The New United gets slammed for flight numbers

As the new United airlines has worked towards integration between United and Continental, two flight numbers got reinstated:  Flights 93 and 175, the United flight numbers of planes involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks.  Typically after a disaster, an airline “retires” flight numbers to simply avoid the controversy that might erupt around them.  And United had avoided these but in “harmonizing” schedules, these two appeared available to sync with Continental flights that do use the numbers.

United’s flight crew unions immediately slammed the airline for this and have expressed their outrage over such a mistake.

“How could these flight numbers have been ‘inadvertently reinstated’ as the company indicates?” asks Capt. Wendy Morse of the United branch of ALPA. “The pilots of United Airlines expect accountability of how these flight numbers were considered in the first place.”

I’d like to suggest that everyone take a breath.  First, this was a mistake and an understandable although regrettable one.  Second, it was corrected immediately upon discovery.  Third, United’s corporate response to this was nothing but brief and deferential. 

You have to wonder at unions who want to make such a thing political when it comes to those flight numbers.  It’s militancy at its worst and more distasteful since United’s was a mistake the union’s moves are intentional.


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