In an interview with ABC News, Munoz stated that “by the time you sit on one of our aircraft...you're just pissed at the world."
Munoz was, however, discussing the entire process of going to the airport, finding a parking spot, getting through security and how all of those things have created a very stressful environment for flyers — and not necessarily the specific United experience.
In the same interview, he also acknowledged the airline’s difficulty with maintaining working Wi-Fi and the complaints about shrinking seat sizes. When ABC News’ Senior Transportation Correspondent David Kerley asked if the seats were going to get any smaller, Munoz responded by saying “I think we are nearing a point certainly that we can’t do that anymore.”
Munoz’s comments didn’t sit well with social media users. Many seemed to focus on the fact that a lot of the problems that make people miserable while flying are things that Munoz can control. As Heather Hughson pointed out, “If only there was something that he, as CEO of a major airline, could do about airline passenger experience!”
“It’s very telling that @united CEO Oscar Muñoz refuses to address customer impact under his control (e.g., ever decreasing seat comfort) and instead complains about all the experiences outside of his control (airport, etc.). That’s poor business and poor leadership,” tweeted James Coleman.
“How long did it take to realize something so obvious, so easy to predict, so blindingly stupid?” asked Archy Dosburg.
Twitter user Beau Cameron, responded, “He doesn't have those problems in his private jet.”
Another Twitter user, Natalie Clark, pointed out that many of the issues before the flight are also under United’s control. “(Customers) are already seething mad at @united before they get to their tiny seats with crappy wifi because of terrible customer service and employees who refuse to go out of their way an inch to help passengers.”
Based on these comments, it seems like passengers are pissed off when they sit down, but not at the world, just United Airlines.