Doug Parker the youthful genial chief of US Airways got himself some unwanted publicity the other week, when Arizona police pulled him over for speeding and then decided that he as also driving while under the influence. Airline Business didn’t say anything in large part because it’s not really a job-performance issue and in any case Doug is a straight-arrow and has shown himself to be a straight-laced guy for years.
But now as the airline prepares for its first media day since its bid for Delta Air Lines fell through, we couldn’t help but notice that the US Airways PR department had sent out invitations to the press for a little entertainment the night before. The centrepiece of this entertainment: youthful, genial Doug Parker and other top US Airways executives will gather with the press for food and drink at a miniature-car racing park, don crash-helmets and fireproof suits and get into little go cars and drive around as fast as they can. Here’s the race-track’s site, as sent out by the airline: http://f1racefactory.com
AB officially believes in jollity as much as the next big media organisation, but for a company trying very hard to help people forget that its chief executive just pled guilty to driving violations, are they sure that driving very fast in little (or even big) cars sends the right message?