The United Airlines Edition

The United Airlines Edition

United Airlines has acted outside the norms of business ethics. They have done so in a manner the requires the guilty be punished.

Let me list some links so you can get a grasp of the actions of what calls itself an airline:

United Airlines passenger forcibly removed from overbooked flight

Passenger dragged off overbooked United flight

Man Violently Dragged Off Plane After United Airlines Overbooks Flight

Or my favorite –

Video shows man forcibly removed from United flight from Chicago to Louisville

I’ve thought about this since I first saw the headlines and I gone from rage to lamenting the sorry spectacle of human stupidity.

The Fire Everyone Edition

Here we have what purports to be a business overbooking flights and using the way the contract is worded to get rid of the unwanted passengers. You notice I don’t call them customers. It’s obvious that the “airline” doesn’t consider them to be that big a deal. Maybe the words, victims, suppliants or some other word the implies a human being considered as nothing more than temporary way to turn some coin might be found to fit.

I suppose the company might have been within its contractual rights to drag everyone off the plane using whatever force it considered reasonable. Maybe the passengers are lucky that didn’t occur to the leadership at United. It’s possible the the company would have considered the unhappy publicity a small price to pay for compliant and obedient passengers in the future. I don’t know.

What I do know is this – somebody has to be fired. In fact, a lot of people need to be fired. This sorry spectacle shows what happens to people when corporations can use the law to enforce their whims. The company took a simple civil dispute and converted into a tragedy. It appears they dragged a doctor off a plane and injured him for not giving up his seat and attempting to assert his rights under the law of this nation.

What we see here is raw power on display.

Did they intend to explain to us who really matters and who doesn’t? It doesn’t matter. The lesson is clear. If you fly United, be obedient and servile or they can drag you from your seat and throw you off the plane like garbage.

Fire everyone. That’s one it is going to take for the lesson to take hold. And what lesson it that, you might ask.

We’re Americans, a proud people and we don’t have to obedient to any company’s whims, and they shouldn’t be able to harm us for standing up for our rights.

I think that’s important. Don’t you?

James Pilant

19 thoughts on “The United Airlines Edition

  1. United’s actions violate so many rules of decent behavior it’s hard to know where to start. But, one thing is for sure. United has sacrificed goodwill with the public. It’s actions give corporate responsibility a black eye. This is an excellent example of a business acting without common sense ethics. It’s quite simple: United may have had the right to drag the passenger off the plane, but that doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A fascinating event exposed a number of interesting issues.

    Are Americans as proud as your essay claims? If so, what exactly does that mean? Proud of WHAT? Did the other passengers do anything to stand up for what was “right”? Apparently not. They took time to shoot video of the incident, though. Is that what “pride” looks like? I think there was a time when some of the men on the plane might have stood out of their seats and stepped in. At least I would like to think so.

    Heh, …welcome to America, Inc. This is capitalism at its finest. Just another example of how capitalism fails as easily as any other system involving human frailties. One has to wonder, though, …do those other systems provide more benefits to a majority of citizens than capitalism does? It’s already well-known that airlines overbook constantly because, after all, they only exist for profits. Every empty seat equals profit not gained.

    We constantly hear the fiscal conservative camp proclaiming “free markets” the model of efficiency and the answer to all societal problems even as the examples they point to are not “free markets” in the first place. When government is controlled by the very capitalists that governments are installed to control, this is the kind of oppressive action we will experience.


    1. Agree that the free market doesn’t work as promised:
      I think the free market is a useful tool for societies to use but the idea of all efficient all knowing invisible hand some kind of secular economic deity is way, way overblown. If you have a tool like a hammer be proud but don’t hit everything in sight. A good toolbox for a nation/state also has public works, the common good, and societal duties and responsibilities.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. This is a predicted failure of capitalism. When you have five or fewer companies in a single market, you have an oligarchy, a situation bearing many of the hallmarks of monopoly. The airline industry has only four players. I’ve been told that around forty or fifty American markets have five or fewer players in them.


      1. Your point is well taken. Also, though, this administration is one of the more “unpredictable” administrations we’ve seen, so it’s difficult to predict.


  3. Pingback: Overbooking 101 | Donal

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