The most accurate summary of Glenn Tilton’s attitude

Check out this transcript from an interview Richard Quest had with Glenn Tilton and Jeff Smisek. I especially “enjoyed” this part of the interview:

QUEST: Right, now you`ve skated to my territory. Let`s talk about the business flyer and exactly-if I look at some of the online blogs, in the last 24 hours, Glenn, you are either doing a deal that is about to destroy the best airline in the world, or Jeff, you are getting into bed with the devil and you should be removed and taken out and shot. I mean, they simply-the online flyer talk community is-can`t decide which of the airlines they think is getting the best or the worst.


TILTON: I think, Richard, that the online bloggers community has too much free time.

SMISEK: Yes, I think they`re-I think they`re-both side are wrong, Richard. What we`re bringing together is an airline, Continental, which is know for its culture, is known for its extraordinary service levels, with a carrier like United, with a great worldwide brand, great assets, and great operational performance and operational integrity.

What customers want is high quality service and an airline that operates on time and can be relied upon.

I wish I could say I’m surprised. This is the same attitude Glenn has with everyone else — his customers, his employees, and his shareholders. If his employees bring up the morale issues, he’ll simply say “go somewhere else if you don’t like your job.” If his shareholders and customers express concern about the future of the company, he’ll simply say “it’s the same for all legacy airlines, and if you don’t like United fly someone else.”

Also, Glenn, you might notice how Mr. Smisek is the CEO of the “new” company. There’s probably a reason for that, other than you wanting your golden parachute. He doesn’t have a workforce of 50,000 people (used to be 60,000 before you came around) that hate his guts. There are lots of CEOs that are unpopular, but I’ve never seen such widespread disgust from the employees of any company for their boss as at United. And it’s for good reason.

Glenn needs to go back to school and learn about the benefits of treating your employees (and your customers) right. When someone expresses concern you can respond to them instead of insulting them. But it would take someone less arrogant than Glenn to understand that and mingle with the “common folk.”

Either way, Glenn, I’m already planning your retirement party! It’ll be a good day for customers, employees, and shareholders.

Filed Under: Continental, Media
  1. Oh come on, I’m no Glenn-apologist, but some of the posts on FT really are ridiculous. You can’t tell me that you read posts by people like bocastephen and think they’re actually valuable insights on the merger process…

    Sure, there are valuable parts of the commentary, but there’s plenty of drivel too.

    “Hey United PR, could you get back to me *right this instant* on whether the carpet color at the gates will be red or blue? If I don’t get an answer I like, I’m going to switch to Midwest!!!”

  2. Failure to mingle with the little people? This, from the kid who “refuses” to fly in anything but international first class, whines about flying in coach, and thinks flying in domestic first class is a sign of true status? Seems like you are as disconnected from reality as Tilton.

  3. I spared no words in the FT thread on this topic, but I’ll give Tilton credit where credit is due for a personal, financial vote of confidence in the new company (not that he’ll be out on the street anytime soon):

    Also looks like Atkinson and Tague will be retained, which bodes well for at least some of our favorite aspects of MP and UA.

    Slightly off-topic: Nice quote in that AP story the other day!

  4. I have to agree with @Super80. The tone of many posts on this blog are as out ot touch to “common folk” as you accuse Glenn Tilton of being.

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