United Airlines might not be in favor of super discounted tickets for the average flyer, but the company is now finding itself at the center of a controversy that involves special flights for the former head of the New Jersey Port Authority.
David Samson first came into the public eye for his role in a bridge closing that seemed to stem from mean-spirited payback. Now United Airlines has been dragged into the spotlight after it was found the bridge closure wasn’t the only dirty deed Samson might have done.
United Airlines announced it has opened an internal audit on its relationship with Samson just days after the federal government said it was launching an investigation. United Airlines is being looked at by the feds because it claims the company might have added a special route from its Newark hub to an airport close to Samson’s South Carolina weekend home. The move is said to have been a way for United Airlines to curry favor with the former head of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority chief.
Reuters reports that the Port Authority is claiming to be working closely with the feds. United Airlines might not be talking to the press about the situation, but it is trying to assuage investors’ fears. The announcement of the internal audit was part an earnings report the company released on Friday. The report also confirmed that the government is taking a real interest in the firm.
According to NorthJersey.com, the report included a statement, saying, “The company and certain of its executive officers and employees have received federal grand jury subpoenas requesting records and testimony related to certain individuals formerly associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and related operations of the Company.”
United Airlines is also claiming in the report that it is cooperating fully with the investigation while it undertakes the internal audit. At issue is the fact that federal aviation records show the flight that would have aided Samson were generally only half full. It seems unlikely United Airlines would have continued allowing the trip unless there was another reason for doing so.
The relationship between the company and Samson appears to have started while he was working to get more flights to Atlantic City. That plan was at the center of Governor Chris Christie’s revitalizing that part of New Jersey. Now the investigations will attempt to find if United Airlines might have gone a bit too far when it came to cooperation.