In an embarrassing incident, sensitive details regarding United Airline’s biggest corporate accounts were released via social media last week. United stated that these details were shared among SFO-based staff as part of a kind of training program and has apologized for this uncomfortable incident.
The leaked data – a graphic of which was shared on BoardingArea – revealed the revenue earned from some of the carrier’s biggest spenders, including Apple and Facebook. Spending $150 million with the airline, the former company was also revealed to be United’s biggest corporate account.
The graphic also ranked what it described as Apple’s “primary routes” with United, which include Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan. To make the embarrassing mistake even worse, BoardingArea reveals that the bottom of the shared visual states, “This is confidential information. Please don’t share outside of United.”
Offering his comments, BoardingArea‘s Gary Leff writes, “What we learn from this is that if a company is based in – or has a huge presence in – Silicon Valley, or California more generally, and operates globally then they’re going to do a lot of business with United. United has hubs at LAX and San Francisco, and significant international operations at both.”
As Buying Business Travel reports, the airline stated that these details were shared as part of a kind of pilot program for its San Francisco-based employees to “to highlight the importance of our corporate relationships.” It’s not quite clear how this information then ended up on Twitter.
United has stated that this information “was not intended to be shared publicly” and also offered an apology. The pilot program that was intended as a teaching tool has now also been scrapped.
As a result of the incident, the carrier says that it will now “review and further restrict sharing of internal account information to a strictly need-to-know audience.”