attack’ and ‘removal of the headquarters,’ the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.”

The New York Times, editorial:

On Syria, an Administration in Disagreement With Itself

The American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, suggested Mr. Assad’s ouster would have to come before a political transition. “There’s not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime,” she said on CNN. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” she said there could be other priorities, like getting Iran out of Syria, which would put the United States in direct conflict with one of Mr. Assad’s main backers.

H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, tried to paper over the differences on Fox News, but while he put more emphases on defeating ISIS, he also said the administration might take further action against Mr. Assad including for the use of conventional weapons…

…Too often in recent years, presidents have taken military action without the authorization of Congress, which shares war-making responsibilities with the president. It is essential that Congress consider a new authorization for the use of military force in Syria both to demonstrate the need for legal justification for military action and to ensure a full vetting of Mr. Trump’s intentions there.

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