For those who don’t know the #CarryOnGate back story, here it is

Statement from Ben Kepes regarding recent United Airlines issues

The issues around the unfortunately offloaded carry-on luggage on my recent United flight have garnered much media attention and been stressful for all concerned. This was never about retribution or malice, but rather about highlighting failings in United’s customer service and internal systems. I am also mindful that individual United employees have found this situation stressful, and it is regretful that they have borne the brunt of this. It is my genuine hope that despite United’s apparent culture of blame and creating silos, the employee in question suffers no disciplinary action for her mistake.

I would have thought that, subsequent to recent public relations disasters for United, they would have learned to quickly and effectively deal with customer complaints. Alas, that is not the case and United would seem to have learned nothing from the past. I am especially perturbed that one of United’s communications staffers, Jonathan Guerin, resorted to spreading untruths to media in an attempt to reduce the impacts of the public outcry about the issue regarding my bag.

In an ideal world, United would have been communicative, helpful and gone out of their way to quickly deal with any issues that the loss of my passport and wallet created. In actuality, they did almost the exact opposite. I hope the airline will have learned something from this incident and that they can apply this to future customer service issues.

United has agreed to make a cash settlement to compensate me for the inconvenience and financial loss that this situation created. I have requested that the settlement payment is made to the Sir Peter Blake Trust. The Sir Peter Blake Trust is a non-profit set up to perpetuate the late Sir Peter’s visions with regards environmentalism and leadership. I am a previous winner of the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award and I believe this donation would be an appropriate gesture.

I hope that the media attention this recent issue caused will have a positive impact on customer services practices beyond this organization and that it results in less stress for customers, less stressful customers for organizations to deal with and, fundamentally, a better world.



Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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