It’s a tale as old as life itself: A major airline disappoints one of its customers. Customer tweets about their dissatisfaction. Airline responds with platitudes. Customer tells them that’s not cutting it. Airline tweets graphic picture of woman using toy plane as sex toy.
All of which is to say, should you happen to be at work right now, don’t scroll down unless you value your job more than whoever’s running the US Airways account. (Could social media manager Joshua Hensler soon be looking for new employment?) Even with the photograph pixelated, you can see that it was a rough landing for that Boeing 777:
@ellerafter We truly dislike delays too and are very sorry your flight was affected.— US Airways (@USAirways) April 14, 2014
Want to see the uncensored original? OK, fine. Here, click this. NSFW.
The ghastly image took more than an hour to disappear from the US Airways timeline, at which point they issued the standard corporate deflection.
We apologize for an inappropriate image recently shared as a link in one of our responses. We’ve removed the tweet and are investigating.— US Airways (@USAirways) April 14, 2014
It’s too bad, really: for one brief shining moment, a brand was just as irreverent, obscene, and yes, vulnerable, as anyone else on the Web. And we liked it.
Where did the image come from? This person tweeted it at American Air, itself in the news today for being the target of a teen's phony terrorist threat.
But as for its original source, we're still investigating. A quick TinEye search shows the photo made its way around porn sites as early as 2011.
Illustration by Jason Reed