United Airlines had a really rough week in terms of customer service and public relations, thanks to their disastrous week of operations. Unfortunately, United CEO Scott Kirby only made things worse. Much worse. RELATED: 12 Things in Travel You Need to Know Today

First, Kirby publicly blamed the FAA for his airline’s faults, even though all of their competitors didn’t have nearly as many problems.

Secretary of Transportation and truth slayer, Pete Buttigieg, put Kirby in place in a single tweet when he posted: “With the exception of United, airlines have recovered to a more typical cancellation/delay rate as of this morning, after the severe weather earlier this week. FAA will continue to work with airlines to help them minimize disruptions during the busy 4th of July travel weekend.”

Even United’s pilots and their union called out Kirby when they posted the video below of some of the longest customer service lines you will ever see. The caption read: “Your pilots are sorry to hear about your experience. We share your frustration. @united management is trying to shift the blame for this operational meltdown. Absent the United management’s ability to, you know, manage, @ALPAPilots Captains and First Officers continue to slog through the chaos to take care of their crews and passengers.”

To add fuel to the fire, someone leaked to the media that Kirby chartered a private jet while tens of thousands of his customers were stranded. Per Kris Van Cleave of CBS News: “United CEO Scott Kirby chartered a private jet to flying from New York to Colorado as his airline was hobbled with massive delays and hundreds of daily cancelations this week. He’s now apologizing. His statement below (Kirby paid for the flight not UA):
“Taking a private jet was the wrong decision because it was insensitive to our customers who were waiting to get home,” he said. “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.”

As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with stranded United customers. Here are just a few examples:

@sahandmirza: “Wow. So I missed a memorial service for my friend this week because of @united delays, but this guy just charters a private jet to bop around the country. Cool cool.”

@Tstutz27: “My husband is still stuck in Colorado. COOL.”

@BradSchmit: “Everyone is always sooo sorry after they make a poor decision. Sorry, not sorry, it doesn’t always make up for your initial choice. Actions speak louder than words!”

I’ve met Scott multiple times and he’s a really nice guy and before this week, I think most of his customers and employees liked him. You can’t fault a guy for using his own money and not taking a seat away from a customer. But what he should have done, is invited some customers or better yet, offered for stranded employees to fly private with him to Denver. He could have been seen as a hero instead of a zero.

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