'United Airlines should have accepted that their staff couldn't travel', says former pilot

'United Airlines should have accepted the fact that their staff couldn't travel', says former pilot

United Airlines removed a passenger from a flight (Stock image)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

United Airlines should have accepted the fact it couldn't allow staff to travel on an overbooked plane, according to a former pilot.

A video has been shared online of a man being violently removed from a United Airlines flight, as the airline wanted staff members to travel instead of the passenger, causing many to criticise the airline.

Former airline pilot Terry Tozer told Julia Hartley-Brewer that United Airlines should have "accepted the fact" their crew couldn't travel as soon as the plane was full. "Once everybody’s on the aircraft it’s tough, you’ve already lost the opportunity," he added.

He also said that it is possible the pilot had no idea this incident was going to take place, as the decision would have been down to the operations room.

Tozer believes staff may have acted in this way because "they were frightened of getting into trouble" or they were just doing what they were told, in which case that person should be held responsible.

Branding expert Rita Clifton also weighed in, describing the situation as a "perfect storm" because only a few weeks ago the airline was criticised for not allowing some passengers on a plane because they were wearing leggings.

She believes the situation will be "magnified and amplified," but the airline can recover if it "goes beyond what you minimally need to do" to please customers.

Listen to the full interview above