Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Recently, United Airlines has been on something of a "please the passenger" kick.

Which is better than "kicking the passenger for pleasure," surely.

Last week, I wrote about how the airline is finally introducing a long-haul premium economy class -- called Premium Plus -- something passengers have been craving for, oh, 25 years.

Now, United is getting positively giddy.

It's decided to start telling passengers the truth.

Yes, the whole truth. 

This does, indeed, seem like a revolution. 

But what will it entail?

Well, as Skift.com reports, the new service is called Every Flight Has a Story.

Which, oddly, sounds rather similar to Southwest's latest ad campaign, Behind Every Seat There's a Story.

But perhaps I'm being picky.

What United intends to do is talk to you whenever a flight is delayed by at least an hour -- the time at which you're already clutching your hair, ready to begin the tearing process.

It will send emails, texts, and notifications via its app to tell you what's happening.

Yes, what's really happening.

This will come some five minutes after flight attendants are told, so they can at least think of an answer to the question you're surely going to ask.

In a heart-warming burst of honesty, United's president Scott Kirby admitted to employees recently that he realized how angry passengers can get when they're delayed.

"We have situations where our customers are super-frustrated because we can't tell them what's going on -- a maintenance delay, weather, or rolling delays. They're frustrated with that, or they think we're lying to them," he said.

I super-fear it's usually the latter. 

Those airline euphemisms rain down on passengers like beer sprayed by a bachelor party from the upper deck of a cruise ship. Operational reasons is a classic. I'm convinced it means pilots and crew got drunk and didn't turn up for work.

United's truth-filled communication experiment will begin in Phoenix and Houston. 

I wish it the best.

Even though I confess that when an airline emails me, I have every reason to believe it's talking utter bilge.

Last year, for example, the aforementioned Southwest kept emailing to tell me my flight was delayed, and it continued to email me updates on when the plane would arrive and when it would finally depart. Then it arrived and left far earlier than the airline said it would, and didn't notify me at all.

A number of passengers, myself included, were dumped at LAX with nowhere to go. Yes, it was the last flight of the night.

I can only hope United's system is better than this. I hope it soothes nerves a little and contributes to more pleasant passenger-employee relations.

Then again, I understand many United flight attendants are currently very angry at the airline, so who knows whether this honesty thing will work out? 

Published on: Jan 21, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.