When airlines get publicity in the media, it usually involves a flight that has been severely delayed or a story in which staff treated a customer badly. Less common are stories of airlines doing something good.

But here’s one great example of this that truly deserves to be spread!

Flickr/Oliver Holzbauer

When Rebecca Kuchar Krutz took her seat on a United Airlines flight, she learned that company CEO Oscar Munoz would be flying with them that day. She naturally expected the CEO to be seated in first class — it was after all, the executive’s very own company’s plane he was boarding.

Rebecca kept a curious and watchful eye on Munoz, as you might often when you come face to face with a famous person.

Some moments later, an elderly woman walked onto the plane. Rebecca estimated her to be anywhere between 80 and 90 years old.

Flickr/Michael Rehfeldt

Rebecca later described the event on Facebook:

“I’m a pretty loyal Delta Airlines customer. But tonight I was on a flight w the CEO of United. I was a bit surprised seeing him walk back into the economy section of the plane to take his seat. Seated in front of me on the plane was an elderly lady in her 80’s (maybe even early 90’s). She didn’t appear to be in great health and had a bit of a hard time with her speech. Prior to boarding, I’d seen Oscar (the CEO) make his way out of a crowd of people in order to go over and speak w her.”

Rebecca was surprised and pleased Oscar took the time to exchange some kind words with the elderly lady. Even more impressively — he insisted that she take his place in first class!

Facebook/Rebecca Kuchar Krutz

After the plane landed, Rebecca overheard the conversation that the lady had with a man next to her. The senior citizen said that she’d been nervous when the CEO had first approached her, but was stunned and grateful for his kind offering. She couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful the CEO was to have given up his seat just for her.

“That, ladies and gentleman, is how it should be done. Treat our elders with the respect and care they deserve. I may very well be a lifelong United customer after witnessing that act of selflessness by a man who likely has his own private plane, and yet was humble enough to give up his seat to an elderly lady he’d never met before, because he thought she’d be more comfortable there.  United“, Rebecca added on Facebook. 

Rebecca’s Facebook post has since spread widely, and the CEO was later interviewed by the Houston Chronicle about the incident. He simply said he’d been raised to treat the elderly with respect — and it was therefore natural for him to act as he did.

What an incredibly nice gesture by the company’s CEO! Oscar is a living example of how to treat the elderly in our society. Please share this article to give him the recognition he deserves!

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