Social Media #struggle: United, Take Your Turn

In a week full of social media and corporate snafus, it’s difficult to choose just one. As referenced in the graphic above, United is the winner for this week’s Social Media #struggle.

Chose your own adventure:

United’s Social Media Track Record


United’s Response and Community Backlash

What comes next for United?

Or Just Follow Along for the Ride.


United’s social media presence before the most recent overbooking incident seems fairly tame, referencing various destinations, travel themes, business, new planes added to their fleet, and employee recognition. In 2008, eons ago in social media terms, United faced the “United Breaks Guitars” fiasco. The music video made the Time’s top ten viral videos of 2009, and significantly damaged United’s image for years after the incident.

More recently, United faced another incident regarding leggings. Two women on employee passes wore leggings for their trip on March 26th. They were denied entrance to the plane. Passengers in plain view, most notably Shannon Watts, tweeted about the situation and it quickly experienced a viral effect.

United may need a lesson in corporate responses through social media: how to respond and whether to respond at all.

The next day, United released an official statement, “To our customers … your leggings are welcome!” Other airlines jumped in with their own responses to the incident.

United Airlines recent leggings incident lighted a media firestorm, but barely affected stock prices. Not to be easily forgotten, United went back for another round.

Chapter Two: The Incident

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