United Airlines controversy is now facing a huge backlash from people all over the world, and this time, it seems that the Chinese populace even wants to boycott the airline. The man who was shown to be bloodied and forcefully dragged off the flight is Chinese-American, leading China to think that the assault was because of racism.
Buzzfeed reports that the video and several pictures were shared and watched more than a million times in Weibo, China's own version of Facebook. Their social media erupted with disgust and anger over United Airlines, especially when the statement of United CEO Oscar Munoz showed no remorse over the barbaric removal of the concerned passenger.
The Chinese market is very important for United, as it runs more nonstop flights to China than any other American airline. Aside from the main Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, United also flies to secondary Chinese cities such as Chengdu and Xian, The Daily Beast reports.
If the majority of the Chinese populace decides to boycott the airline, the results would be very devastating for United, being one of its largest target markets. But according to Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group, there are relatively few options for US-China flights, so in the long run, the airline wouldn't be hit that badly with the impact.
Still, the blown up problem caused by the airlines' overbooking has now even reflected in the airlines' stock value. On Tuesday, over $1 billion was wiped off United Airlines' stock value.
Overbooking of flights is not illegal, but it's a gamble. Some airlines do it because of the off-chance all passengers will show up, but it's risky. Customer satisfaction will be affected, and based on the United controversy now, the right way of treating passengers can blow up in huge proportions all around the world.
United Airlines, despite being one of the largest air carriers in the US, domestically or internationally, seems to still have a lot to learn about customer service. And if they don't rectify the problem immediately, it could prove to be one of the worst problems they'll probably ever have.