End of Day 3. Let’s face it. United has everyone and their mothers talking about the time they took a United flight and were treated poorly…from the CEO down to the pretzels, United stinks right now. But guess what. They will bounce back like every other company that screwed us over (think Wells Fargo, etc.). A year from now, all the pundits will recall the anniversary of poor Dr. Dao taking a different ride down the aisle. United will still have thousands and thousands of people booking flights and complaining.
What is more important here from a crisis standpoint, is LAX and other airports that force ticket holders to stand on the sidewalk. During the holidays, baggage checkers get backed up along the sidewalk as well jammed with flyers. I was reminded of this terrible and potentially deadly process by a photo in the LA Times this week.
Here you have the perfect recipe for disaster. It’s much more frightening than flying on a United flight. Think about a crazy, texting, drunk or impaired driver mowing this crowd down. Or how about a car bomber or a backpack bomber – terrorist attacks are increasing in public places. While you stand there, have you planned your escape from an active shooter? Didn’t think so.
What’s just is bad is letting anyone who isn’t traveling into the terminal. We don’t check cars entering LAX, and we don’t check non-fliers wandering the halls either.
Speaking as a crisis and counter-terrorism expert, I say these two practices must stop now. Enjoy that United flight because flying with them is safer than visiting LAX.
-Susan Tellem, Partner, TGPR