It's hard to deny that the flying public suddenly feels a little bit more goodwill toward U.S. Airways than they did prior to the accident. Just think: if you're an airline, and you have to have an accident, this is exactly the kind of accident you want to have, one that: a) Is in no way your fault (blame those darn Canadian geese), and b) Demonstrates that you hire the very best pilots in the business (that Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III is a straight-up pimp in most people's minds these days).
But what's it all worth? Will the incident inspire travelers to choose U.S. Airways over its competitors in 2009? It's looking good so far, with the company's shares rising 13% in trading on Friday. But airlines are a tough business, and fliers have long chosen carriers based on price, convenience, and the existence of in-flight TV and wifi, rather than the perception of risk. Still, a story as incredible as this one will likely stay on people's minds for a long time.
What do you think? Are you more likely to fly U.S. Airways because of this incident, or do you think that all modern airlines have similarly-skilled crews? Please share your views on the PR value of the U.S. Airways flight 1549 incident below.
· Successful Outcome of US Airways Crash Gives Shares a Lift [The Wall Street Journal]
· Flight 1549 Coverage [Jaunted]