United Airlines subject of another viral Social Media complaint

The Social Media Spotlight

United Airlines subject of another viral Social Media complaint

United Airlines is no stranger to negative feedback going viral on Social networks.  In 2009 they were hit hard by one disgruntled customer’s complaints being aired on various Social Media platforms, resulting in the issue going viral.

And now, it’s happened again.

This time, it was at the hands of Paws and Stripes co-founder and disabled veteran, Jim Stanek.  Stanek suffered PTSD and traumatic brain injury following serving in Iraq.  He was labelled “retarded” and his dog was kicked twice during a three day stopover at a Washington airport.

Full details of his side of the story can be found in the article – thanks to a whopping 18 minute video clip he posted on YouTube.

Everyone loves a YouTube clip, and it’s no surprise that a shunned disabled veteran airing his complaints has gone viral.

The clip includes footage taken from his mobile phone, of his dog shaking after being kicked.

Since being loaded on YouTube on July 20, the clip has received over 100,000 hits.

And Stanek states he is not asking for people to boycott United Airlines.  He says he is simply showing people how he was treated, as he’s sure he’s not the only person out there who has been subject to such treatment.

Should Stanek decide to beef up his clip, he could possibly approach musician Dave Carroll for a theme song.  Carroll’s tune “United Breaks Guitars” went viral in 2009, after he wrote the catchy number following a 2008 incident where he alleged United Airlines staff broke his guitar and refused to provide compensation.  His clip has received over 12 million hits to date.

Perhaps United Airlines need to invest more time and effort in a good Social Media strategy, and perhaps a Community Manager to take hold of these issues when they arise, preferably before they go viral.  United’s (Social) silence in response to each of these Social Media complaints hasn’t done anything to help their image.  Having no Social Media response doesn’t exactly scream we’re a brand who listens to its customers, does it?

Disabled Veteran’s YouTube complaint against United Airlines goes viral

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