As you probably read, Jeff Smisek, United Airlines' CEO, stepped down on Tuesday, September 8th. This was amid an ongoing federal investigation associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. You may remember that Smisek opened a money-losing route so David Samson, ex-Chief of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, could visit his weekend home in South Carolina while he was still Port Authority Chairman. Samson was also involved in the Bridgegate scandal, which is still under investigation.
The new CEO of United Airlines is Oscar Munoz, who has been serving on United’s board and is CSX Corp (CSX.N) Chief Operating Officer. His first order of business is to visit company locations and employees and work to smooth over labor disputes that went unresolved during Smisek’s tenure. Additionally, he is dedicating himself to making the airline more customer-friendly.
On the surface, this looks like a positive step for the airline. Just today it was reported that Munoz has reached out to United’s frequent fliers, acknowledging the airline’s customer service issues as well as their underperformance with on time arrivals and told them, “We can do better.” It appears for now that Munoz is looking to return the experience for United passengers back to their historical slogan and make sure they “Fly the Friendly Skies.”
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