United Tries to Get in on Nugget Tweet, Unsuccessfully

Airline can't escape its other headlines
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2017 7:34 AM CDT
United Tries to Be Cool, Twitter Rolls Its Eyes
Nice try, United.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Fast-food gourmands rejoiced with Carter Wilkerson when he recently broke the Twitter retweet record and earned himself a year's worth of chicken nuggets from Wendy's. Also excited, apparently, was United Airlines, which had been closely following Carter's story on its own since tweeting last month that if Carter got to 18 million retweets, it would fly him to any Wendy's in the world, as long as it was in a city it serviced. Even though Carter didn't come near the 18 million mark (he's at 3.57 million), United decided to honor him anyway, as Wendy's had, and tweeted at him Wednesday to "decide where in the world you'd like to visit." But as Mashable reports, the airline's very public PR attempt backfired, in a very public way, mainly because Twitter has a long memory.

It hadn't forgotten about United's other recent headlines, including a debacle involving leggings, a dead rabbit, David Dao being dragged off a plane, and, just this week, a woman who says United staff forced her to pee in a cup (United takes some issue with her remarks, per the Washington Post). The tweets responding to United's gesture referenced those other incidents, with one warning Carter not to wear leggings on his flight, while another noted the offer was a "trap" to "reaccomodate" [sic] Carter (a reference to the airline's response to the Dao fiasco). Two commenters even dragged another company with its own recent PR flub into the mix: "You should invite him and Dr. Dao together, to a @wendy's outing," said one, met by the response: "They can share a Pepsi together." (Delta has had its own problems.)

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