Keller @ Large: Pepsi Should Thank United Airlines

BOSTON (CBS) – Pepsi, you owe United Airlines a big thank you.

Just days after you created one of the worst public relations debacles of the year with your trite, vulgar effort to brand Pepsi as the tonic of political protest, United has taken you off the hook by swamping the boat of self-embarrassment.

United claimed a flight from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked, but no one volunteered to give up their seat. So did the airline start upping the ante to induce volunteers, or start making it up to the passengers displaced by their own actions?

No, they sent in their goons to randomly pick four passengers to be ejected from their seats, including this insanely-excessive use of force which, of course, was caught on smartphone cameras and quickly went public.

I would assume that half the lawyers in America have already been in touch with this man about the whopping United settlement that’s likely in store.

Related: United CEO Defends Employees ‘I Want To Commend You’

The CEO of United had managed to make matters worse with a statement apologizing for “having to reaccomodate” the customer.

We live in an age of shameless euphemisms, like the “affordable care act.” It will be hard, however, to top rebranding “mugging” as “reaccomodating.”

Hey, everyone makes mistakes.

But the lack of judgement shown here, along with the utter disrespect for the customers, should be a warning to everyone – some mistakes are much worse – and harder to correct – than others.

So by all means, Pepsi, say thanks to your saviors. A couple of cases of cold tonic should do the trick.

More from Jon Keller
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