What United’s CEO Thinks About Donald Trump’s Presidency

I’m not sure how helpful it is to United for this interview with their CEO to be published two days before Oscar Munoz meets with Donald Trump.

He suggests that home grown terrorists are the fault of US policy.

“Well, there are a lot of facts that support that — of all the terrorist activities in this country since 9/11 — most have been caused by American citizens radicalized by policies implemented by [past] administrations.”

And that the erratic nature of this administration is hurting airline bookings.

On the business front, Munoz said he believes the uncertainty surrounding the administration’s somewhat erratic behavior has had a direct effect on the airline in the form of reduced bookings to certain destinations.

“There’s no question that the uncertainty of what this administration says versus what they actually do … can be clearly seen,” the airline boss told us.

“People are not ‘scared’ — but maybe that is the word — to fly because they don’t know what’s going to happen when they (try to) come back.”

“Uncertainty always creates doubt, and doubt creates fear. And if you do that, yes, people are just going to stay home,” Munoz added.

Oscar Munoz is against The Wall(tm).

“Clearly, on a visceral human front, I oppose any wall, anywhere, between any people — period,” he said. But on a more practical level Munoz questions whether a wall would actually make for a safer border.

“And then the efficacy and efficiency of something like that sounds good, but having traveled around there — the terrain — I don’t know how you are actually going to build any kind of barrier that makes sense across such an incredible length. I don’t know how that’s going to help,” Munoz told us.

…”[When] we start building walls or even creating the concept of walls, it starts making it OK for you to build personal walls at work or with your neighbors,” Munoz said. “I think that’s damning and damaging to the country we all know is great because of that diversity and not despite of it.”

Mr. Munoz, be prepared for a tweet to be unleashed. You are one Bad Hombre.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Good for him. A very pragmatic perspective on the divisive and chaotic politics of the Trump regime. I This makes me want to fly UA which I have not done in years.

  2. Great analysis from a purely business perspective and that’s what DT needs to hear. Saturday Night Live has been on nonstop bombardment and they open up the conversation for dissent around the business table. Purely business.

  3. Totally unacceptable to criticize supreme leader trump.

    With that last name, he should be deported along with that federal judge.

  4. And one more thing for United to copy from Delta…how a ceo should properly bend over and suck up.

  5. “I oppose any wall, anywhere, between any people — period.”

    I totally agree. We need to start tearing down all national borders, all government buildings, all businesses, and all apartments and houses.

  6. [Racist, misogynistic comment removed.. I’ve left the comment insulting me. -Gary]

    Stick to travel, not politics, you fat fuck.

  7. Typical Trump bully. Needs a punch in the mouth to show him his place in Mom’s basement belching his hate on Breitbart, wanking to child porn while demeaning women as grab parts.

    Hey redneck, do you know how much every other civilized person on this planet hates you?

  8. Your blog has become a liberal cj… sad to see that Gary. Enjoy the pc and POTUS bashing, I will enjoy other blogs (and airlines apparently).

  9. @Fred Bigotry = Ignorance. Your man won the election and you still sound angry and have to resort to insults to try to bully others. Sad.

  10. Wow! A thoughtful analysis from a man who survived a heart transplant and is working to make United Airlines better. No BS from him.

  11. @Michael — …and a touchy writer. Let it go, Gary. We get it, you don’t like Trump, and you don’t like the big 3 carriers. Is this what we can look forward to for the next 4 years? Move on to some new topics please.

  12. I, too will consider returning to UA after leaving as a multiple MM a few years ago if he has the courage to speak the truth like this 😉

  13. With all due respect to WR, don’t let it go, Gary. That is exactly what this administration wants – for us to grow weary of the tsunami of hate and lies they spew forth every day. When we “let it go” or grow indifferent, that is when the bad guys win and have free reign to grow even bolder in their attempts to establish their racist plutocracy.

    Like nearly everyone else who reads this blog, I come here for travel-related news and insight. With its xenophobic and Islamophobic attempts to control international travel, it is the current administration, not you, that has chosen to conflate travel and politics.

    I don’t agree with all of your positions, Gary, but I support you 100% on this issue. Keep up the fight!

  14. It’s too bad for some people here that they cannot use online their only tools of communication and conflict/difference resolution, such as their AR-15’s.

  15. asking ar to demonstrate reasoning is like trying to rationalize with facts to your dog why he should take a dump outside the house and not in the living room…waste of time.

    That’s why the right and trump use conditioning and small rewards (like biscuits or EO’s banning Muslims), which just like with dogs, also work much more effectively with low level intellect humans too.

  16. I think everyone on *both* sides is taking this way too personally. The CEO of one of the legacy carriers has said something (potentially) significant. I would want to hear if he loved Trump or if he bashed Trump. (And ditto if we had had Clinton or BHO was still in office.)

  17. Michael what your missing is that authoritarian bullies who idolize Trump don’t brook any dissent and are easily rallied to stomp it out. This is what Russia reverted to due to its history, but we have no history of authoritarian rule so these jackboots are going to get a big surprise when they try to enforce Trump’s will with less than a third behind it. The risk is that he starts a war to jack his support like Bush did. But right now Trump’s pathetic band of fat Confederate rednecks is swamped by tens of millions of bright young multi-cultured moderns in a resistance that already has united almost all of the world, it’s leaders, corporations, and all institutions except the Klan and other far right fringe.

  18. The comments here sometimes hit bottom with FT type rancor. Gary reported what a major airline’s CEO had to say – direct quotes. I was happy to read it because I might not have seen it otherwise. Furthermore, it tells me something about how Oscar thinks and reacts to difficult situations. That is important to me as a consumer. What he says is important. Gary, please think about banning the bad boys. I, for one, don’t want to read their unimportant rants.

  19. Gary, thanks for sharing this as I would not have seen it otherwise. I’m impressed with Mr. Munoz and his courageousness to speak out in this dark time for America. It is much needed. I wish there were more United routes where I live.

  20. “Uncertainty always creates doubt, and doubt creates fear….”

    He’s starting to sound like Yoda

  21. Thank you, Gary, for sharing this, which I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. And thanks for deleting an inappropriate and irrelevant comment, so that commenters can discuss the actual post itself.

  22. “Trump’s pathetic band of fat Confederate rednecks”

    Comments like this would be hilarious if they weren’t also so sad.

    Hillary “won the popular vote” only bc of California. Looking at the entire rest of the country, yes including NY, Mass, Austin, etc, Trump won the popular vote (everywhere but California) by nearly 2 million votes. He won large margins in states that had voted for Obama twice, and even larger margins in states that had voted for Obama once. How did it happen that those former Obama voters suddenly became “fat Confederate rednecks”? “Confederates” in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania? Sheesh…

    I think it’s pathetic that the United CEO thinks that Islamic Terrorism by US citizens who have been taken in by Radical Islamic Fanaticism is due to US policies. I know a lot of far left wing ideologues blamed the US for 911, but I didn’t expect that sort of America bashing from a major airline CEO. What part of ‘they want to take over the world and make everyone convert to Islam’ doesn’t he understand?

    If walls are bad, maybe we should take down the fences around major airports, and certainly not bother with any sort of screening of US citizens simply flying from one domestic airport to another.

    “even creating the concept of walls, it starts making it OK for you to build personal walls at work or with your neighbors”… So when is he going to announce that he’s not locking the doors to his home at night. I’m sure such a public announcement would significantly add to the “diversity” of his home.

    Here’s an idea, how about spending more time trying to get UA’s IT systems to function properly, instead of rambling on about how “walls damage diversity”. Especially dumb considering that he has a meeting coming up with Trump shortly.

  23. @Robert, I’m talking about his enthusiasts and thug enforcers like the fat hicks who attacked people at his rallies, not the vast majority who held their nose to vote for him – like my SW Missouri GOP hometown where lifelong Repub’s like my parents wouldn’t put up yard signs for him because of embarrassment over voting for a psycho like that. Also you should check your “alternative facts” about Hillary only winning the popular vote because of Calif, and whether or not you like it is a state which is always where the future goes, and has a liberal Dem governor who balances the budget which the GOP never did once.

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