Friday, November 12, 2010

"Clean, Safe, and Reliable"

My ministry at Glide entails a lot of travel beyond the Bay Area. While my favorite airline is United, I have recently grown a little nervous about the airline.  It is not because the airline has merged with Continental but because of the messaging from the CEO of the now merged companies, Jeff Smisek. Mr. Smisek has tried to reassure costumers that the quality of air travel will remain the same during the transition, stating that the company will continue to provide "clean, safe, and reliable air transportation."

Maybe it's just me, but when I hear "clean, safe, and reliable" I hear a hierarchy of values, #1 being "clean", #2 being "safe", and #3 being "reliable". This makes me nervous as I listen to Mr. Smisek's pre-take off message on the plane.  As the plane is taking off, in mid-air, and landing, I confess that the cleanliness of the plane is not foremost on my mind. Safety?  Oh yes!!!! Reliable? It really helps when making connections! But clean? While I like a plane that is free of debris as much as anyone, an empty peanuts bag in the chair pocket isn't going to make or break my decision to fly United ever again.

But a less than safe flight? Well, that's another story.

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