Be Careful Who You Fly With

Be Careful Who You Fly With

By now, anyone remotely connected to the news or social media has almost assuredly seen the forcible removal of a doctor from a United Airlines flight.

Despite seeming cold-blooded and horribly tone-deaf (“we had to re-accommodate the passenger”), United is not nearly the worst airline when it comes to such “re-accommodation”!

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, (which just so happens to track such things) United is, in fact, second-best among the major air carriers when it comes to bumping passengers off flights.

Among these “majors”, JetBlue was the worst offender for last year, followed by Southwest, American, and then United.  Delta had the lowest rate of passenger bumping.

Since 2008, U.S. airlines have paid a combined $218 million in compensation for passengers “involuntarily denied flight”.  Of that, JetBlue has, on average, paid the most to customers for their inconvenience—over $840, while United has paid the least, just $528.

The statistics don’t say which of the other carriers treat “involuntarily denied passengers” to broken noses, lost teeth, concussions, and reconstructive surgery.

So, here are my overarching questions about all of this.

How could United, especially the CEO, be so stupid?

Geez?  How about upping the ante to take another flight until four volunteered?  In hindsight, this would have been a lot cheaper for United.

‘Nuff said on that!

Now, where were all of the other passengers?  Why didn’t they do anything to stop this from happening?

What if they had all stood up and said they weren’t going to allow the plane to take off without the removed passengers were back on the plane?

I had a vision of the movie “Spartacus” on this point.

I guess all of this should simply be a warning… careful.

I used to travel a lot for another job and thankfully it was pre-911, but when I was first starting to travel I got some great advice from a fellow passenger.

His advice was “realize that you’re their prisoner and everything else is a bonus.”

Good advice!

Buyer beware seems even more important after this incident.