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

Airline CEOs have a lot on their minds.

Wall Street, Wall Street and Wall Street, for example.

Often, it seems as if they don't have time for pesky things such as employee unrest or customer dissatisfaction.

Unless, that is, these things begin to affect profits.

Still, United Airlines was forced to consider its humanity quotient after one of its passengers was dragged off a plane, his face looking as if he'd just gone a round with Apollo Creed.

Still, though, United's reputation for humanity is somewhat behind that, of, for example, Delta.

One Delta customer, however, says she witnessed United's CEO Oscar Munoz doing something that few customers have ever witnessed.

He flew in Economy Class.

It's the reason behind Munoz slumming it, however, that incited Rebecca Kuchar Krutz to tell her story on Facebook

I'm a pretty loyal Delta Airlines customer. But tonight I was on a flight w the CEO of United. I was a bit surprised seeing him walk back into the economy section of the plane to take his seat.

Perhaps he was just testing the Economy Class service. Even American Airlines CEO Doug Parker has been known to do that

It seems, though, this wasn't the case with Munoz. He was performing an act of charity. 

Krutz -- owner of the Krutz Family Cellars Winery, as well as a hair salon -- explained: 

Seated in front of me on the plane was an elderly lady in her 80's (maybe even early 90's). She didn't appear to be in great health and had a bit of a hard time with her speech. Prior to boarding, I'd seen Oscar (the CEO) make his way out of a crowd of people in order to go over and speak w her. I thought it was nice of him to take time to say hello to her when there was literally a crowd of people trying to speak w him.

What ensued, said Krutz, was that Munoz gave his First Class seat to the elderly lady and went to the back. She added: 

That, ladies and gentleman, is how it should be done. Treat our elders with the respect and care they deserve. I may very well be a lifelong United customer after witnessing that act of selflessness by a man who likely has his own private plane, and yet was humble enough to give up his seat to an elderly lady he'd never met before, because he thought she'd be more comfortable there.

United confirmed to me that this delightful act of humanity occurred on a flight from Jacksonville to Chicago.

Some, of course, will remain skeptical.

United still hasn't extricated itself from its uncaring image. Its Flight Attendants, too, are so unhappy that they're organizing a Day of Action against the airline.

Munoz himself has been accused of, oh, stealing sand from a beach.

I prefer to think that, at least on this day, Munoz was simply being a decent human.

It's astonishing how, if you do that, passengers notice very quickly.

Published on: Nov 30, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.