US Airways Tweets Wildly Inappropriate Photo in Worst Social Media Blunder Ever

US AirwaysSo U.S. Airways made a major blunder on Monday afternoon. I mean there are little mistakes -- small lapses in judgment that can usually be apologized and rationalized away with a swift PR brushoff, and then there are big mistakes that include a major airline tweeting a very graphic and sexually explicit photo to over 400,000 followers.

Whoops. It seems that someone was unhappy sitting on the runway, and tweeted a complaint to U.S. Airways. Whoever runs the social media over there responded back, "We welcome feedback, Elle. If your travel is complete, you can detail here for review and follow up," along with a link.


Instead of leading to a customer feedback survey, it was a picture of a woman with her legs spread and a toy airplane and well ... yeah. That happened.

It took an hour, but the tweet was eventually deleted, and the airline replaced it with, "We apologize for an inappropriate image recently shared as a link in one of our responses. We've removed the tweet and are investigating."

But everyone knows the Internet is forever, thanks to a little thing called screen shots. Once you've made a mistake this huge, it will live on forever in the digital world.
Like remember the time Justine Sacco tweeted, "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!" and was destroyed by the Internet?
Or when Kenneth Cole tweeted during a seriously political uprising in Cairo, "Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online... -KC."
Or when Urban Outfitters failed to stop a Twitter firestorm after being accused of ripping of jewelry designs? Sorry guys, but, "Please know our accessories buying team is looking into this," isn't good enough.
Then there was that time a Marc Jacobs intern high-jacked the company's Twitter account and had an epic meltdown in which they called the CEO a tyrant. That was pretty good.
What about when Chrysler tweeted, "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive"? Ah, the F-bomb is always a fun one on an official Twitter PR account.
But as awesomely terrible as those five social media fails were, at least they managed to avoid pornography. Congrats, U.S. Airways -- your social media fail just topped them all.
Have you ever tweeted something regrettable?

Image via Aero Icarus/Flickr
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