US Airways

Natalie Fisher

Case Study 3

13 July 2012

US Airways

Background: US Air Ways is out of Tempe Arizona and has over 3,200 flights that go out on a daily basis. They are the employer for over 32,000 people and use 3 different kinds of jets/planes that connect flights and destinations to North America, South America and Europe.


Problem: On January 15, 2009 flight 1549 survived what people call the “miracle of the Hudson”. This flight took off from LaGuardia Airport and its destination was planned to be at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. While in flight the Captain who was guiding the plane, Chelsey Sullenberger, flew into a flock of Canadian Geese which caused both engines to stop running and loose power. The plan landed into the Hudson River and everybody that boarded the plane in New York survived. There were two minor injuries that came out of this miracle.


Situation Analysis: The US Air Ways had many strengths and weakness along with opportunities and threats. The main strength for US Air Ways was that they had a really good crisis plan that short and to the point and ready to use when crisis came. A weakness would be that the media made headlines before US Air Ways could make any statements so some of the statements were not true. This was a great opportunity for US Air Ways to show there great preparation for a crisis and that they truly care about their customers and their safety. I would say the only threat would be that since US Air Ways was unable to make a statement before the media got to the story their could have been some upset Americans due to the false news.


Strategies: There were many things that made this the miracle of the Hudson. US Airways made sure that all 150 passengers on that plane were taken care of. They set up a toll free number so family could check on their family members that had been on the plane. They helped them with hotel rooms, warm clothing, and cell phones to contact loved ones. They gave them 5,000 dollars and refunded there amount for their plane ticket. The Captain was quite the hero in this situation. He decided that instead of crashing he was going to try a water landing. He made sure all of the crew workers were helping the passengers stay calm and he walked back and forth on the plane many times before he got into the boat. He was the last person off the plane.


Comments: I feel that the US Airways did a fine job. The CEO was very prepared and had a crisis plan in order. The captain knew what his role was and did a fine job. They put the passengers first and was very considerate.












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One Response to US Airways

  1. karobinson5 says:

    Your summary was the first to mention that the captain may have flown into the geese. This could answer my questions as to why there were no prodromes for this crisis. Have the geese been a problem all along or is this the first time they caused an incident? Lynn mentioned that officials were taking measures to decrease the population of geese around the airport. I truly believe that if this had happened before, there would have been a press release template for a water landing. Was the captain a hero or was he just able to safely correct his mistake? I am glad that we was able to react quickly and no lives were lost. I feel that if we crown the captain a hero, we should also give hero status to the crew, the VP of corporate communications and his staff, the care team and the first responders. They all did what the captain did, their jobs and they did them very well. This case should be a prodrome for all airlines.

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