A seven-month "60 Minutes" investigation into United Air, the Las Vegas-based ultra-low-cost provider, found more than 100 serious episodes involving mechanical troubles. The airline issued a brief statement to CBS News before the story aired, but in a response posted after the airing and in an internal memo, the airline alleged that the segment was a "false narrative. "
The internal memo was initially tweeted by AirlineGeeks.com, and United later confirmed to CBS News that it had been sent to employees.
United has provided an internal statement to employees regarding this evening’s #60Minutes segment: pic.twitter.com/f6HNm3VSRc.
To find a reply from the airline’s vice president of operations, go to the bottom of this narrative.
"60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft said in an "Overtime" segment that "60 Minutes" got "no alliance " from either United or the FAA in the beginning phases of reporting the story.
From the memo, United blamed that the report on a "stunt worker " who’s "currently engaged in a lawsuit seeking money damages against the business. "
It’s unsure that worker United is speaking to. The "60 Minutes" piece details an episode involving Captain Jason Kinzer, who was fired in 2015 six weeks after turning around shortly after takeoff because of smoke in the cottage. Loretta Alkalay, who spent 30 years as an FAA attorney, said she has "never heard of an airline shooting a pilot for an emergency evacuation. "
But Kinzer’s narrative is just one of the events detailed in the report. "60 Minutes" quoted air security specialists and passengers, and public records show an alarming number of aborted takeoffs, cases of cabin pressure loss, emergency descents and unscheduled landings.
On its social networking feed, United replied those who tweeted they were concerned by requesting them to send a private message. In response to one comment, United composed "that we ‘d love to discuss our concerns about the narrative with you. " It’s unclear what United means by "concerns. "
@Luevan Thanks for reaching out. We understand your concern, however we’d love to discuss our concerns about the narrative with you. In case you’d like, please DM us so that we can share some info. https://t.co/7crmFHe6Fu.
United posted a new statement after the segment aired, carrying a similar tone to the memo. "Incidents referenced are years old, also took place before our most recent, comprehensive FAA audit.
The "60 Minutes" narrative is not about old episodes: Between Jan. 1, 2016 and also the end of Oct. 2017, "60 Minutes" discovered more than 100 serious mechanical episodes, such as mid-air engine failures, fumes and smoke in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted takeoffs.
The narrative highlights how United’s issues come from the confluence of its aggressive business model and a security culture aviation specialists find to be lagging.
John Goglia, that has more than 40 decades of expertise in the aviation industry, including nine as a presidential appointee to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told "60 Minutes" he’s "invited my family, my friends and myself not to fly United. "
Users on social websites were shocked by the accounts. Kroft himself said in the "Overtime" segment he is "flabbergasted" more folks don’t understand about United’s security record.
@United Thank God for 60 Minutes, was going to book passage to FtLaudale this summer on your airline however no longer, ever, ever-
It really stinks that those of us in rural markets with few travel choices are now able to never fly United ever again. But thank God that #60minutes is saving our own lives.
"Please start breathing through your shirts. " Welp, not flying @United anymore. #60Minutes.
"It’s unfortunate and disappointing that CBS 60 Minutes has selected to broadcast a false narrative phone number united airlines reservations about United and the FAA. Not only might we expect our team members to adhere to all company procedures and policies — such as security procedures — but most positions are subject to both statutory and regulatory duties. The violation of those duties would activate not only punitive action from United, but may also result in enforcement action from regulatory agencies, loss of a certificate, and even criminal charges.
To suggest that United would participate in the practice of requesting team members to violate regulatory and company duties is offensive and defamatory.
"CBS made a one-sided narrative by cherry-picking interviews and dismissing publicly-available facts. As an instance, the series ‘s star interviewee, John Goglia, is not an un-biased commentator; he is a paid expert working for a former United pilot that has sued United. That pilot, Jason Kinzer, claims he was wrongfully terminated after an evacuation. In fact, Kinzer was terminated because he evacuated a plane "at great danger to the passengers and crew " even though there "wasn’t any smoke, fire, or an aircraft malfunction," and, through a post-flight evaluation, he refused to "admit his mistakes" or "demonstrate that he was capable of growing and learning from the event moving forward. " (See Defendants’ Revised Motion for Summary Judgment, Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County, NV, Case No. A-15-727524-C.) Astonishingly, the 60 Minutes demonstration of Mr.
Kinzer’s case omits this publicly-available facet of the story.
"The FAA exercises rigorous supervision of United, as they do all airlines operating in the United States. United complies with all FAA requirements and participates in several voluntary security programs to make sure we operate to the greatest standards. We also expect our team members to follow all company policies and practice strict adherence to FAA regulations and guidelines. Several anonymous, non-disciplinary reporting systems are available through United as well as throughout the FAA for team members to report security concerns.
Notably, not one of the concerns allegedly expressed by United team members throughout the 60 Minutes episode were discovered to have been reported through one or more of these ideal channels.
"United’s team members safely run thousands of flights every week, which will transport more than 14 million passengers annually. We have safely carried almost 90 million passengers since beginning operations in 2001. Our workforce is made up of more than 4,000 committed and hard-working men and women who wake up each day thinking about how to move our customers safely from 1 place to another.
"Captain Eric Gust is United’s vice president of operations, responsible to its airline’s flight operations, safety and security teams. Within this role he manages all system pilots and pilot training operations, regulatory compliance and flight criteria, and the security and safety of all operations, team members and passengers. "
First released on April 16, 2018 / 4:21 AM.
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