It’s been a terrible week for United, and it’s all the airline’s fault. First, the airline assaulted a man who didn’t want to give up his seat on an overbooked flight. Then, after the internet exploded with outrage, United referred to the passenger’s being dragged off the plane as a “re-accommodation,” igniting even more ire. And then, when the story didn’t seem like it could get any worse, the company’s CEO, who had recently won PR Week’s award for ‘Communicator of the Year‘ sent his employees a completely tone-deaf missive about the incident, suggesting that the airline “had no choice” but to rough a dude up for not wanting to get off the aircraft. That got people so angry that they began sharing their own awful United experiences, solidifying United’s status as a pariah. And now it’s gotten even worse.
We knew that at some point other airlines would begin to speak out about what happened on Sunday evening, and, after Jimmy Kimmel created a parody of a United ad on his show, an actual airline has come out swinging. And it’s none other than Emirates, a company which United (as well as other carriers) have come for in the past.
From Business Insider:
Over the past few years, United — along with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines — has been highly critical of the Dubai-based airline. The US trio has accused Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways of cheating by receiving $50 billion in government subsidies. At the same time, the US airlines have lobbied to curtail their Middle Eastern rivals’ access to the US market.
United employees held a rally in March at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey to protest Emirates’ new flight from Newark to Athens, Greece.
After that kind of reception, it’s no surprise that Emirates, which Munoz has referred to as “not a real airline” had a few thoughts on United’s latest scandal: