Companies Like United Airlines That Don’t Really Need to Compete Do Stupid Things

Americans love to gamble. Pay-leagues in fantasy football have exploded in popularity, professional poker is televised on ESPN, every state sponsors a lottery, and casinos adorn even the nation’s capital. Heck, this month’s March Madness in NCAA men’s basketball is more about brackets and office pools than it is about amateur athletics in the vein of Chariots of Fire.

United Airlines has taken note of this predilection for indulging in chance and saw a chance to turn a profit on it. Why not reduce the cost of incentivizing performance among air and ground crews by replacing cash bonuses for on-time departures and arrivals with a lottery? Do away with those expensive $375/quarter bonuses altogether (costing $30 million per year!) and replace it with a couple hundred thousand bucks on a few dozen prizes. All employees formerly eligible for performance bonuses will get a chance to win! How exciting! Well, almost all eligible employees. Chances will only be doled out to employees with perfect attendance records. Can’t have those high performing truants getting any undeserved lottery winnings after all.

You know what? I think CEO Oscar Munoz deserves a bonus for this idea. That’s right–that paltry $13 million he pocketed in over inflated compensation for 2017 needs to be padded a little more. We all know it is tough to run the most expensive and inefficient, but monopolistic, airline in the United States. Those unions, those regulators, those shareholders, and ugh, those Middle Eastern state-sponsored airlines! Lions, tigers, and bears!

What, you say that Munoz didn’t dream this beauty of an idea up? It was Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, and General Counsel (whew!) Brett Hart’s idea? Give him a bonus too! After all his wife is still pissed that her underachieving husband only pulled down $3 million last year.

What the fuck, why just stop at bonuses? Why not turn all compensation into a lottery system? Except for executives, that is. And the finance department. All those fucking geniuses manipulating gate pricing on Expedia should be getting paid at least $95,000 per year guaranteed. Don’t want to risk the nest egg. Not like those lemmings who face the customer or fly our hundred million dollar airplanes–they should be grateful for a lottery. And get Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Levy an extra bonus too. That dumb ass is killing himself for only a $700 thousand salary.

Wait a second…United Airlines has walked back on the lottery bonus already? What the heck for? Just because it made management look like greedy incompetent morons? Oh, come on now–since when did that stop any executive? Think of the embarrassment this week at the country club golf course. The mortification! Oh well. There is always next week. Who knows what amazing ideas will percolate to the top of the corporate ladder.

We can’t wait!

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