Here's Your Handy (Cringe-Worthy) Digest of the Week's 4 Most Shocking Airline PR Disasters

Here's Your Handy (Cringe-Worthy) Digest of the Week's 4 Most Shocking Airline PR Disasters

Get out the popcorn... if you're the schadenfreude type.

By Alesandra Dubin

Somehow, in the last several weeks, we moved to an era in which bad airline customer-service news is trending tops across media nearly every day — and if it's a topic you've been following, you know it can be hard to keep up with the seemingly endless volume of horror stories.

Just consider the recent, rapid unfolding of Leggings-Gate, followed quickly by Bump-Gate, and then Dead-Pet Gate. And that's just United. 

With so much happening so fast, we figured we could save you some time by rounding up the week's latest PR disasters for airlines. (You're welcome.)

1. Family kicked off overbooked flight

A Southern California family traveling from Maui was booted off an oversold Delta flight over a dispute over their children's seating assignments and the issue of lap children. The specifics of the situation remain unclear, but what is clear is that a video in which a family is seen being threatened with jail time over a seating dispute cannot be good for the airline right now.

2. The case of the missing ashes

A grieving mother has accused American Airlines of losing the ashes of her 28-year-old daughter who died in untimely fashion. The mother says American forced her to check rather than carry on the urn containing the ashes, which then failed to materialize in Tucson after a flight from the funeral in Baltimore.

3. Banana-Gate

A guy ordered a gluten-free meal on a nine-hour flight and got... a single, tragic banana. The airline, ANA, refuted the story with a statement that offered more details and context, but not before the photo went viral.

4. Seats from hell

Just when you thought your seat couldn't get any less uncomfortable, American is expected to add 10 seats to its new 737 Max plans — going from 160 to 170. That will shrink the seat pitch even further, and would put giant American's seats on par with the smaller, low-cost carriers — and almost on par with the ultra-low-cost carriers, such as Spirit Airlines... the one Americans say is the worst
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