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    United Airline’s CEO Scott Kirby Took A Private Plane While United’s Passengers Were Stranded

    July 1, 2023
    1 Comment
    Image by United Airlines

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    United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby apologized Friday due to his poorly executed corporate decision to take a private jet from the New York area on Wednesday while thousands of United passengers were stranded because United canceled 750 flights. Kirby took quite a public beating for it. 

    He initially blamed the canceled flights on the FAA, but found himself being forced to publicly apologize for his “insensitive” decision. 

    “Taking a private jet was the wrong decision because it was insensitive to our customers who were waiting to get home,” Kirby said in a United Airlines corporate statement. “I sincerely apologize to our customers and our team members who have been working around-the-clock for several days — often through severe weather — to take care of our customers.”

    He promised to “to better demonstrate my respect for the dedication of our team members and the loyalty of our customers.”

    Kirby took the private jet from Teterboro, New Jersey, to Denver on Wednesday after United canceled one-fourth of its scheduled flights for that day. Those 750 cancellations  did not include their United Express flights. Overall, United canceled 3,000 flights this past week - the largest being at its Newark Liberty International Airport hub. 

    Kirby had blamed the disruptions on a shortage of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic controllers and the thunderstorms rolling through New York/New Jersey area.

    Earlier in the week, Kirby wrote a note to United’s employees blaming the FAA. 

    “The FAA frankly failed us.”

    Canceled flights left United planes and crews out of position, hobbling the airline when bad weather hit on Sunday, Kirby said.

    Once that happened, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg took to Twitter nailing Kirby and United. FAA falls under the Department of Transportation. 

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    Buttigieg tweeted that airlines had recovered from the storms “with the exception of United.” 

    And, then to put the nail into Kirby’s lame FAA criticism, Buttigieg included a bar graph comparing United’s cancellation rate with the rest of the airline industry.

    Although United’s traffic had improved, the percentage of canceled flights dropped from 26% on Wednesday to 18% Thursday and 8% through Friday evening, according to tracking service FlightAware. However, even on Friday, United was on pace to lead all U.S. carriers in canceled flights for a seventh straight day.

    United passengers would have none of Kirby’s excuses and took to social media and conversations with reporters about their long airport lines and sleeping in airports after their flight cancellations. 

    The criticism did not stop there. Airline’s pilots and flight attendants union  representatives joined in and accused United’s management of poor planning, a lack of crew schedulers, and operating too many flights.

    And, then corporate United pushed back further claiming it did not pay for the CEO’s flight on Wednesday. 

    So, the question is how many private jets does United’s CEO take when United has so many scheduled flights?



    Christine Dolan

    Christine Dolan is a seasoned Investigative Journalist, television producer, author, and photographer. She is Co-Founder of American Conversations whose format focuses on in-depth analysis of critical issues about “the story behind the headlines.”
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    I don't know this guy from Adam but so what? There was no doubt thousands of business types, commuters etc that did the same. Why not? If they have the means I say good for them. He should never have caved to the mob; stupid move.


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