P.R. expert weighs in on United Airlines incident

Plane Removal And Local Analysis

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Tuesday afternoon, the C.E.O. of United Airlines apologized to the passenger who was forcibly removed from a flight in Chicago Sunday night, as well as the other passengers on board.

Tuesday night, four members of the Senate Commerce Committee asked United Airlines and Chicago airport authorities to explain what led to the man's removal calling United's explanation “unsatisfactory.” They also said the situation could have likely been avoided.

2 On Your Side spoke with Steve Bell, a crisis communications expert with Eric Mower and Associates in Buffalo about the apology and what can be done to fix the public's opinion of the airline.

"He's not in tune with the speed of social media. The videos were out Sunday night. He should have been out at least first thing Monday morning with a heartfelt apology to the passengers on that plane and specifically to the person they pulled off," says Bell. "I think that the main thing they need to do is something dramatic. Change their policies in line with what's happened. End the idea of overbooking. That would be a huge appeal."

Bell says now that people know about these overbooking policies, United could guarantee seats to try to fix the image problem it has now.

The 69-year-old man who got hurt on the plane is still in the hospital in Chicago.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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