Scott Kirby , United CEO Issue , Apology For Flying Private Jet Amidst Airline’s

In the realm of air travel, recent events have put United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby under scrutiny. The controversy arose when it was revealed that Kirby had flown on a private jet while the airline experienced extensive delays and cancellations, leaving numerous passengers stranded and frustrated. The incongruity between the CEO’s actions and the airline’s operational challenges has sparked a public outcry, resulting in Kirby offering a public apology.

The wrong decision
Image Source – New York Post

The Wrong Decision

Kirby expressed remorse and acknowledged the insensitivity of his decision to fly from an airport near Newark, New Jersey, where many of the delays and cancellations were occurring, to Denver on Wednesday. In a statement issued to various media outlets, he admitted that taking a private jet was an erroneous choice and demonstrated insensitivity toward the customers who were eagerly waiting to reach their destinations.

Apologies to Customers and Team Members

United Airlines prides itself on providing excellent service to its customers, and Kirby’s actions were perceived as a betrayal of that commitment. Recognizing the impact on both passengers and employees, Kirby sincerely apologized to the customers who experienced prolonged wait times and the dedicated

team members who had been working tirelessly, often in severe weather conditions, to address their needs. He acknowledged the inconvenience caused and expressed deep regret for the series of events that transpired.

Delays and Cancellations: A Challenging Week

The airline’s extensive delays and cancellations were attributed to adverse weather conditions and shortages in air traffic control. United Airlines encountered a higher number of flight disruptions

compared to any other carrier operating in the United States during the same period. Starting from Saturday, thunderstorms began to disrupt thousands of flights departing from Newark, LaGuardia, and John F. Kennedy airports.

The FAA’s Role

According to New York Post , In response to the challenges faced, Kirby criticized the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for their perceived failure in supporting the carrier during the weekend. In a memo addressed to the United Airlines staff, he expressed disappointment in the FAA’s handling of the situation, citing the agency’s

historical ability to manage similar weather conditions without severely impacting the airline’s operations and its customers. Kirby highlighted the reduction in arrival and departure rates at Newark, one of United’s major hubs, which led to widespread delays, cancellations, diversions, and further complications due to staffing shortages.

Private Jet: The Alternative

Kirby’s decision to fly on a private jet arose from his inability to secure a seat on a commercial flight. United Airlines clarified that the company did not finance the CEO’s private flight, emphasizing that it was a result of the unavailability of seats on regular flights.

Prioritizing Passenger Safety

As the upcoming Fourth of July holiday approached, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) anticipated a surge in travel, making Friday the busiest travel day in three years. United Airlines

acknowledged the challenging week it had faced and the subsequent improvements made to their operations. The airline assured passengers that their safety during the holiday season and throughout the summer remained the top priority.

A Lesson from Southwest Airlines

The struggles faced by United Airlines are not unique to the industry. Southwest Airlines encountered similar problems during the winter holidays, leading to the cancellation of thousands of flights due to

weather conditions and staffing issues caused by outdated scheduling systems. Such occurrences highlight the need for continuous improvement and innovation within the airline industry to mitigate disruptions and ensure smooth operations.


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