Your United Airlines Wake-Up Call

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What a week it’s been for United Airlines.

What an incredible story.

What happened to United Airlines, you need to know about it, you need to think about it, because there is a lesson for all of us out of this and I guarantee that what United Airlines did wrong, you and me, we’re doing wrong as well.

In case you didn’t hear about the United Airlines story, it’s quite amazing.

Just Google or go on Twitter and you will see some of the most of amazing videos to come out.

Basically what happened was, there was a flight going from Chicago to Louisville and typical, it was overbooked, pretty standard. But how they resolved the situation in the end was quite shocking.

In the end, they couldn’t get passengers to volunteer their seats and they were short one. They needed one passenger to leave the plane, so they picked a passenger at random.

The passenger didn’t want to leave, so United basically hauled him out, dragged him by the arms along the aisle and in front of probably about 20 or 30 people with their smart phones videoing this.

And what you see in the video is this guy being dragged along with blood coming down his nose and on his mouth.

Not good, not good at all.

And then, United Airlines didn’t handle the resulting social media storm very well. Initially, the CEO sent an email internally that said that “the passenger was belligerent”.

Come on.

Why Did The United Airlines Story Go Viral?

What’s interesting is not about United Airlines and the predicament.

It’s why did a story about something that happens quite often, why did that suddenly get emotive?

Why did that go viral around the internet?

And that’s really what I want to talk to you about, because what happened with United can happen to you too.

Let me take you through this….

So let’s look upon it from United’s point of view, okay?

So, they overbooked their plane, okay, EVERY plane is overbooked.

That’s right, every plane is overbooked, typically by 3/4/5 percent, so that’s not a big deal.

And they are allowed do it as well as part of the regulations.

And they’re allowed to say, “Okay, even if you booked your flight, we’re full. You’ll have to wait for the next one and we’ll try and look after you.”

So they’re allowed to do that, right, fair enough?

The second thing is they removed a person from the plane.

If you’ve ever read the 49 pages of terms and conditions that accompany your ticket when you fly United, you are agreeing that on the airline, the captain is the legal authority. In fact when you fly any airline, you are agreeing to this. Go and read the terms and conditions the next time you fly.

So the captain can do whatever he wants.

It’s almost like his own mini country.

So if the captain says, “I don’t like the look of you, off you go”, guess what?

Off you go, you’ve agreed to that by buying your airline ticket and not only that, there are International Treaties that also confirm that the pilots of the aircraft have that authority.

What Did United Do Wrong?

So, did United do anything wrong? No.

So that’s how it is and even when you look at it, it’s quite clear that the people who hauled the guy off the plane, they’re not wearing United uniforms, they look like security guards.

So even at that, it wasn’t United Airlines staff in United uniforms dragging him off.

So as much as it abhors me to say this, when you look at the black and white of the law and what the passengers signed up to, when United pulled Dr. David Dao off that plane, they were perfectly entitled to.

But here’s the thing that we quite often forget.

1. How Are We Treated?

Even though the letter of the law may be black and white, we’re humans and we’re judged by humans and we live with humans and humans have another thing that’s going on in their brain the whole time. It’s a little bit different to the letter of the law and it’s all about fairness and how you’re treated and how you’re made feel as a person.

And what clearly happened on the United flight is, well first of all, it looked as if someone was being degraded, being dragged in front of loads of other people, against their will, down the aisle of a plane.

And that’s why I think we all reacted to it and it felt wrong, because if that was me or you being dragged along in front of all these people that we don’t know, we’d feel dehumanised.

So I think that’s one of the reactions.

2. Is It Fair?

And the second thing is the fairness of it, because why was he dragged off and not the woman beside him or another passenger, why him?

It didn’t sound very fair as well because he said he needed to be there.

I’m sure there were other people on the plane who, if there’d been a bit more thought put into it, would have said, “Do you know what? I’m fine, I can actually wait till the following day.”

But he had a reason why he had to get that flight.

So here’s why this is so critical to you.

We all agree that United, they messed up a bit.

Not in the letter of the law, but in the fairness and human side of things.

They messed up.

They messed up big time.

YOUR Wake-Up Call

But I guarantee, you’re messing up too.

Think about how you are dealing, day in, day out, with other people in your business, at home, your friendships. What are YOU doing?

Hopefully you are squeaky clean.

And hopefully you are saying, I never do anything that may be construed as bullying.

I never, ever, ever put people down or belittle them in front of other people or not give them the attention that they deserve.

I never ever feel superior to those people with not the good ideas, or who don’t have the experience that I have.

Well if that’s you, maybe you don’t have the United Airlines problem.

But me, I know, I have it.

I know that there are certain conversations that, even this week, I’ve had that I don’t want going on Twitter viral videos, because I know that when I look back, I think, I could have handled that situation a lot better.

I could have been much more in tune with that person.

I could have listened better.

I could have made them feel better because, actually, the way I reacted to their comments was not at my best.

How Are You Dealing With Other People?

So that’s my challenge to you.

For the next week, when you deal with people, just think about how you’re coming across to them.

And if someone was there with a video or even 60 passengers with their video cameras, would you be happy with how you’re going to be represented on Twitter when that goes viral?

Think about it.

See you next week.

 

If you haven’t already done so, be sure and sign up for my FREE insights and training on how to Master Your Income. And if you’re a podcast person you can subscribe to the Career Hacker iTunes podcast.

Are You Doing Anything That May Be Construed as Bullying?

Do You Ever Put People Down Or Belittle Them?

Do You Ever Feel Superior To Others?

Could You Have Listened Better?

Transcription

(In case you don’t understand my Irish accent)

 

Hi! I’m Keith McEvoy, CEO of Success That Works and Founder of SuperCharge Academy.

What, what a week it’s been for United Airlines.

I don’t know about you but this is an AMAZING story.

In case you’re not familiar with it, I will tell you about it in just a second but hang on because believe it or believe it not, what happened to United Airlines, you need to know about it, you need to think about it, because there is a lesson for you, me and all of us out of this and I guarantee that what United Airlines did wrong, you and me, we’re doing wrong as well right this second.

So hang on.

In case you didn’t hear about the United Airlines story, quite amazing.

Just Google or go on Twitter and you will see some of the most amazing videos to come out.

Basically what happened was, there was a flight going from Chicago to Louisville and typical, overbooked, yeap no problems there, pretty standard, but how they resolved the situation in the end was quiet amazing.

In the end, they couldn’t get passengers to volunteer and they were short one.

They needed one passenger to leave the plane and they picked a passenger and basically hauled him out, dragged him by the arms along the aisle and in front of, probably what, about 20 or 30 different videos, people with their smart phones videoing this.

And what you see in the video is basically this guy being dragged along with blood coming down his nose and on his mouth.

Not good, not good at all.

And then, the way United Airlines handled it, initially the CEO came out going well… he sent an email internally and I think he used the word  “the passenger was belligerent”.

Come on.

What’s interesting is not about United Airlines and all of that. It’s why did a story about something that happens quite often, why did that suddenly get emotive?

Why did that go viral around the internet?

And that’s really what I want to talk to you about, because what happened with United can happen to you too and I’ll just take you through this.

So let’s look upon it from United’s point of view, okay?

So, they overbooked their plane, right, EVERY plane is overbooked.

That’s right, every plane is overbooked, typically by 3/4/5 percent, so that’s not a big deal.

And they are allowed do it as well, right, as part of the regulations.

And they’re allowed to say, “Okay, even if you booked your flight, we’re full. You’ll have to wait for the next one and we’ll try and look after you.”

So they’re allowed to do that, right, fair enough?

The second thing is yeah, they removed a person from the plane, okay.

Well, if you’ve ever read the 49 pages that accompany your ticket, the terms and conditions of flying United, actually I think British Airways it’s only 35 pages and Aer Lingus here in Ireland is 40-something, but go and read those terms and conditions because, basically, when you’re buying your ticket, you are signing yourself away to say on the airline, the captain is the legal authority.

He can do whatever he wants.

It’s almost like his mini country, okay.

So if he says, “I don’t like the look of you, off you go”, guess what?

Off you go, you’ve signed it to say and not only that there’s International Treaties that also confirm that the pilots of the aircraft have that authority.

So, did United do anything wrong? No.

So that’s how it is and even when you look at it, you go well on the video it’s quite clear that the people who hauled the guy off the plane, they’re not wearing United tops or anything, they look like security guards.

Okay, so even at that, it wasn’t United people in United uniforms dragging him off, okay.

So as much as it abhors me, you look at it and you go, well actually, United in the black and white of the law and what you signed up to and all of that, when they pulled David or Dr. David Dao off that plane, right, they were perfectly entitled to, yeah?

But this is the thing that we quite often forget that even though the letter of the law may be black and white, and we are right and all of that, we’re humans and we’re judged by humans and we live with humans and humans have another thing that’s going on in your brain the whole time, that is a little bit different to the letter of the law and it’s all about fairness and how you’re treated and how you’re made feel as a person.

And what clearly happened on the United flight is, well first of all, it looked as if someone was being degraded, being dragged in front of loads of other people, against their will, down the aisle of a plane.

And that’s why I think we all reacted to it and felt that just feels wrong because if that was me or you being dragged along in front of all these people that we don’t know, you’d feel dehumanised, yeah?

So I think that’s one of the reactions.

And the second thing is the fairness of it because why was he dragged off and not the woman beside him or the other passenger, why him?

That didn’t sound very fair as well because he said he needed to be there.

I’m sure there are other people on the plane who, if there’d been a bit more thought put into it, would actually said, actually do you know what? “I’m fine, I can actually wait till the following day.”

But he had a reason why he had to go.

So here’s why this is so critical to you, right?

So we all agree United, they messed up a bit.

Not in the letter of the law but in the fairness and human side of things.

They messed up.

They messed up big time.

But I guarantee, you’re messing up too.

So think about how you are dealing day in, day out, with other people in your business, at home, your friendships, what are you doing?

And hopefully you are squeaky clean.

Hopefully you are saying, actually do you know what, I never do anything that may be construed as bullying.

I never, ever, ever put people down or belittle them in front of other people or not give them the attention that they deserve.

I never ever feel superior to those people with not the good ideas or, you know, who don’t have the experience that I have.

Well if that’s you, maybe you don’t have the United Airlines problem.

But me, I know, I have it.

I know that there’s certain conversations that even this week I’ve had that I don’t want going on Twitter viral videos because I know that when I look back and thinking, do you know what, I could have handled that situation a lot better.

I could have been much more in tune with that person.

I could have listened better.

I could have, you know, made them feel better because, actually, the way I reacted to their comments was not at my best.

So that’s my challenge to you.

For the next week, when you deal with people, just think about how you’re coming across to them.

And if someone was there with a video or even 60 passengers with their video cameras, would you be happy with how you’re going to be represented on Twitter when that goes viral?

See you next week.

 

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If you haven’t already done so, be sure and sign up for my FREE insights and training on how to Master Your Income. And if you’re a podcast person you can subscribe to the Career Hacker iTunes podcast.

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