I went to the first messages on the UAL board and made my way up to 9/11. What I noticed after 9/11 was a heartfelt outpouring of sympathy to those lost on that day. This post is about UAL before and after that day.
Leading up to 9/11, I read hundreds of messages from bitter passengers on the lack of courtesy from employees, poor customer service, percieved arrogance of UAL employees and the contempt for the pilot slowdown in 2000 and the inconveniences it wrought on the public. UAL was in deep trouble well before 9/11 and not necessarily because of it. 9/11 exacerbated UAL's problems, but it was a doomed experiment on employee ownership, where board members rubber-stamped egregious pay increases for greedy pilots and created industry "leading" wages. "Leading" headlong into bankruptcy.
The best solution is going thru Chapter 11, where wages can be brought down, with the stroke of a pen, to industry averages. The airline is too large to go away immediately. Wring out the ridiculousness of way too high of wages and clear the board of corrupt members who have a clear conflict of interest for the well-being of the company. UAL will survive, but in a slightly smaller and more cost efficient (read; reasonable wages) entity. UAL will have to work for it's life and they do have a big job ahead of them. Doable, but difficult. So, UAL employees, are you up to the task?