This week, American Airlines Executive Vice President of People and Communications Elise Eberwein took a flight from Chicago to Salt Lake City in the United Airlines first class cabin and the airline executive took to social media to air her criticisms (and a few compliments) about the competition along the way.
If most any other American Airlines employee live-tweeted a detailed review of their experience flying on United Airlines, they might find themselves called into the Human Resources office to be gently reminded that this sort of thing is best handled by the trained PR folks. Fortunately, for American Airlines Executive VP – People and Communications Elise Eberwein, who posted her thoughts about a recent UA flight from O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) for her Twitter followers to enjoy, she is both the senior HR officer and the senior public relations officer.
Although Eberwein has the kind of impressive job title that makes her more or less untouchable, there wasn’t anything especially inflammatory expressed in her opinion about flying United Airlines first-class. While some of her followers were quick to warn about airline executives who live in glass houses throwing stones, her take on the journey offered an interesting insider’s look at the trials of modern air travel as seen from the boardroom.
Fun to fly the competition as a paying Cust (tho I hate giving them the rev). @united trip report. Thus far 1 hr late, no pre takeoff bev (flying 1st class) and no blankets. Super friendly Flt Attn in front.
— elise (@elisecom) November 9, 2018
“Fun to fly the competition as a paying Cust (tho I hate giving them the rev),” Eberwein started her unofficial critique of the competing legacy carrier. “@united trip report. Thus far 1 hr late, no pre takeoff bev (flying 1st class) and no blankets. Super friendly Flt Attn in front.”
It should be noted that @elisecom is not a “checkmark” verified account – though both Inc. and Boarding Area have confirmed that the account belongs to the senior American Airlines official. Importantly, the account states prominently that “tweets are my own opinion and not those of my employer.”
Eberwein went on to raise a complaint about the lack of inflight entertainment during the less-than-four-hour-long-flight. Responding to a query about her flight from United airlines officials, she did have nice things to say about the all female crew. “Will give credit where due,” she wrote. “Ur peeps did a fine job and the 2 lady aviators who flew us here.” The airline executive even threw a bit of shade at her own airline, noting that United’s “pre lunch hot towels were plush compared 2 AA.”
The American Airlines VP seems to have taken the uproar over her impromptu trip report in stride. Later in the week, she posted a rave review about a recent Uber ride. “Since I’m reviewing transport modes now…best @Uber yet!” she wrote in her latest tongue-in-cheek review.