GVB acting president sorry about Facebook rant - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GVB acting president sorry about Facebook rant

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Sorry. That's what Guam Visitor's Bureau vice president Bobby Alvarez has to say after a social media post leads to some Facebook drama.

United Airlines is a "downgrade"...United Airlines "needs some competition and a lesson in customer service"... the airline is "a complete disappointment since its inception on Guam". And to top it all off - three thumbs-down emojis. Sounds like a post you may not be surprised to come across on Facebook - but when that post belongs to the VP of GVB, it may raise some eyebrows - especially considering what a close relationship United Airlines and GVB have.

The post, since deleted off Alvarez's profile, but in the day and age of screenshots, the post lives on through WhatsApp. Alvarez, the acting president of GVB right now, fell on his sword at GVB's Tumon HQ.

"First of all, let me apologize to United Airlines for the comment said," he told KUAM News. "United Airlines has been nothing but a great partner for us, they've been working with GVB for so long. We've actually had so much business with going on and they've been supporting our events. So I would like to apologize to United Airlines first."

 Alvarez, who pulls down $125,000 in salary and benefits as GVB's second-in-command, called his FB post a teachable moment for himself and other high-ranking GovGuam officials.

"I guess what it really boils down to - I need to remind myself you know, I'm an official now and I got to be a little more careful," he said. "I think this is a good lesson for me to be careful on and for anybody in particular to be careful when you're an official, too, just be careful of the words you use."

With United Airlines as the signature sponsor of the United Guam Marathon and United's Asia-Pacific managing director Sam Shinohara filling a seat on GVB's board of directors and even considering Alvarez's position as Guam's number two tourism official, Alvarez said his comments had nothing to do with tourism.

"Again, I say that the comments have no reflection on the tourism industry, but I do think I could have said things a lot better," Alvarez said. "I own it and it's mine and I apologize for it."

Meanwhile, Acting Gov. Josh Tenorio says Alvarez should have known better.

"The statements by Bobby, although they were personal in nature, he's a public official," Tenorio said. "He should probably think twice about pushing things out like that." 

GVB President Pilar Laguana, who is off-island, responded to the mishap.

"Our team has been made aware of a comment that our Vice President made on his personal social media account about United," she said. "His comment does not represent in any way, shape, or form the views of the Guam Visitors Bureau. He has been counseled on this matter and he has expressed regret. Our Vice President is aware of the many contributions United has made as Guam’s hometown carrier and as a major employer in our private sector. They also provide 40% of total airline seats to our island. At the Guam Visitors Bureau, we have some important and exciting projects ahead of us and we look forward to working with United so that together, we can continue to improve our visitor experience and tourism industry. "

Alvarez says a family member's experience with the airline prompted to write the post, and he now says he "could've said things a lot better."  While Alvarez's post-bashing on United has since been deleted, an apology post can be found on his Facebook profile. "It was a bad judgment call on my part and I'm owning up to it" Alvarez's apology status message reads.

We asked Alvarez if he was going to be fired or asked to step down from his position because of the Facebook drama.

"Absolutely not," he replied.

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