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United Airlines

United CEO Munoz Gives Up First Class Seat

United CEO Munoz Gives Up First Class Seat
Jennifer Billock

While still trying to save its image from dragging a doctor off a plane in 2017, United’s CEO Oscar Munoz paid it forward with a touching move that put an elderly women in the first class cabin while he took her seat back in economy; another passenger documented the event on a Facebook post praising the CEO.

On November 26, one elderly woman had the lucky chance of flying with United Airlines’ CEO Oscar Munoz. Before boarding the plane, Munoz noticed the woman at the gate and went to have a chat with her. Once on the place, that woman was shown to Munoz’s first class seat.

Fellow passenger Rebecca Kuchar Krutz saw the exchange and documented it on Facebook. Krutz saw Munoz speak to the woman at the gate, and then the elderly woman ended up sitting in front of Krutz in the first class cabin. The woman, according to Krutz in an article written by the Chicago Business Journal, was astonished and touched by Munoz’s gesture.

Typically, Munoz and other United executives are automatically given first-class seats on any flight they take. But, it’s up to those executives what they want to do with that reservation – even if that means switching seats with someone who appears to need it more than they do.

Krutz closed out her Facebook post with a short reflection on the situation and what it means for the rest of us: “That, ladies and gentlemen, is how it should be done. Treat our elders with the respect and care they deserve.”

[Photo: United Airlines]

View Comments (13)


  1. UncleDude

    December 3, 2018 at 7:49 am

    But United dont have REAL First Class anymore.

    Also FAA regulations dont allow anybody to change Cabin Seats on International flight.

    Pure PR Puffery LOL

  2. jrm68

    December 3, 2018 at 8:52 am

    I might be jaded, but seems very much like a publicity grab considering in her facebook post she keeps referring to him as Oscar and not Mr Munoz.

  3. diver858

    December 3, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Give the guy some slack. Event was apparently reported by a civilian, not UA, so it appears he was being altruistic.

  4. mvoight

    December 3, 2018 at 9:40 am

    I’d be more impressed if it could post more info without pointing to the story site that requires a login to read the story

  5. localady

    December 3, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Not the first time things like this happened. I had a Friday afternoon flight where there were 2 of us on the upgrade list for 1 seat for Atlanta to San Francisco. AND/R and me. When I got to the gate they gave me the first class seat. Richard Anderson sat back in my coach seat.

  6. jonsail

    December 3, 2018 at 11:20 am

    it was a nice gesture. Why can’t we just leave it at that?

  7. chavala

    December 4, 2018 at 8:59 am

    it was his MIL

  8. SpartyAir

    December 4, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    UncleDude, I feel sorry for your miserable life with such a negative attitude. United’s first class on domestic flights is no worse than other American airlines. And certainly, it is miles better than anything you get in first class/business class on intracontinental flights in Europe.

    And what does an FAA rule for international flights have any relevance in this article?

  9. andrewgill

    December 5, 2018 at 4:22 am

    @jonsail : totally agree with you here. good news is very underrated and under reported

  10. DLBryon

    December 5, 2018 at 6:30 am

    Localady, there was a Friday afternoon Delta flight from ATL to SFO and there were ONLY two people on the upgrade list? Most flights out of Atlanta have half the cabin on the upgrade list.

  11. CEB

    December 5, 2018 at 11:18 am

    I agree with jonsail and andrewgill, Unfortunately there are always the whiners such as UncleDude and jrm68 who can’t see any good in anything.

  12. John Aldeborgh

    December 5, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I’m with the folks who judge this act of kindness for what it was, a simple act of kindness. How many of us have seen elderly folks struggle to find their way to the rear of the plane and momentarily thought, I should trade my seat, but never acted. I’m afraid to say I’ve had this thought in the past and not acted on it. We could all be kinder to the elderly and disabled. I appreciate the gesture for what it was, a simple act of kindness.

  13. capedr

    December 5, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Was it an overnight from SFO to MIA or was it Houston to Dallas?

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