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How United Could Have Avoided a PR Mess: Check Its Own Schedule

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Rob Britton, an aviation consultant and adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, said when airline employees fly on other carriers, it’s almost always on “standby,” meaning only if there are seats available after everyone else boards. On a Sunday night, Britton said, it’s entirely possible there were no other seats to buy. “If seats are available, employees of other airlines are boarded after those of the airline operating the flight,” Britton said. “It’s a challenging process, and because flights are more full today than in the past, it’s happening regularly.”