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Frequent Fliers Run America
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Everybody on Twitter is talking about some incident on some airline. I don’t fly much lately, so I don’t really care. But one of my rules of thumb is that America is run by Frequent Fliers.

So, anything involving airline travel gets tons of publicity. Be careful about policies that inconvenience travelers because Frequent Fliers can empathize, and they matter.

 
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  1. I want to bring attention to this article that argues how the airline monopolies are economically strangling Middle America and leading to the decline of the heartland cities.

    http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/marchapril-2012/terminal-sickness/

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder
    You brought up airline monopolies in a different light. I brought it up as a probably reason why airlines weren't making a huge outcry and lobbying hard to remove TSA and put in some sensible, non-invasive policies.

    I think we need some anti-trust action on that front. Although most people recall antitrust legislation being used against Standard Oil, historically, the Sherman Antitrust act was used against Railroad conglomorates , as train travel the dominant methods of long-distance travel in its day. For example, Teddy Roosevelt used it against the formation of a regional monopoly on railroad travel in the Northwest part of the country.

    It's quite easy to draw a parallel between railroad monopolies (the dominant form of transport in its day) and airline monopolies. Rattle their cages and they might be able to get rid of the TSA without breaking them up, or, if they don't respond, splinter them into a million pieces.
    , @Lot
    Since deregulation domestic airlines have made a net profit of less than 0. They may have a few individual route monopolies, but none on major routes. It is overall not a profitable business, so there is nothing antitrust law can do to change things for the better. The point of antitrust is to create competition, but there is enough competition now that airlines barely make a profit. While they are doing OK now, it is still one of the lowest margin businesses to be in.
    , @Mr. Anon
    There might just be some other reasons why businesses want to decamp from Memphis, St. Louis, and Cincinatti. However, I think the reasons given in that article might also have something to do with it.
    , @TheJester
    This is true. Airline routes can make or break cities and regions. Years ago, while marketing for a mid-western state, I was repeatedly told that major corporations, hedge funds, and investors would not invest in a city that did not have direct airline connections to their home offices ... primarily located on the East Coast and Left Coast of course. No waiting for flights in hubs or flying prop jobs. So much for the Great Flyover and its economy.
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  2. There is so much needless, expensive flying and hoteling going on for business. This is not new.

    If you’ve ever been a part of this, and if you have an ounce of awareness, you know the truth. An awful lot of business travel is unnecessary. Especially now, with all the ways we can meet virtually and share desktops.

    It’s part of the corporate culture. Little, multi-million-dollar business jets are at the top. Most of their flights are unnecessary too.

    The airline and hotel industries would sink without the biz travel, which we all subsidize through higher prices on the products and services these traveling executives sell to us.

    Read More
    • Replies: @O'Really
    Based on my observations, all this business travel does serve a major function - it gets the traveler away from his wife.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    You don't build the relationships necessary to close big-dollar deals by sharing desktops virtually. You do that by eating and drinking together. Hence the travel.
  3. If that were true we’d have no TSA patdown cavity searches or cancer-causing, naked-picture-taking x-ray machines and we’d just have a bunch of Muslims going through a Muslims-only line.

    It might be more true to say the country is run by Frequent Fliers who have their own planes. , while they tell commercial Frequent Fliers that TSA cavity searches, sterility from x-rays, and no-profiling policies are actually good because “it’s 2017″ and “that’s who we are.”

    Then they laugh maniacally as the Frequent Fliers eat the crumbs from their table and dutifully act as stenographers for their press releases.

    I’m actually not that far from reality, sadly.

    P.S. Why consumers don’t put pressure on airlines to kill off TSA and put in some sensible policies (i.e. non-p.c.) is a market failure that should be explored. Airlines through their lobbies can affect TSA policy more than any other group, and they want customers at least non-troublesome, and even better happy. And alive. And TSA is a misery-inducing, privacy-violating dog-and-pony show that does nothing.

    The fact that consumers haven’t gotten airlines to do this means we’re likely too dependent on a few large airlines for travel, which means….anti-trust action?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    The cavity searches etc. have two benefits for the frequent flyers.

    One is that they can feel safer: "Look, they do cavity searches to me, they must be really diligent!"

    The other is that it's good virtue-signalling for them, "I submit to cavity searches because I'm such a good, law-abiding citizen who helps law enforcement find nothing in his empty cavities", also "I'm anti-racist so I support law enforcement doing this to me, otherwise they would subject MENA people to discrimination, and that would be bad."
    , @SteveRogers42
    Agree with you. TSA must go. Every time I have to fly somewhere, I am infuriated by the fact that I have to kowtow to a bunch of dweebs who couldn't pass the entry requirements for actual police work , but who are allowed to do a "Terry stop" patdown on me based on no reasonable suspicion whatsoever. No policeman would be allowed to do that. My ancestors were infantrymen in both World Wars, and the paternal side of my family came West in a covered wagon...I'm an American, not a shifty 'n suspicious foreigner. Don't treat me as such.

    I can't help but notice that Our Greatest Ally has had airline security concerns for far longer than we have, and has addressed them with great success through a program of vigorous profiling, conducted by agents with serious professional training. They do not harass their own kind. Perhaps we should learn from their example.

    They build yuuuuge beautiful border walls, too.
    , @bomag

    Why consumers don’t put pressure on airlines to kill off TSA and put in some sensible policies
     
    I've always thought that a few organized protests would be plenty easy and change things plenty fast.

    Do protesters even face jail time anymore?

    I guess air travelers are part of the polite crowd.
    , @(((Owen)))

    we’d just have a bunch of Muslims going through a Muslims-only line.
     
    If frequent fliers ran the country, we wouldn't have a bunch of Moslems at all.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    I believe the legislation that authorized the TSA let airlines apply to withdraw from it. IIRC, one airline made such a request which was denied by Norman Mineta, Dubya's Transportation Secretary, because Hawaiians had been subject to raaaaacism. Or something. Now that the TSA is unionized, it will be a frozen day in Hell before the Ds let 40,000 dues-paying members get pink-slipped.
    , @biz
    The TSA could profile all we want, but we would still need airport screening for everyone. As much as I am on record here slapping people down repeatedly for stupid inane false equivalence narratives regarding Islamic terrorism, even without it there would still be the spectre of just plain old hijackings, DB Cooper or Cuban dissident style.
  4. The problem here seems to be that four United employees came in late and bullied their way onto an already loaded flight.

    Power flaunting.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    The irony here is that this was not a United flight at all. This was a "United Express" flight that is run under contract with Republic Airline. United saves $ by having its shorter /lower capacity "commuter" flights operated under contract by Republic who pays its pilots bubkes. The pilot business is operated like the acting business where pilots hope to land a gig at a major and earn a decent living but few ever do and those that don't barely make a living. Regional carrier pilots sleep in the airline terminal or their cars because they can't afford a motel room. But for United, live by the sword, die by the sword - they lent their name out to Republic so now they have to live with the PR blowback from what Republic did with it.

    Republic as a low rent operation refused to offer more than $800 to get a volunteer although they could have gone much higher. $800 is close to what they pay a pilot in a month. Cheaper to call the cops.

    And the people who dragged the guy off the plane were not employees of either, but Chicago cops. So double irony - why is United getting the grief instead of the Chicago PD? I'm sure that the cops were not under instructions from either United or Republic to beat the crap out of the guy - that was their idea and/or lack of training in how to handle people. Chicago PD is used to handling dindus who are in no position to complain most of the time.

    Speaking of being in no position, David Dao, the victim, has a "troubled past" as a pill doctor.

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2017/04/11/david-dao-passenger-removed-united-flight-doctor-troubled-past/100318320/

    In China, the good doctor's removal is being spun as anti-Chinese racism. Sort of ironic that the Chinaman is now getting whites addicted to opium instead of vice versa - cosmic revenge I guess.

    So there are no heroes here, just a sordid rogue's gallery of marginal players trying to scratch out a living in the sad twilight of the American empire, but streamed live and in color on your Korean cell phone.

    , @William Badwhite
    They were "deadheading" - being transported from Point A to Point B to work another flight. Its not like they're going on vacation. Airline employees traveling for pleasure only get seats that are unsold at the time of departure. They can't bump paying passengers.

    All sorts of things could have happened - including the crew of another flight scheduled to leave Louisville being out of time for their duty day (pilots and flight attendants are allowed to work X number of hours without a break...if they're over that the airline either needs to get another crew in to fly it, or else cancel the flight). With weather delays, mechanical problems, ATC delays, it is not unusual for a crew to run out of time before their scheduled day of flying ends.

    Obviously the airline could have handled it better (including continuing to raise the amount they'll compensate someone until they found volunteers), but in this case better to bump four people to make room for a flight crew headed to Louisville than to cancel a flight scheduled to leave Louisville, and thus ruin travel for 100+ people.
  5. OT, but interesting observations on Trump’s relationship with Bannon, Priebus and Kushner from National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, whose mother, Lucianne, was instrumental in breaking the Monica Lewinsky scandal:

    Right now, there’s a lot of talk about how both Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus may be on the way out at the White House. In general, I’d shed no tears at Bannon’s defenestration, but it’s worth noting that Bannon and Priebus now form an unlikely coalition against Jared Kushner, a lifelong liberal Democrat. By all accounts Kushner is a smart and serious guy. He also has the ace up his sleeve of being married to the president’s (also liberal) daughter. I have grave disagreements with Bannon, but in this fight I think I’m on his side:

    One senior Trump aide said that Bannon was also frustrated with Kushner “continuing to bring in [Obamacare architect] Zeke Emanuel to discuss health care options,” for instance. The aide said Emanuel has had three White House meetings, including one with Trump.

    But the idea that the chaos in the White House is a function of bad staff is grossly unfair, even to Bannon. The chaos isn’t a bug in the Trump program — it is the program. It’s how he likes to run things. He could bring in a whole new roster of people, the result will likely be the same.

    Trump is also a jealous deity – MSM coverage insinuating that Bannon was his Rasputin may have brought Bannon low:

    Donald Trump is a charismatic political figure. I don’t mean that in the conventional sense that he’s “charming.” I mean it in the sociological and political-science sense. Max Weber delineated three kinds of authority — legal, traditional, and charismatic. Charismatic authority rests “on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him.” Charismatic leaders get people to write books called In Trump We Trust.

    But the problem with charismatic leaders is that they are often a kind of Rorschach test. People project onto them what they want to see. I’ve lost count of how many conversations I’ve had with hardcore Trump fans who’ve described wildly different Donald Trumps — not simply different from the man I see, but different from each other. As a matter of logic, not all of these assessments can be right.

    But logic also dictates that all of them can be wrong. Earlier this week I wrote a column about how the core problem with Trump’s presidency so far isn’t his lack of an agenda or his tweeting or any of that. It’s Trump’s own character. Many angry readers came at me saying that I was just refusing to get over my Never Trumpism (they’re wrong about that by the way). Others suggested I was just a sucker for the mainstream media’s “fake news.” I’m not a political reporter, but I do talk to a lot of people in and around the Trump administration. And the simple fact is that the chaos in the Trump White House is an outgrowth of the president’s personality. He’s mercurial. He cares more about status, saving face, respect, “winning,” etc. than he does about any public policy. That’s not to say he doesn’t care about public policy at all. I think he’s sincere in his views about immigration, trade, excessive regulation, etc. But they take a back seat to Trump’s desire to maintain his charismatic status (which is why we’ve seen so many stories about how he gets mad at staffers who get good press — a really bizarre attitude for a manager when you think about it).

    Given Trump’s decades-long record as an ethically-shady operator, between the casinos and peddling of overpriced and worthless real estate seminars, it shouldn’t be a surprise if there’s a difference between what he promised and what he finally delivers. Primary voters bought the sizzle. If we’re lucky, we’ll get something well short of a crap sandwich. Still, given that the alternative was Hillary …

    Nonetheless, don’t be surprised if Trump goes the Arnold route – better to be a successful liberal pol than a failed conservative one. Gorsuch may be last good thing Trump hands to conservatives.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bored identity
    Disturbing
    , @Chrisnonymous
    As I said before, because of Ivanka, the only way to sideline Jared Kushner is to pull a Charles Kushner on him. Leak an incriminating sex video to the press. Preferably with water sports, just so the left gets a taste of its own medicine. If it can't be orchestrated, just produce something plausible-looking from scratch.
    , @Jack D
    A lot of people including so called "conservatives" (or cuckservatives) are just waiting for Trump to fail. These same people wrote Trump off on a dozen prior occasions but the guy is like an unstoppable zombie of their nightmares. Given their track record of being totally wrong (about almost everything but about Trump especially) I think it's a little too soon to declare Trump politically dead for the umpteenth time.
  6. @mothball2
    I want to bring attention to this article that argues how the airline monopolies are economically strangling Middle America and leading to the decline of the heartland cities.

    http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/marchapril-2012/terminal-sickness/

    You brought up airline monopolies in a different light. I brought it up as a probably reason why airlines weren’t making a huge outcry and lobbying hard to remove TSA and put in some sensible, non-invasive policies.

    I think we need some anti-trust action on that front. Although most people recall antitrust legislation being used against Standard Oil, historically, the Sherman Antitrust act was used against Railroad conglomorates , as train travel the dominant methods of long-distance travel in its day. For example, Teddy Roosevelt used it against the formation of a regional monopoly on railroad travel in the Northwest part of the country.

    It’s quite easy to draw a parallel between railroad monopolies (the dominant form of transport in its day) and airline monopolies. Rattle their cages and they might be able to get rid of the TSA without breaking them up, or, if they don’t respond, splinter them into a million pieces.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pittsburgh Thatcherite
    Intense competition is the only way to deliver high quality at low cost to consumers.

    An oligopoly of 5 airlines control 70% of flights inside the United States.

    Since there is so little competition, flights inside the United States are much more expensive than flights inside Europe.

    For example, a one-way airplane ticket from London to Frankfurt can cost as little as $16.25 on Ryanair.

    In order to lower the cost of airplane flights inside the United States to European levels, European airlines should be allowed to fly inside the United States.

    In order to create jobs for Americans, these flights should only be staffed by United States citizens.
    , @Pittsburgh Thatcherite
    Who would benefit from the Federal Department of Transportation shutting down 26 inter-city bus companies in a single day in May 2012?

    Possibly the airline oligopoly.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft8-ZaugYSU

  7. If frequent flyers ran America, airports wouldn’t have the TSA, its body scanners, and jailhouse pat-downs.

    I suspect the people who really run America don’t fly commercial.

    Read More
    • Agree: Escher
    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Bingo. exactly what I said in my post.

    great minds, and all that......
    , @Opinionator
    Don't frequents fliers now benefit from express security lines at many airports, while the plebes are stuck with the regular waits?
    , @NOTA
    I think a lot of frequent flyers learn how to game the system to their (our, back in my consulting days) favor, and spend enough energy on that not to need to push too hard to make the system less nasty overall. Platinum club, airport lounge, automatic upgrade to first class, TSA Pre, etc.

    There's some bit of unpleasant human nature here--it's actually pretty tolerable to get a bucket of shit dumped on my head once a day, so long as I get to watch a bunch of other people get it twice a day. Hey, I'm *beating the system*, what's not to like?
  8. @Johann Ricke
    OT, but interesting observations on Trump's relationship with Bannon, Priebus and Kushner from National Review's Jonah Goldberg, whose mother, Lucianne, was instrumental in breaking the Monica Lewinsky scandal:

    Right now, there’s a lot of talk about how both Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus may be on the way out at the White House. In general, I’d shed no tears at Bannon’s defenestration, but it’s worth noting that Bannon and Priebus now form an unlikely coalition against Jared Kushner, a lifelong liberal Democrat. By all accounts Kushner is a smart and serious guy. He also has the ace up his sleeve of being married to the president’s (also liberal) daughter. I have grave disagreements with Bannon, but in this fight I think I’m on his side:

    One senior Trump aide said that Bannon was also frustrated with Kushner “continuing to bring in [Obamacare architect] Zeke Emanuel to discuss health care options,” for instance. The aide said Emanuel has had three White House meetings, including one with Trump.
     
    But the idea that the chaos in the White House is a function of bad staff is grossly unfair, even to Bannon. The chaos isn’t a bug in the Trump program — it is the program. It’s how he likes to run things. He could bring in a whole new roster of people, the result will likely be the same.
     
    Trump is also a jealous deity - MSM coverage insinuating that Bannon was his Rasputin may have brought Bannon low:

    Donald Trump is a charismatic political figure. I don’t mean that in the conventional sense that he’s “charming.” I mean it in the sociological and political-science sense. Max Weber delineated three kinds of authority — legal, traditional, and charismatic. Charismatic authority rests “on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him.” Charismatic leaders get people to write books called In Trump We Trust.

    But the problem with charismatic leaders is that they are often a kind of Rorschach test. People project onto them what they want to see. I’ve lost count of how many conversations I’ve had with hardcore Trump fans who’ve described wildly different Donald Trumps — not simply different from the man I see, but different from each other. As a matter of logic, not all of these assessments can be right.

    But logic also dictates that all of them can be wrong. Earlier this week I wrote a column about how the core problem with Trump’s presidency so far isn’t his lack of an agenda or his tweeting or any of that. It’s Trump’s own character. Many angry readers came at me saying that I was just refusing to get over my Never Trumpism (they’re wrong about that by the way). Others suggested I was just a sucker for the mainstream media’s “fake news.” I’m not a political reporter, but I do talk to a lot of people in and around the Trump administration. And the simple fact is that the chaos in the Trump White House is an outgrowth of the president’s personality. He’s mercurial. He cares more about status, saving face, respect, “winning,” etc. than he does about any public policy. That’s not to say he doesn’t care about public policy at all. I think he’s sincere in his views about immigration, trade, excessive regulation, etc. But they take a back seat to Trump’s desire to maintain his charismatic status (which is why we’ve seen so many stories about how he gets mad at staffers who get good press — a really bizarre attitude for a manager when you think about it).
     

    Given Trump's decades-long record as an ethically-shady operator, between the casinos and peddling of overpriced and worthless real estate seminars, it shouldn't be a surprise if there's a difference between what he promised and what he finally delivers. Primary voters bought the sizzle. If we're lucky, we'll get something well short of a crap sandwich. Still, given that the alternative was Hillary ...

    Nonetheless, don't be surprised if Trump goes the Arnold route - better to be a successful liberal pol than a failed conservative one. Gorsuch may be last good thing Trump hands to conservatives.

    Disturbing

    Read More
  9. @Buzz Mohawk
    There is so much needless, expensive flying and hoteling going on for business. This is not new.

    If you've ever been a part of this, and if you have an ounce of awareness, you know the truth. An awful lot of business travel is unnecessary. Especially now, with all the ways we can meet virtually and share desktops.

    It's part of the corporate culture. Little, multi-million-dollar business jets are at the top. Most of their flights are unnecessary too.

    The airline and hotel industries would sink without the biz travel, which we all subsidize through higher prices on the products and services these traveling executives sell to us.

    Based on my observations, all this business travel does serve a major function – it gets the traveler away from his wife.

    Read More
    • Agree: Coemgen
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    A former flight instructor of mine told me, decades ago, that corporate jets were "basically turbine propelled dildos".

    Sex has a lot to do with their 'necessity'. For one thing, it gets execs away from the wives so they can round some up in relative safety and anonymity. The airplane can be used as bait, and serve as a place to accomplish the deed too, whether on the ramp or in the air. Who hasn't wanted to join the Mile High Club in style?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=867iOLXSkAA



    (Regretfully, joining the Ten Mile High Club seems impracticable, since no commercially available aircraft anymore has a certificated service ceiling above FL 510. Just short of 52800 feet, alas. )
  10. Since early in the campaign, I have felt that Trump could buy himself an easy 5% bump in the polls by promising to fix the TSA from the bottom up.

    It has surprised me that he never seized on this easy populist issue. Of course, the last time he flew commercial, there were no metal detectors, much less TSA. And his WWC people don’t fly much either, so he might not really be in touch with the degree of outrage out there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @eD
    Ran Prieur made a really good suggestion about the Trump administration back in November and December.

    He said essentially that Trump should embrace the Reform Party/ Perot part of his background and put in alot of minor reforms, addressing the general crappiness of 21st century American life, that are not particularly ideological but which the Republican and Democratic party hacks who have been in charge and their backers have been preventing.

    Prieur specifically mentioned getting rid of the penny as an example. But stopping the TSA pat downs is another good example. This stuff isn't part of the nationalist or GOP agenda, but capitalize on Trump's outsider status (first prez since 1989 with no known CIA connections!), would be really popular, and would improve things around here. And much of this can be done by executive order.
    , @Federalist
    This is a great idea. People hate the TSA. Trump wouldn't even have to be particularly successful. He wouldn't have to disband the TSA or anything like that. If he would talk about how much the TSA sucks and make some kind of improvement, regular people would find it appealing. Trump is a populist and he would be great as coming across at standing up for regular people against incompetent, pain in the ass bureaucracy. What voters or political figures are going to defend TSA? None that would ever vote for or support Trump.
    , @Anonymous
    The TSA does very little to provide real security for American air travel.

    I have talked more than once with former "elite special operators" (I've seen their 214's and in a couple of cases seen their names in history books: I even asked the legendary Don Shipley about one and found out not only was he legit but that Shipley was in awe of the guy) who have told me that there is only one really secure airline, El Al, and that they would have no problem getting a gun onboard any US commercial domestic flight if they had to. (None would say exactly how, though. Just like no aircrew will tell you how the secret bypass to the cabin door works, but none will deny it's there, at least on some aircraft.)

    For my own case, I have openly referred to TSA as "the SA" numerous times at airports and have only once had someone say a word about it: a Mexican thought it was a racial slur. I explained that, no, it was a reference to "Europe back in the day" and he let it go with that.
  11. @Buzz Mohawk
    There is so much needless, expensive flying and hoteling going on for business. This is not new.

    If you've ever been a part of this, and if you have an ounce of awareness, you know the truth. An awful lot of business travel is unnecessary. Especially now, with all the ways we can meet virtually and share desktops.

    It's part of the corporate culture. Little, multi-million-dollar business jets are at the top. Most of their flights are unnecessary too.

    The airline and hotel industries would sink without the biz travel, which we all subsidize through higher prices on the products and services these traveling executives sell to us.

    You don’t build the relationships necessary to close big-dollar deals by sharing desktops virtually. You do that by eating and drinking together. Hence the travel.

    Read More
    • Agree: JohnnyGeo
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Yeah, that's why Amazon's failing and brick and mortar's doing so well.
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    I understand, but I saw and participated in a lot of piddly little intra-corporate meetings that required thousands of dollars of flying and hotel rooms. Those weren't big dollar deals. Those were corporate managers building their silos.

    People talk a lot about government waste, and it is very real. However, there is an increasing amount of waste that goes on the bigger any organization gets. Corporations are no exception.

    , @Anonym
    You don’t build the relationships necessary to close big-dollar deals by sharing desktops virtually. You do that by eating and drinking together. Hence the travel.

    I agree. There are a lot of different businesses in the world. They aren't all amazon.com. A lot of business to business or business to government discussion is best done by executives talking face to face. You don't build much rapport with a telephone call. You can't gauge body language. You can't share a meal, have a drink. You can't run your eyes over a plant, see what workers are doing, what is being built, what needs to get done, over the phone or with a text message.

    In the scheme of things, executive travel and accommodation is a relatively small line item in a large company's expenses. The results are better.
    , @penskefile
    I work with people who sell millions of dollars of product to Amazon. Trust me, they travel to Seattle and build relationships with everyone they can. Pinsen is right on the money.
    , @Bleuteaux
    I had a lengthy comment here, looks like Unz brilliant spam avoidance system ate it up again.
    , @Bleuteaux
    Let's try this again.

    I work for a huge monopoly that everyone here has heard about, in a non customer facing position and field. Business travel by middle and upper management is out of control. We have people in my division who go overseas 10+ times a year simply to sit at the offices of the same people we already talk to on a daily basis.

    To my amazement, this seems to actually get worse during recessions. Managers apparently need to show that their travel budgets are well used.

    Since I can't discern any appropriate business reason for flying to Brazil or Germany actual sitting at our regional corporate office talking to the same exact people, only in person, I can only guess that the travel helps build the manager's brand and allows them to live a full week a month totally on the Corporate dime.

  12. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Dave Pinsen
    You don't build the relationships necessary to close big-dollar deals by sharing desktops virtually. You do that by eating and drinking together. Hence the travel.

    Yeah, that’s why Amazon’s failing and brick and mortar’s doing so well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Touché. Amazon trouncing bricks & mortar retail invalidates my point about businessmen landing big-dollar deals in person.
    , @Escher
    Apples and oranges
  13. The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.

    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bored identity



    The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell.

     

    But, what if the good, and fast thinking doctor had in mind a lawsuit, highly empathetic jury, and consequentially more then few million green reasons that would allow him to never set his foot again in any type of Flying Greyhound?

    Aha.
    , @Peter Akuleyev
    Exactly. There aren't really any heroes in this story. It is only a 5 hour drive to Louisville, yet no one was willing to take an $800 voucher to help United get a crew down to Louisville to prevent a hundred people on some other flight from being inconvenienced. The doctor had no qualms creating a scene and delaying the flight of all his fellow passengers. We certainly live in a world of diminishing civic Still, the United team demonstrated an incredible lack of communication skills and creativity. Couldn't they have just offered to hire a nice van or limousine to take 4 passengers to Louisville in comfort? I would take that over a flight any day.
    , @Lot
    I also agree. I have taken the $400 or $800 about 4 times in my life. Partly it was the money of course, but it was also because I knew I was flexible those times and other people were not.

    In the past 5-10 years airlines have gotten steadily better at filling every seat of a flight. We have all benefited from this in the form of more flights and better prices as a result. The rare downside that maybe 1 in 20,000 flights you might be the victim of an involuntary bump should be taken in stride and with these facts in mind. I am sure I have flown more than 500 segments and I don't think I've ever been on a flight where there was an involuntary bump, so it is extremely rare.

    I hope people here are all extra nice to airline employees who regularly have to deal with shouting angry entitled people like this.
    , @eah
    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    God help your paying customers if you ever run a business -- what part of confirmed booking, including billing your credit card, ie a contract, do you not understand?

    The problem is airlines overbooking, not customers who demand the service they paid for -- if airlines offered $4k or $8k or more until they got takers, instead of involuntarily removing people from flights, these ugly scenes would be far less common -- but then overbooking would be on average a lot more expensive for them, and they'd have to reconsider the practice -- duh.
    , @AnotherDad

    The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.
     
    Exactly. Well said, Mr. Brown.

    I have *zero* respect for this drama queen. But it seems we have more and more of 'em everyday. And what's with a grown man falling limp routine like some Victorian maiden when he doesn't get what he wants?

    No one *likes* the flying--corporate flying--experience. But we agree to tuck in our horns, and be packed into the tube with random strangers and obey corporate apparatchiks ... so we can zoom through the air at 500 mile per hour for a few hundred bucks.

    If you must be the king--or this case be a drama *queen*--while going fast, buy a Gulfstream.

    ~~~

    That said, airlines are supposed to resolve overbooking, or emergency crew seats, *outside* the plane at the gate. Never let people on the place you aren't going to fly.

    And if this crew emergency really came up at the last second, then keep upping the bribe until you get your necessary four takers. (Cost of business.) That should really be that hard. Explain to people that a Chicago-Louisville is an easy 300mi, 5 hour drive--a one way rental is what--maybe $150.

    And yeah--pathetic sign of the times that in a plane full of folks, they couldn't get four volunteers willing to drive and get there 4 hours later--several hundred dollars richer--in order to accommodate a flight crew.
    , @Olorin
    "Mentally unwell" is highly generous.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4401980/Dr-dragged-United-swapped-drugs-secret-gay-sex.html

    We've all gotten bumped from flights, even those of us who rack up two-comma-numbered miles per year with better seats than coach. That's part of the algorithm of flying.

    We've all got to be somewhere that's important to us, and we want to get there fast, which is why we take planes.

    O/c most of us don't have documented histories of disruptive conduct, anger management issues, and sexual predation, with opiates, of our patients.

    So we just take the (surprisingly rare) lumps and sort things out in other ways.

    As you note, what this story really is about (other than a seriously degenerate individual put in charge of vulnerable people because diversitopia) is a lack of civic respect and awareness of others on the flight. I have zero empathy for this selfish clown. The way the age and race cards are getting played only hardens that.

  14. @Dave Pinsen
    You don't build the relationships necessary to close big-dollar deals by sharing desktops virtually. You do that by eating and drinking together. Hence the travel.

    I understand, but I saw and participated in a lot of piddly little intra-corporate meetings that required thousands of dollars of flying and hotel rooms. Those weren’t big dollar deals. Those were corporate managers building their silos.

    People talk a lot about government waste, and it is very real. However, there is an increasing amount of waste that goes on the bigger any organization gets. Corporations are no exception.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Sure, there's some of that in big corporations. I remember shortly before Carly Fiorina was cashiered from H-P a business journo mocked her rationale for going to Davos. But the bulk of business travel, I'd bet, is corporate salesmen doing the blocking & tackling of business. And in a lot of businesses, the CEO is the head corporate salesman.
  15. @Dave Pinsen
    If frequent flyers ran America, airports wouldn't have the TSA, its body scanners, and jailhouse pat-downs.

    I suspect the people who really run America don't fly commercial.

    Bingo. exactly what I said in my post.

    great minds, and all that……

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  16. @Anonymous
    Yeah, that's why Amazon's failing and brick and mortar's doing so well.

    Touché. Amazon trouncing bricks & mortar retail invalidates my point about businessmen landing big-dollar deals in person.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    Touché. Amazon trouncing bricks & mortar retail invalidates my point about businessmen landing big-dollar deals in person.
     
    I do not think your interlocutor is able to see the open sarc close sarc tags in your reply.
  17. @Buzz Mohawk
    I understand, but I saw and participated in a lot of piddly little intra-corporate meetings that required thousands of dollars of flying and hotel rooms. Those weren't big dollar deals. Those were corporate managers building their silos.

    People talk a lot about government waste, and it is very real. However, there is an increasing amount of waste that goes on the bigger any organization gets. Corporations are no exception.

    Sure, there’s some of that in big corporations. I remember shortly before Carly Fiorina was cashiered from H-P a business journo mocked her rationale for going to Davos. But the bulk of business travel, I’d bet, is corporate salesmen doing the blocking & tackling of business. And in a lot of businesses, the CEO is the head corporate salesman.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonym
    Sure, there’s some of that in big corporations. I remember shortly before Carly Fiorina was cashiered from H-P a business journo mocked her rationale for going to Davos.

    There's a reason they call it the Davos crowd and not the "let's all videoconference in our underwear and discuss how we want the world to run, because we're too cheap to book a first class plane ticket" crowd.
  18. As has been pointed out, frequent fliers don’t run America or travel would be better.

    What is indisputable is that media folk fly frequently, so they jump on every tale of traveler woe like that commercial dog jumps on bacon.

    Read More
    • Replies: @penskefile

    As has been pointed out, frequent fliers don’t run America or travel would be better.
     
    Travel for platinum level frequent flyers is actually pretty good. You have valet parking at most airports, TSA pre-check and Global Entry lines to avoid waiting at security, Admirals Club and the like to relax before boarding, preferred boarding access to again avoid waiting in line and of course, first-class upgrades

    My boss flies to Asia for a two-week trip twice every year, in no small part to retain his platinum status with American. Every once in a while when I travel with him I get a first-class upgrade and it's the shiznit fo sure
  19. @Clifford Brown
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4CizzE-zZo

    The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.

    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell.

    But, what if the good, and fast thinking doctor had in mind a lawsuit, highly empathetic jury, and consequentially more then few million green reasons that would allow him to never set his foot again in any type of Flying Greyhound?

    Aha.

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  20. @whorefinder
    If that were true we'd have no TSA patdown cavity searches or cancer-causing, naked-picture-taking x-ray machines and we'd just have a bunch of Muslims going through a Muslims-only line.

    It might be more true to say the country is run by Frequent Fliers who have their own planes. , while they tell commercial Frequent Fliers that TSA cavity searches, sterility from x-rays, and no-profiling policies are actually good because "it's 2017" and "that's who we are."

    Then they laugh maniacally as the Frequent Fliers eat the crumbs from their table and dutifully act as stenographers for their press releases.

    I'm actually not that far from reality, sadly.

    P.S. Why consumers don't put pressure on airlines to kill off TSA and put in some sensible policies (i.e. non-p.c.) is a market failure that should be explored. Airlines through their lobbies can affect TSA policy more than any other group, and they want customers at least non-troublesome, and even better happy. And alive. And TSA is a misery-inducing, privacy-violating dog-and-pony show that does nothing.

    The fact that consumers haven't gotten airlines to do this means we're likely too dependent on a few large airlines for travel, which means....anti-trust action?

    The cavity searches etc. have two benefits for the frequent flyers.

    One is that they can feel safer: “Look, they do cavity searches to me, they must be really diligent!”

    The other is that it’s good virtue-signalling for them, “I submit to cavity searches because I’m such a good, law-abiding citizen who helps law enforcement find nothing in his empty cavities”, also “I’m anti-racist so I support law enforcement doing this to me, otherwise they would subject MENA people to discrimination, and that would be bad.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Are there random cavity searches? That sounds pretty extreme.
  21. All of my personal travel is booked in advance: the tickets are non-refundable, and the booking either cannot be changed, or only if you pay a heavy fee — business travel cannot always be planned in advance, or far enough in advance — since non-refundable tickets are generally much cheaper, the company usually books them if available — if it turns out to be necessary, they pay to change the booking — or eat the cost if the trip is cancelled — this saves money over time, since re-booking and cancellation are both uncommon.

    So I don’t see the rationale for the terrible business practice of overbooking, and all the ugly scenes (and PR) it causes (because of the inadequate compensation offered) — the problem must be the more expensive refundable tickets — most of those are no doubt booked at shorter notice for business travel — just change the terms on those to require a non-refundable deposit — most companies will accept that to guarantee the seat — you get more money back if you cancel within 48 hours, which leaves the airline more time to sell the seat again — and/or slightly increase the price of non-refundable tickets.

    Now if only cafes would do something about the people who buy one latte and then sit there for two hours using the free WLAN…

    Read More
    • Replies: @eD
    Re eah @ 21, good points.

    I've noticed that the cost of refundable tickets have been increasing, to the point that I as a plebe non-business non expense-account flyer I never bother with them. It generally turns out to be cheaper to just eat the fee to change the non-refundable ticket or even just absorb the cost of the unused ticket if your plans change.

    I've been assuming that the refundable tickets are being bought by businesses, maybe the types of businesses where the managers don't like to do much planning. Actually if I were an investor, if I could obtain that information, the amount of money a business spends on non-refundable commercial airline tickets would probably be a good negative indicator.

    So I agree that airlines probably don't see many refundable tickets any more. And they charge a premium on the refundable ones they do sell. So for every customer who doesn't show up to a flight or changes at the last minute, the airline is pocketing either the change fee if its non-refundable, and if its refundable, presumably they have all the premiums they are charging for the refundable tickets that don't wind up being changed (and if all refundable tickets are getting switched, stop selling them!)

    Unless there is something I don't know here, overbooking flights looks like one of those bad business practices that large bureaucratic businesses like to adopt and stick with. From the airlines point of view, they don't need to have full flights. What they want is to have fully booked flights. I suspect the solution, if one is required, is to get rid of refundable tickets, lower the cost of the non-refundable tickets, and having passengers just eat the cost of the non-refundable tickets if they can't use them. The passengers gain with cheaper tickets, cheap enough that eating the cost of an unused ticket every so often can be put up with. They also get less crowded flights, and no chance of being kicked off a flight, since overbooking stops. The airlines get guaranteed revenue from every seat in the flight, plus less crowded flights are more manageable, so it should be worth it to them to lower the cost of the non-refundable tickets.

    "Now if only cafes would do something about the people who buy one latte and then sit there for two hours using the free WLAN…"

    Bars also sell by the drink, and customers tend to or are encouraged to linger, but don't seem to have this problem. Customers will always by another drink.

    I suspect the solution here involves alcohol, if not other ideas are to charge more for drinks/ food consumed at the location (not to go), and/ or charge for internet access.
  22. Don’t get me started about the corrupt and wasteful racket of frequent flyer miles for business travelers…

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt

    Be careful about policies that inconvenience travelers because Frequent Fliers can empathize, and they matter.
     
    Your comment and this one recalls: every time the IRS tries to tax FF miles, they get shut down. Harass conservatives or liberals, fine. But don't touch FF miles.
  23. @Clifford Brown
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4CizzE-zZo

    The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.

    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    Exactly. There aren’t really any heroes in this story. It is only a 5 hour drive to Louisville, yet no one was willing to take an $800 voucher to help United get a crew down to Louisville to prevent a hundred people on some other flight from being inconvenienced. The doctor had no qualms creating a scene and delaying the flight of all his fellow passengers. We certainly live in a world of diminishing civic Still, the United team demonstrated an incredible lack of communication skills and creativity. Couldn’t they have just offered to hire a nice van or limousine to take 4 passengers to Louisville in comfort? I would take that over a flight any day.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    They aren't offering $800 cash. It is a "travel voucher" good for only one year, in which, joy of joy, you get to ride that same airline again? Subject to all kinds of restrictions on what kind of seat the $800 gets you these days.
    , @bomag
    ...and the airline could have limoed their employees to Louisville.
    , @Jack D
    That was my feeling also - a sordid tale of life at the edge of a crumbling American society where everyone's expectations are lowered to the level of prison inmates. At least in jail you get a free baloney sandwich.
    , @Federalist
    They could have offered to hire a van or limo but they didn't and won't. They offer a shitty travel voucher and if that doesn't work just call the cops. Everybody talks about bad P.R. They don't really give a damn. If they did, they would raise hell about TSA. They would try to get their gate agents and other employees to give decent customer service. Instead you get customer service that makes the DMV look good. Most "flight attendants" couldn't cut it as waiters/waitresses at a decent restaurant. And there's no law of nature that causes flights to be "overbooked." For small business owners, try to get away with shit like that.

    The airlines regularly file bankruptcy and make very little money or lose money. Who cares? The CEO's and other top execs make millions and that's all that matters.
  24. @mothball2
    I want to bring attention to this article that argues how the airline monopolies are economically strangling Middle America and leading to the decline of the heartland cities.

    http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/marchapril-2012/terminal-sickness/

    Since deregulation domestic airlines have made a net profit of less than 0. They may have a few individual route monopolies, but none on major routes. It is overall not a profitable business, so there is nothing antitrust law can do to change things for the better. The point of antitrust is to create competition, but there is enough competition now that airlines barely make a profit. While they are doing OK now, it is still one of the lowest margin businesses to be in.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Airlines are very lucrative under certain conditions (low oil prices, economic good times) like right now. And we are down to only 4 major carriers.
  25. @Clifford Brown
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4CizzE-zZo

    The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.

    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    I also agree. I have taken the $400 or $800 about 4 times in my life. Partly it was the money of course, but it was also because I knew I was flexible those times and other people were not.

    In the past 5-10 years airlines have gotten steadily better at filling every seat of a flight. We have all benefited from this in the form of more flights and better prices as a result. The rare downside that maybe 1 in 20,000 flights you might be the victim of an involuntary bump should be taken in stride and with these facts in mind. I am sure I have flown more than 500 segments and I don’t think I’ve ever been on a flight where there was an involuntary bump, so it is extremely rare.

    I hope people here are all extra nice to airline employees who regularly have to deal with shouting angry entitled people like this.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The guy they dragged off was an Asian medical doctor who had patients to see. I'd put him at the bottom of list of passengers to boot. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a passenger who it is more important for them to get to where they're going than a medical doctor.
  26. @Dave Pinsen
    You don't build the relationships necessary to close big-dollar deals by sharing desktops virtually. You do that by eating and drinking together. Hence the travel.

    You don’t build the relationships necessary to close big-dollar deals by sharing desktops virtually. You do that by eating and drinking together. Hence the travel.

    I agree. There are a lot of different businesses in the world. They aren’t all amazon.com. A lot of business to business or business to government discussion is best done by executives talking face to face. You don’t build much rapport with a telephone call. You can’t gauge body language. You can’t share a meal, have a drink. You can’t run your eyes over a plant, see what workers are doing, what is being built, what needs to get done, over the phone or with a text message.

    In the scheme of things, executive travel and accommodation is a relatively small line item in a large company’s expenses. The results are better.

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  27. @whorefinder
    If that were true we'd have no TSA patdown cavity searches or cancer-causing, naked-picture-taking x-ray machines and we'd just have a bunch of Muslims going through a Muslims-only line.

    It might be more true to say the country is run by Frequent Fliers who have their own planes. , while they tell commercial Frequent Fliers that TSA cavity searches, sterility from x-rays, and no-profiling policies are actually good because "it's 2017" and "that's who we are."

    Then they laugh maniacally as the Frequent Fliers eat the crumbs from their table and dutifully act as stenographers for their press releases.

    I'm actually not that far from reality, sadly.

    P.S. Why consumers don't put pressure on airlines to kill off TSA and put in some sensible policies (i.e. non-p.c.) is a market failure that should be explored. Airlines through their lobbies can affect TSA policy more than any other group, and they want customers at least non-troublesome, and even better happy. And alive. And TSA is a misery-inducing, privacy-violating dog-and-pony show that does nothing.

    The fact that consumers haven't gotten airlines to do this means we're likely too dependent on a few large airlines for travel, which means....anti-trust action?

    Agree with you. TSA must go. Every time I have to fly somewhere, I am infuriated by the fact that I have to kowtow to a bunch of dweebs who couldn’t pass the entry requirements for actual police work , but who are allowed to do a “Terry stop” patdown on me based on no reasonable suspicion whatsoever. No policeman would be allowed to do that. My ancestors were infantrymen in both World Wars, and the paternal side of my family came West in a covered wagon…I’m an American, not a shifty ‘n suspicious foreigner. Don’t treat me as such.

    I can’t help but notice that Our Greatest Ally has had airline security concerns for far longer than we have, and has addressed them with great success through a program of vigorous profiling, conducted by agents with serious professional training. They do not harass their own kind. Perhaps we should learn from their example.

    They build yuuuuge beautiful border walls, too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Carbon blob
    Has anyone ever done a study on how much the security at Israeli airports costs? From about 2 minutes of searching, flights in/out of Tel Aviv don't seem prohibitively expensive to me.
  28. @Clifford Brown
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4CizzE-zZo

    The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.

    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    God help your paying customers if you ever run a business — what part of confirmed booking, including billing your credit card, ie a contract, do you not understand?

    The problem is airlines overbooking, not customers who demand the service they paid for — if airlines offered $4k or $8k or more until they got takers, instead of involuntarily removing people from flights, these ugly scenes would be far less common — but then overbooking would be on average a lot more expensive for them, and they’d have to reconsider the practice — duh.

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    • Agree: Federalist
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    eah, I agree with Clifford and the rest of his replyers (is that a word? It IS now!). We all understand on here what the deal was. The airline was going to reneg on someone's deal (or 4 people, whatever it was). Your 2nd paragraph is on the right track, but the fact is, these people were not acting like normal human beings as I am used to.

    It is sick to see this stuff. "God help us if something bad ever really happens." That is exactly what I thought after I saw all I could take of this video. Forget the women, men need to stand up and try to calm things down, talk it over, and don't act like screeching monkeys - all of them!

    United could have just held the flight forever, or better yet, start upping the annie to $1500 or lots of other options as have been mentioned (a van ride, etc.) The passengers bumped off could get legal recourse if it came down to it, but I guess that's only in a civil society. This video makes me very ashamed to be in the same species with the people in it, assuming I even am.
    , @eah
    https://twitter.com/MarkDice/status/851484874061955073
  29. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Can’t help but notice the distinguishing physical characteristic of that cop. Same ol’ same ol’…

    Am I just getting older, jaded, and succumbing to confirmation bias or….what? It’s awfully tiring having to always restrain oneself.

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  30. @Dave Pinsen
    If frequent flyers ran America, airports wouldn't have the TSA, its body scanners, and jailhouse pat-downs.

    I suspect the people who really run America don't fly commercial.

    Don’t frequents fliers now benefit from express security lines at many airports, while the plebes are stuck with the regular waits?

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    • Replies: @slumber_j
    Yes, and you can too if you get TSA Pre. Or you can get Global Entry, which lets you skip customs lines and entails TSA Pre.

    As irritating as it is to have to jump through hoops to be excused from the TSA idiocy, it may well be worth doing.
    , @biz
    If your definition of a Plebe is someone who can't afford a one time payment of $80 for TSA Pre, then yes.
  31. Would it not have been much easier to simply increase the bid until 4 passengers took it? $400 and an overnight stay didn’t get any takers, apparently $800 did not, either. I’ll bet if they went to $1200 they would have had 4 takers easily. That extra $1600 worth it to United to avoid the horrible publicity?

    I believe the airlines are incredibly stingy with these offers to kick passengers off overbooked flights. If someone has a meeting, or a car rental and travel plans on the other end, a $500 just isn’t all that tempting. doesn’t do much. Up that to $1500 and they probably solve their problem. Of course this is an industry that puts its passengers on “regional” (“crackerbox”) jets that have 1 tiny bathroom (I can’t stand up straight in those things and I”m not an NBA basketball player unless maybe John Stockton size) for 60 people for 4-hour flight and gives you a bottle of water.

    Besides, Chicago to Louisville? Why not just have the United crew to rent a Cadillac and drive? Not that far. That publicity was horrible.

    I hope they get some blowback from this. Serves them right for rarely having an empty seat on a plane today. Sometimes a few extra seats can help scheduling and booking changes but of course that comes at a cost and the airlines seem unwilling to think about any extra ‘cost’ today.

    Flying generally has become a very unpleasant pain in the ass.

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  32. @SteveRogers42
    Agree with you. TSA must go. Every time I have to fly somewhere, I am infuriated by the fact that I have to kowtow to a bunch of dweebs who couldn't pass the entry requirements for actual police work , but who are allowed to do a "Terry stop" patdown on me based on no reasonable suspicion whatsoever. No policeman would be allowed to do that. My ancestors were infantrymen in both World Wars, and the paternal side of my family came West in a covered wagon...I'm an American, not a shifty 'n suspicious foreigner. Don't treat me as such.

    I can't help but notice that Our Greatest Ally has had airline security concerns for far longer than we have, and has addressed them with great success through a program of vigorous profiling, conducted by agents with serious professional training. They do not harass their own kind. Perhaps we should learn from their example.

    They build yuuuuge beautiful border walls, too.

    Has anyone ever done a study on how much the security at Israeli airports costs? From about 2 minutes of searching, flights in/out of Tel Aviv don’t seem prohibitively expensive to me.

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  33. China’s internet users accuse United of prejudice after it dragged an Asian passenger off a plane

    https://qz.com/955171/chinas-internet-users-accuse-united-of-prejudice-after-it-dragged-an-asian-passenger-off-a-plane/

    Dude was Asian, perhaps Chinese. It is interesting how Chinese seem to have ethnic consciousness but whites don’t. If a White guy that needed to take this flight put up a fight at being bumped it would be assumed they were drunk white trash. Needless to say United publicists are not circulating articles that passenger was drunk, crazy or impaired like they would someone else. But but but United need to bump somebody… No they didn’t. And they could have prioritized passengers better.

    Is there going to be a boycott of United by Asians? Don’t know but United does need damage control, pronto (how do you say fast in Chinese).

    It will be interesting if this story has staying power in China.

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    • Replies: @DWB
    The guy in question is an immigrant from Vietnam, apparently, but I suspect he is ethnically Chinese (there is a sizeable population in Vietnam - as there is in many SE Asian countris) of so-called overseas-Chinese.

    For your question, I suspect the right term for "fast" here is not the literal (快 - kuai), but in this case, "immediate" (馬上 - ma shang).

  34. @Dave Pinsen
    Sure, there's some of that in big corporations. I remember shortly before Carly Fiorina was cashiered from H-P a business journo mocked her rationale for going to Davos. But the bulk of business travel, I'd bet, is corporate salesmen doing the blocking & tackling of business. And in a lot of businesses, the CEO is the head corporate salesman.

    Sure, there’s some of that in big corporations. I remember shortly before Carly Fiorina was cashiered from H-P a business journo mocked her rationale for going to Davos.

    There’s a reason they call it the Davos crowd and not the “let’s all videoconference in our underwear and discuss how we want the world to run, because we’re too cheap to book a first class plane ticket” crowd.

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  35. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Lot
    I also agree. I have taken the $400 or $800 about 4 times in my life. Partly it was the money of course, but it was also because I knew I was flexible those times and other people were not.

    In the past 5-10 years airlines have gotten steadily better at filling every seat of a flight. We have all benefited from this in the form of more flights and better prices as a result. The rare downside that maybe 1 in 20,000 flights you might be the victim of an involuntary bump should be taken in stride and with these facts in mind. I am sure I have flown more than 500 segments and I don't think I've ever been on a flight where there was an involuntary bump, so it is extremely rare.

    I hope people here are all extra nice to airline employees who regularly have to deal with shouting angry entitled people like this.

    The guy they dragged off was an Asian medical doctor who had patients to see. I’d put him at the bottom of list of passengers to boot. I’d be hard-pressed to come up with a passenger who it is more important for them to get to where they’re going than a medical doctor.

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    • Replies: @Danindc
    Was he a doctor though? That's not the behavior of any doctor I know. Scam artist who hit the jackpot more likely. He'll get a lot more than an $800 voucher now.

    I'll be mildly surprised if he's a real doctor and shocked if he doesn't clean up on this "incident" that he caused. And yes, he caused it. He drew short straw (computer randomly selected passengers for de-planing) and acted like a child.

    The fact that social media is running 1000-1 in favor of said doctor only proves I'm right.
    , @Daniel Williams

    The guy they dragged off was an Asian medical doctor who had patients to see. I’d put him at the bottom of list of passengers to boot.
     
    Yeah! We can't just expect anybody to burn medicinal herbs, murmur incantations, and poke the patient with needles, can we?

    And think about what that cop did to the doctor's chi! United's gonna need a lot of powdered shark fin and preserved tiger penises to make this right.

    , @Dave Pinsen
    Let's not make this a martyr just yet. https://twitter.com/lisa_fletch/status/851833560583610368
    , @anonguy
    I’d be hard-pressed to come up with a profession whose members think it is more important for them to get to where they’re going than mere non-medical-doctors than medical doctors.
  36. I thought this video was hilarious. There are no guarantees in travel. Sometimes flights are overbooked (in this case, I believe it was related to the shutdown in Atlanta due to severe weather, which ended up affecting everything else, even in faraway places like where I am). Sometimes, you might be the one guy asked to leave the plane, if no one else volunteers, and even if you are already seated.

    But there are better ways to handle this than by refusing to leave, thus forcing the airline staff to have the police board the plane, and then still refusing to comply with the police, and then resisting so much that you end up with your face bloodied, and with getting dragged out on your ass. After seeing the questionable judgment of that alleged “doctor”, who would really want to be one of his patients?

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Ultimately, the captain has to be in charge of his ship, right?

    Everybody thinks Christian Fletcher is a cool guy, but Captain Bligh has to be the decider.

    , @Jack D
    It's clear from the contract of carriage that you can be "denied boarding" due to overbooking. But if you are already sitting in your seat and not being disruptive, do they really have the right to remove you from the aircraft so that they can fly some of their own employees instead? Not clear that they can, but's its even more clear that just because something is legal doesn't make it a good idea.
  37. @Yankee
    I thought this video was hilarious. There are no guarantees in travel. Sometimes flights are overbooked (in this case, I believe it was related to the shutdown in Atlanta due to severe weather, which ended up affecting everything else, even in faraway places like where I am). Sometimes, you might be the one guy asked to leave the plane, if no one else volunteers, and even if you are already seated.

    But there are better ways to handle this than by refusing to leave, thus forcing the airline staff to have the police board the plane, and then still refusing to comply with the police, and then resisting so much that you end up with your face bloodied, and with getting dragged out on your ass. After seeing the questionable judgment of that alleged "doctor", who would really want to be one of his patients?

    Ultimately, the captain has to be in charge of his ship, right?

    Everybody thinks Christian Fletcher is a cool guy, but Captain Bligh has to be the decider.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    Just in case I have omitted to be pedantic about Christian/Bligh before: Christian was a Gentleman, Bligh his social inferior. It irked Christian to be under his command, especially when Bligh subjected him to foul language. Whence ........
    , @MC
    Not to be pedantic, but it's Fletcher Christian, not Christian Fletcher.
  38. @Steve Sailer
    Ultimately, the captain has to be in charge of his ship, right?

    Everybody thinks Christian Fletcher is a cool guy, but Captain Bligh has to be the decider.

    Just in case I have omitted to be pedantic about Christian/Bligh before: Christian was a Gentleman, Bligh his social inferior. It irked Christian to be under his command, especially when Bligh subjected him to foul language. Whence ……..

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  39. @dearieme
    Just in case I have omitted to be pedantic about Christian/Bligh before: Christian was a Gentleman, Bligh his social inferior. It irked Christian to be under his command, especially when Bligh subjected him to foul language. Whence ........

    Wordsworth went to school with Fletcher.

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  40. As an update, others on the Internet have identified that passenger as David Dao, a doctor in Kentucky, who was indicted in 2003 for trafficking in prescription medicine (hydrocodone and other pills). There were also some issues with sexual misconduct, and with lack of competency in his field. In 2005, he lost his medical license, and he only got back a limited license to practice medicine in 2015.

    http://www.wave3.com/story/4301599/elizabethtown-doctor-indicted-on-98-drug-charges?clienttype=printable

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    The guy paid for a ticket and should have been given the promised flight without threats, hassle, embarrassment, and the rest. Doesn't matter what his race is, whether we think we would like him, whether he is good at his job, whether he is honest in personal and professional life, etc.

    The guy paid for a flight and had the right to stay.
  41. Doesn’t the unfortunate man dragged of the airplane remind anyone about Milton from “Office Space” and the Red Stapler Incident?

    If you could just give up your seat, that would be greaaaatttt!

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    • Replies: @Njguy73
    I could shut this whole airline down. Sir? I'll take my traveler's checks to a competing carrier. I could write a letter to the FAA and I could have this airline condemned. I could put... I could put... strychnine in the pretzels.
  42. @Anonymous
    The guy they dragged off was an Asian medical doctor who had patients to see. I'd put him at the bottom of list of passengers to boot. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a passenger who it is more important for them to get to where they're going than a medical doctor.

    Was he a doctor though? That’s not the behavior of any doctor I know. Scam artist who hit the jackpot more likely. He’ll get a lot more than an $800 voucher now.

    I’ll be mildly surprised if he’s a real doctor and shocked if he doesn’t clean up on this “incident” that he caused. And yes, he caused it. He drew short straw (computer randomly selected passengers for de-planing) and acted like a child.

    The fact that social media is running 1000-1 in favor of said doctor only proves I’m right.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    I’ll be mildly surprised if he’s a real doctor and shocked if he doesn’t clean up on this “incident” that he caused. And yes, he caused it. He drew short straw (computer randomly selected passengers for de-planing) and acted like a child.
     
    When I heard about the incident, I immediately sided with the doctor (or, at least, "doctor") and against the airline. Then when I saw the video and - more importantly - heard his ridiculous petulant screeching, I wasn't so sure. The whole incident was kind of disgusting, and didn't reflect well on anybody.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Airlines can stop or greatly reduce their overbooking of flights to avoid the potential for these problems. You know, honor their agreements and not promise more than they know they can deliver, crazy stuff, admittedly.
    , @Jack D
    Bzzt, wrong, he's a real MD (albeit with a shady past as a pill doctor).

    Also the process is not as computerized as you think.
    , @AnotherDad

    The fact that social media is running 1000-1 in favor of said doctor only proves I’m right.
     
    Counting China?

    If it's really running even 90-10 in favor of this doctor acting like a screaming 11-year old girl in the USA, then more confirmation we're toast.
  43. @Peter Akuleyev
    Exactly. There aren't really any heroes in this story. It is only a 5 hour drive to Louisville, yet no one was willing to take an $800 voucher to help United get a crew down to Louisville to prevent a hundred people on some other flight from being inconvenienced. The doctor had no qualms creating a scene and delaying the flight of all his fellow passengers. We certainly live in a world of diminishing civic Still, the United team demonstrated an incredible lack of communication skills and creativity. Couldn't they have just offered to hire a nice van or limousine to take 4 passengers to Louisville in comfort? I would take that over a flight any day.

    They aren’t offering $800 cash. It is a “travel voucher” good for only one year, in which, joy of joy, you get to ride that same airline again? Subject to all kinds of restrictions on what kind of seat the $800 gets you these days.

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  44. @whorefinder
    If that were true we'd have no TSA patdown cavity searches or cancer-causing, naked-picture-taking x-ray machines and we'd just have a bunch of Muslims going through a Muslims-only line.

    It might be more true to say the country is run by Frequent Fliers who have their own planes. , while they tell commercial Frequent Fliers that TSA cavity searches, sterility from x-rays, and no-profiling policies are actually good because "it's 2017" and "that's who we are."

    Then they laugh maniacally as the Frequent Fliers eat the crumbs from their table and dutifully act as stenographers for their press releases.

    I'm actually not that far from reality, sadly.

    P.S. Why consumers don't put pressure on airlines to kill off TSA and put in some sensible policies (i.e. non-p.c.) is a market failure that should be explored. Airlines through their lobbies can affect TSA policy more than any other group, and they want customers at least non-troublesome, and even better happy. And alive. And TSA is a misery-inducing, privacy-violating dog-and-pony show that does nothing.

    The fact that consumers haven't gotten airlines to do this means we're likely too dependent on a few large airlines for travel, which means....anti-trust action?

    Why consumers don’t put pressure on airlines to kill off TSA and put in some sensible policies

    I’ve always thought that a few organized protests would be plenty easy and change things plenty fast.

    Do protesters even face jail time anymore?

    I guess air travelers are part of the polite crowd.

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  45. This story is so The Current Year. We have an immivasion Chinese doctor — as Yankee points out, quite possibly a Dr. Feelgood pill pusher exploiting the system — refusing to get off the plane and using classic Asian passive/aggressive techniques of going limp like a sack of beets. He won’t even walk out on his own power.

    Meanwhile, a woman on the plane is frantically virtue signalling how “upset” she is at this — “oh my Goooodddddd!” — rather than doing what she should, which is cheering on the cops for dealing with this a-hole.

    And now United will suffer the wrath of SJW lunatics, no doubt facing a #BoycottUnited hash tag (I can’t be bothered to look; besides, I’m certain it exists) and a tsunami of righteous internet rage. The outrage is just so yummy, isn’t it?

    What a mess our nation has become.

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    • Replies: @Jasper
    The hashtag is #UnitedBreaksGuitars. The songs and story are at www.UnitedBreaksGuitars.com
    , @RadicalCenter
    I agree that we had no pressing economic or cultural or defense need to admit this guy to the country, and the same goes for most of the people allowed to settle here from china, India, Africa, Middle East, etc.

    But suppose he were merely visiting the USA on tourism or business. Wouldn't it still be wrong for the airline to intentionally sell more seats than it could guarantee?
    , @Danindc
    Spot on. You only missed the big black policemen who weren't about to take this guy's shit. I agree w the policeman 100% inthis case though.
    That and that this guy will be s millionaire very soon unless he already is from his pill dispensary errrr medical practice.

    What a mess.
    , @Some Economist
    Oh, here we go:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/doc-pulled-united-flight-previously-convicted-drug-crimes-article-1.3043210?cid=bitly
  46. @Peter Akuleyev
    Exactly. There aren't really any heroes in this story. It is only a 5 hour drive to Louisville, yet no one was willing to take an $800 voucher to help United get a crew down to Louisville to prevent a hundred people on some other flight from being inconvenienced. The doctor had no qualms creating a scene and delaying the flight of all his fellow passengers. We certainly live in a world of diminishing civic Still, the United team demonstrated an incredible lack of communication skills and creativity. Couldn't they have just offered to hire a nice van or limousine to take 4 passengers to Louisville in comfort? I would take that over a flight any day.

    …and the airline could have limoed their employees to Louisville.

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    • Replies: @Danindc
    They didn't have that policy in place. Maybe they will now. But they didn't. That means the Asian "doctor" had to get his ass off the plane.
    , @Jack D
    The 4 vouchers would have been more than the cost of any conceivable limo so there might have been other issues - maybe they wouldn't have gotten there in time, maybe it was something to do with union or FAA rules on crew rest, maybe the employees were just entitled SOBs who didn't want to be inconvenienced - IDK.

    Also why did they stop at $800? In retrospect in order to save maybe another $1,000 or so, they have bought themselves millions of $ worth of bad publicity. This one little cell phone video completely negates their entire ad budget.
    , @AnotherDad

    …and the airline could have limoed their employees to Louisville.
     
    Assuming the flight they were going to fly was 5+ hours away.

    C'mon. This *might* have been some United employees being jerks. But that's very unlikely if they did this when the plane was already loaded. Much more likely is they had some sort of crew "failure" in Louisville--someone sick, or (best guess) coming in from somewhere delayed and would exceed their FAA regs flying again, something like that. In other words if the crew doesn't get there then some later United flight from Louisville is very severely delayed causing a whole lot more passenger hassle than bumping four folks from this flight.
  47. @whorefinder
    If that were true we'd have no TSA patdown cavity searches or cancer-causing, naked-picture-taking x-ray machines and we'd just have a bunch of Muslims going through a Muslims-only line.

    It might be more true to say the country is run by Frequent Fliers who have their own planes. , while they tell commercial Frequent Fliers that TSA cavity searches, sterility from x-rays, and no-profiling policies are actually good because "it's 2017" and "that's who we are."

    Then they laugh maniacally as the Frequent Fliers eat the crumbs from their table and dutifully act as stenographers for their press releases.

    I'm actually not that far from reality, sadly.

    P.S. Why consumers don't put pressure on airlines to kill off TSA and put in some sensible policies (i.e. non-p.c.) is a market failure that should be explored. Airlines through their lobbies can affect TSA policy more than any other group, and they want customers at least non-troublesome, and even better happy. And alive. And TSA is a misery-inducing, privacy-violating dog-and-pony show that does nothing.

    The fact that consumers haven't gotten airlines to do this means we're likely too dependent on a few large airlines for travel, which means....anti-trust action?

    we’d just have a bunch of Muslims going through a Muslims-only line.

    If frequent fliers ran the country, we wouldn’t have a bunch of Moslems at all.

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  48. “I hope people here are all extra nice to airline employees who regularly have to deal with shouting angry entitled people like this.”

    I disagree.

    There are two issues here:
    1) If the plane has to go, one disrespectful guy shouldn’t be allowed to stop it from going. This is the airplane equivalent of a heckler’s veto during a speech. If order is necessary (and it is, and it particularly is on airplanes), and somebody refuses to go along, the forces for order are justified in restoring order. So the doctor was, by right, physically removed from the plane. However:

    2) There is no reason not to feel entitled for an airplane seat that you have paid for, and are actually sitting in. That’s the point of paying for it. Just because airlines have written into their rules that they can cancel your flight any time (i.e. they can overbook and ruin your travel/vacation/plans) doesn’t mean its ‘right’ that they do so. I have bought and paid for my bicycle: it would be wrong for Schwinn to come to my house and take it out of my garage (even if they wrote in their contract that they could).
    In this instance, the doctor’s seat was being taken from him, and being given to someone else, even though he was already there! That would be like Schwinn coming to my house and taking my bicycle and giving it to my neighbor. Completely preposterous.
    In this instance, the doctor’s seat was not only being taken from him and being given to someone else (I suppose we could hypothesize that there are instances where this is justified: the replacement had a death in the family, or a sick child, or has to get travel for to take the MCAT, or something). But the doctor’s seat was being taken because the airline failed to plan properly-they doctor’s seat was taken because the airline was trying to save a few bucks! This would be like Schwinn coming to my house, and taking my bicycle because it wanted to show it at a trade show-there was money to be made, and my ownership of my bicycle is secondary to the corporation’s desire to increase profits and economic efficiency.

    In other words, I think 2) outweighs 1).

    Incidently: I had a very structurally similar situation occur on my last vacation. I had reserved a beach house (9 months prior) for three families from three different states, for a week.
    The day after we moved in, a roofing contractor showed up, and demanded we move the cars so they could reroof the house (it was a scheduling snafu). This meant not being able to park (literally; onstreet parking was not allowed in the town). It meant not being able to use the swimming pool (literally: the roof overhung the swimming pool grounds in the backyard). It meant not walking to the beach from our house (beach access was through the backdoor, above which the contractors would be removing nails, shingles, and 4×8 plywood).
    The rental company tried to find us a comparable replacement, but couldn’t. The owner offered us a variety of discounts, which we ultimately refused. The owner and rental company threatened to throw us out (like United Airlines, they had a clause in the contract stating that the contract could be broken for home repairs). After the roofing company owner showed up, and the police showed up, and the five of us (tenants, rental company, owner, roofing company, and police) spent a day discussing it, the roofing job was rescheduled. The owner blinked.
    I felt that the owner’s, and roofing company owner’s, desire to make money (to more efficiently use their time) didn’t outweigh my desire to enjoy my paid-for vacation. I wasted a day on it. The roofing company could do the roof about three weeks later.

    I don’t think the efficiency of investors outweighs the contracted product possessed by the customer. Particularly when I’m the customer.

    joeyjoejoe

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  49. @Dave Pinsen
    You don't build the relationships necessary to close big-dollar deals by sharing desktops virtually. You do that by eating and drinking together. Hence the travel.

    I work with people who sell millions of dollars of product to Amazon. Trust me, they travel to Seattle and build relationships with everyone they can. Pinsen is right on the money.

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  50. This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.

    Both the passenger and the airline seem to have behaved rather badly. I would not be surprised if it turns out in the long run that the passenger had some symptoms of dementia or other mental infirmity,but of course airlines have to take that into account when they decide how to deal with these situations. On the other hand the airline has not yet publicly explained the precise situation that required that seated passengers be forcefully removed from the plane if necessary to accommodate crew. This does not seem to happen very often, so perhaps there were unusual circumstances.

    If my wife and I and our 2 kids had been offered $1000 each plus a night in a nice hotel, a slap up dinner, a couple of hamburgers, and an upgrade to first class on the next day’s flight, I am pretty sure we would have taken the loot even if it meant losing a day’s pay and missing a day of school. We are a pretty corrupt family.

    George Bush Jr. once said (of terrorists) “they envy us for our freedoms.” I think he was quite wrong, but if he was right then, he would be wrong now as the US has increasingly become a police state where corporations and security forces can demand instant obedience and beat people down if they disobey.

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    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    Four of you offered $1000 -- cash -- each? Dream on. Travel voucher, maybe, which probably only allows you to travel -- when the airline has free seats not costing them anything -- but cash money? Never happens.

    Yeah, yeah, the dude should have just got up off the plane on his own power, and SJW lady "oh my goodness!" and all of that, but the airlines bring this on themselves for the thousands of insults leading up to these "scene" and for their own SJW sensibilities too.

    Yah think this "incident" will lead to the airlines offering cash money in place of those stupid time-limited "travel vouchers" as cheaper than the resulting lawsuit? Nah!

    Do you get a sense of how close this passenger cabin was to a riot? Have airport cops ever trained for that situation? Yeah, yeah, spoiled brats, all of them, but you are not taking into account all the guff we have taken from airlines over the years.

    , @RadicalCenter
    Great, but it's not up to us to decide whether the guy can "afford" to miss work or anything else has planned to do in the destination.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    I agree wholeheartedly with every part of your comment, John. That "envy us" or "hate us for our freedoms" was always a lot of crap, even when Bush said it.

    Well, they were right about all the "terrorists would have won" part. If their goal was to turn America into a police state, then, yes, the terrorists have won. I doubt they had any goals other than revenge, wrongly or rightly, and just the goals that are in their koran.

    Can you all, all who've been writing about the TSA on here, of which I agree with you all, imagine if passengers had not been routinely disarmed upon boarding aircraft back in 2001? Between 4 mainline jetliners, even with their fairly light loads that September morning, it is very likely that each plane would have had one or more armed passengers. Said passengers would have subdued or eliminated these Saudi nutcases fairly quickly, and 9/11 would have been something for Americans to be proud of, not an excuse of the USSA.

    They are STILL disarming passengers! WTF?
    , @Twinkie

    This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.
     
    Exactly. I see people making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions based on very limited data.

    From what I have read so far and what I have seen on video, here is a timeline of what seems to have occurred plus my own commentary:

    1. Apparently the flight was overbooked, and United gate personnel asked for ONE volunteer. One passenger did volunteer and received compensation.

    2. Then all ticketed passengers were boarded and seated.

    3. At that point, it appears a United official boarded the plane and announced that four United crew members for another flight had to be accommodated and that the plane would not leave until four seated passengers deplaned (apparently the manner in which this was announced was quite unfriendly and turned off the passengers). There was no volunteer.*

    *It appears that the man who was later dragged off volunteered initially in return for compensation, provided he could be booked for a later flight that day (supposedly he is a doctor and had to see patients the next day). When he was told that the later flights were full as well and that he'd have to stay overnight before another flight, he rescinded his offer to be bumped.

    4. At some point, since there were no volunteers, passengers were randomly picked to be deplaned. Three left peacefully; the man in the video refused. [My commentary: it appears unusual for already SEATED passengers to be forcibly deplaned for anything other than for bad behavior/safety reasons; business bumping is usually done at the gate.]

    5. It seems the man in question pulled the ethnicity card at this point - something about being picked because he was Chinese. [My commentary: if true, this was ill-advised, unwarranted, and silly. I am quite tired of people pulling "the race card" at the drop of a hat.]

    6. At that point, United summoned Chicago airport security. We do not know the prior context of their interactions with the passenger. We do see them yanking the shrieking passenger off the seat. We also see the man's face striking an armrest hard. [My commentary: when commanded by law enforcement or security personnel in controlled areas, it is HIGHLY inadvisable to resist in any manner - even to being forcibly moved. The best thing is to express your lack of consent and then follow the command under protest ("I disagree with your unlawful command. But I am cooperating under duress, because I fear that you will harm me otherwise"). Then work out your grievance, if any, LATER in a calm, office setting.

    However, I should also note that the security personnel in question exercised poor judgment. Again, I do not see or know the prior interaction, so this assessment is quite preliminary. But unless the man was belligerent or posing a physical threat, yanking him so hard that his head strikes the armrest, apparently making him go limp was not wise. This could have been resolved without the use of violence potentially, and even if force were necessary, there are other compliance/come-along techniques they could have used.]

    7. After the man's head struck the armrest, he seems to have been rendered unconscious or limp. The security personnel then drag (!) him through the plane. [My commentary: given that the man may have suffered a concussion or some sort of trauma to the head, this was extremely unwise move on the part of the security personnel.]

    8. Here is where the story takes a bizarre turn: the now-bloodied man apparently left custody somehow, ran back into the plane and was mumbling incoherently "I have to go home" and "Just kill me." [My commentary: either this guy is a fantastic actor, was playing possum earlier or he may have suffered a serious head trauma and/or was disoriented. Either way, I cannot begin to imagine the incompetence of the security personnel in letting him escape their custody!]

    9. Subsequently he was apparently removed again, this time on a stretcher.

    Now, my commentary on the overall situation. First of all, United handled this extremely poorly. For one thing, all bumping should have occurred at the gate BEFORE boarding and seating. Passengers get VERY irate, understandably, when forced to deplane for anything other than their own misbehavior or airplane safety. United also appears to have communicated their needs and requests for volunteers poorly given the negative reactions of the passengers. They also seemed not to have elevated the compensation up to the legal limit. If what I have read and seen so far is true, then I assign the majority of the blame for the incident to United.

    The security officers should not escape blame either (unless there was some unreported prior misbehavior from the passenger). They either lacked training or judgment to make the man (reported to be near 70 years old in age) compliant, either by verbal de-escalation or judicious use of forceful compliance/come-along techniques. Yanking someone so hard in a confined space where the man's head hits the armrest is a poor practice anyway you cut it. Even if he were violent (which he apparent was not), the proper procedure is to subdue and restrain him first, then and only after he was properly restrained (and/or cuffed/shackled, should they transport him while ensuring that his head does not strike anything.

    Lastly, the man himself deserves some of the blame for the violent incident. For one thing, pulling the race card is in poor taste (unless there was specific evidence). More importantly, he should have COMPLIED with the security personnel while expressing his disagreement. If there are problems/complaints/grievances, you resolve it LATER under a PEACEFUL, conversational setting. You don't risk injury and even death by physical resistance even if it's just being moved. Again, it is UNWISE to resist unless, of course, you feel that you are being attacked with force unjustly (self-defense; e.g. sleeping in your house, when someone throws a flashbang into your house and masked men burst in with guns, shoot your dogs, etc.).

    I agree with others that this is a society whose civil fabric is being unraveled. In a more civilized era, all parties concerned would have behaved differently - better, that is. In particular, the customer service airline industry seems to have gone down hill dramatically. Most domestic flights today, even in the first class, are cattle cars. I try not to fly domestic airlines nowadays and either drive or rely on GenAv where I can (thankfully I have a close friend who has his own small plane). As a principle, I don't rely on modes of transportation that disarm me.

    Customer service on some international flights, however, are dramatically different and better. Airlines such as Singapore and Qatar offer impeccable service even at the lowest fare cabin and make our domestic airlines seem like Third World cattle cars that they are.
  51. @education realist
    As has been pointed out, frequent fliers don't run America or travel would be better.

    What is indisputable is that media folk fly frequently, so they jump on every tale of traveler woe like that commercial dog jumps on bacon.

    As has been pointed out, frequent fliers don’t run America or travel would be better.

    Travel for platinum level frequent flyers is actually pretty good. You have valet parking at most airports, TSA pre-check and Global Entry lines to avoid waiting at security, Admirals Club and the like to relax before boarding, preferred boarding access to again avoid waiting in line and of course, first-class upgrades

    My boss flies to Asia for a two-week trip twice every year, in no small part to retain his platinum status with American. Every once in a while when I travel with him I get a first-class upgrade and it’s the shiznit fo sure

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  52. @O'Really
    Since early in the campaign, I have felt that Trump could buy himself an easy 5% bump in the polls by promising to fix the TSA from the bottom up.

    It has surprised me that he never seized on this easy populist issue. Of course, the last time he flew commercial, there were no metal detectors, much less TSA. And his WWC people don't fly much either, so he might not really be in touch with the degree of outrage out there.

    Ran Prieur made a really good suggestion about the Trump administration back in November and December.

    He said essentially that Trump should embrace the Reform Party/ Perot part of his background and put in alot of minor reforms, addressing the general crappiness of 21st century American life, that are not particularly ideological but which the Republican and Democratic party hacks who have been in charge and their backers have been preventing.

    Prieur specifically mentioned getting rid of the penny as an example. But stopping the TSA pat downs is another good example. This stuff isn’t part of the nationalist or GOP agenda, but capitalize on Trump’s outsider status (first prez since 1989 with no known CIA connections!), would be really popular, and would improve things around here. And much of this can be done by executive order.

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  53. @whorefinder
    If that were true we'd have no TSA patdown cavity searches or cancer-causing, naked-picture-taking x-ray machines and we'd just have a bunch of Muslims going through a Muslims-only line.

    It might be more true to say the country is run by Frequent Fliers who have their own planes. , while they tell commercial Frequent Fliers that TSA cavity searches, sterility from x-rays, and no-profiling policies are actually good because "it's 2017" and "that's who we are."

    Then they laugh maniacally as the Frequent Fliers eat the crumbs from their table and dutifully act as stenographers for their press releases.

    I'm actually not that far from reality, sadly.

    P.S. Why consumers don't put pressure on airlines to kill off TSA and put in some sensible policies (i.e. non-p.c.) is a market failure that should be explored. Airlines through their lobbies can affect TSA policy more than any other group, and they want customers at least non-troublesome, and even better happy. And alive. And TSA is a misery-inducing, privacy-violating dog-and-pony show that does nothing.

    The fact that consumers haven't gotten airlines to do this means we're likely too dependent on a few large airlines for travel, which means....anti-trust action?

    I believe the legislation that authorized the TSA let airlines apply to withdraw from it. IIRC, one airline made such a request which was denied by Norman Mineta, Dubya’s Transportation Secretary, because Hawaiians had been subject to raaaaacism. Or something. Now that the TSA is unionized, it will be a frozen day in Hell before the Ds let 40,000 dues-paying members get pink-slipped.

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  54. @European-American
    Don't get me started about the corrupt and wasteful racket of frequent flyer miles for business travelers...

    Be careful about policies that inconvenience travelers because Frequent Fliers can empathize, and they matter.

    Your comment and this one recalls: every time the IRS tries to tax FF miles, they get shut down. Harass conservatives or liberals, fine. But don’t touch FF miles.

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  55. @whorefinder
    If that were true we'd have no TSA patdown cavity searches or cancer-causing, naked-picture-taking x-ray machines and we'd just have a bunch of Muslims going through a Muslims-only line.

    It might be more true to say the country is run by Frequent Fliers who have their own planes. , while they tell commercial Frequent Fliers that TSA cavity searches, sterility from x-rays, and no-profiling policies are actually good because "it's 2017" and "that's who we are."

    Then they laugh maniacally as the Frequent Fliers eat the crumbs from their table and dutifully act as stenographers for their press releases.

    I'm actually not that far from reality, sadly.

    P.S. Why consumers don't put pressure on airlines to kill off TSA and put in some sensible policies (i.e. non-p.c.) is a market failure that should be explored. Airlines through their lobbies can affect TSA policy more than any other group, and they want customers at least non-troublesome, and even better happy. And alive. And TSA is a misery-inducing, privacy-violating dog-and-pony show that does nothing.

    The fact that consumers haven't gotten airlines to do this means we're likely too dependent on a few large airlines for travel, which means....anti-trust action?

    The TSA could profile all we want, but we would still need airport screening for everyone. As much as I am on record here slapping people down repeatedly for stupid inane false equivalence narratives regarding Islamic terrorism, even without it there would still be the spectre of just plain old hijackings, DB Cooper or Cuban dissident style.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    The TSA could profile all we want, but we would still need airport screening for everyone. As much as I am on record here slapping people down repeatedly for stupid inane false equivalence narratives regarding Islamic terrorism, even without it there would still be the spectre of just plain old hijackings, DB Cooper or Cuban dissident style.
     
    And that screening use to be accomplished much more simply and much less invasively - and just as effectively. The entirety of increased airport "security" since 9/11 has probably resulted in exactly no extra real safety.
    , @Acmed E. Newman
    You don't get it, biz. D B Cooper or any of the hijackers of the 70's got away with what they did because the passengers were all disarmed by law. The hijackers were not disarmed by law, because they were not bound by law, being lawbreakers.

    Yes, there may have been a shootout or a knife fight, but after one of those, it is known there is no free ride - "cash, grass, or ass, nobody rides for free." Seriously, the 9/11 hijackings were on a completely different level on what they wanted to do to the planes and passengers, but that would have been an even better reason to not disarm the passengers, for cryin' out loud. This has not been fixed, but has been made worse.
  56. Businessmen have to travel because conversations which happen face-to-face don’t get recorded and stored by the NSA and the Mossad. The costs of business travel are pretty irrelevant, too. Monopolization in one industry after the next means that buyers don’t have many options as costs increase. Oh, Apple’s travel costs raise the price of an iPhone by $20? Oh well, you can always buy an Android phone or…? Hmm, not many other options to choose from, are there?

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  57. “Your comment and this one recalls: every time the IRS tries to tax FF miles, they get shut down. Harass conservatives or liberals, fine. But don’t touch FF miles.”

    They don’t tax the rewards I get back from my credit cards, either, or the money I save with coupons. Frequent flier miles are just a form of discount or coupon. Why would you tax them?

    More debatable is the fact that they don’t tax travel vouchers given to people who give up their seats on overbooked flights.

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    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    Because the FF miles accrue from your business travel and actually belong to your employer. But employers don't claim them to offset against the travel expense, so they are income to you. And all income is taxable from whatever source, unless exempted by Congress.
  58. @mothball2
    I want to bring attention to this article that argues how the airline monopolies are economically strangling Middle America and leading to the decline of the heartland cities.

    http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/marchapril-2012/terminal-sickness/

    There might just be some other reasons why businesses want to decamp from Memphis, St. Louis, and Cincinatti. However, I think the reasons given in that article might also have something to do with it.

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  59. @biz
    The TSA could profile all we want, but we would still need airport screening for everyone. As much as I am on record here slapping people down repeatedly for stupid inane false equivalence narratives regarding Islamic terrorism, even without it there would still be the spectre of just plain old hijackings, DB Cooper or Cuban dissident style.

    The TSA could profile all we want, but we would still need airport screening for everyone. As much as I am on record here slapping people down repeatedly for stupid inane false equivalence narratives regarding Islamic terrorism, even without it there would still be the spectre of just plain old hijackings, DB Cooper or Cuban dissident style.

    And that screening use to be accomplished much more simply and much less invasively – and just as effectively. The entirety of increased airport “security” since 9/11 has probably resulted in exactly no extra real safety.

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  60. @Clifford Brown
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4CizzE-zZo

    The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.

    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.

    Exactly. Well said, Mr. Brown.

    I have *zero* respect for this drama queen. But it seems we have more and more of ‘em everyday. And what’s with a grown man falling limp routine like some Victorian maiden when he doesn’t get what he wants?

    No one *likes* the flying–corporate flying–experience. But we agree to tuck in our horns, and be packed into the tube with random strangers and obey corporate apparatchiks … so we can zoom through the air at 500 mile per hour for a few hundred bucks.

    If you must be the king–or this case be a drama *queen*–while going fast, buy a Gulfstream.

    ~~~

    That said, airlines are supposed to resolve overbooking, or emergency crew seats, *outside* the plane at the gate. Never let people on the place you aren’t going to fly.

    And if this crew emergency really came up at the last second, then keep upping the bribe until you get your necessary four takers. (Cost of business.) That should really be that hard. Explain to people that a Chicago-Louisville is an easy 300mi, 5 hour drive–a one way rental is what–maybe $150.

    And yeah–pathetic sign of the times that in a plane full of folks, they couldn’t get four volunteers willing to drive and get there 4 hours later–several hundred dollars richer–in order to accommodate a flight crew.

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    • Replies: @sabril
    "several hundred dollars richer"

    I think part of the problem was that the airline wasn't actually offering cash to anyone. As I understand things, it was offering a "voucher." Which means that there is an information asymmetry. Is the voucher really worth $800? Or are there so many restrictions and qualifications that it's worth basically nothing?
    , @Inquiring Mind
    One thing about being a "drama queen" on this jet.

    Flying requires a considerable degree of social cooperation, such as, vacating your seat when "picked" and not "making a scene" as in this recent example.

    Flying also requires social cooperation for the safe operation of the jet. Does everyone here read the seat card and "identify (their) nearest exit, even if it might be behind you"? Of course that is all "safety theatre" because "everyone knows" that if an accident happens, not anyone will be left alive, safety card or no safety card?

    The FARs (Federal Aviation Rules) require the crew to give the safety demonstration but I guess they don't require passengers to afford it any attention, and we have all flown so many times, we all know about "put on your own oxygen mask before helping others" and that the "seat cushion may be used as a flotation device" by now.

    Are people cool with the pilots skipping checklists because they have flown that type of aircraft so many times it is all rote by now? Are people perfectly comfortable to be in with a crowd of strangers and no one is paying any attention as to how to get out if the pilots make a hard landing, or if a jet engine bursts on takeoff, and smoke fills the cabin?

    One thing that sticks in my memory is as child reading in the Chicago Tribune about a hard landing of one of the new 727 jets. I guess their "handling" was markedly different from the propeller planes that their pilots "transitioned" from. Only two persons made it out alive, who had the presence of mind to use the over-wing emergency exits, and everyone else choked from smoke. I read the seat card and pay heed to the Federally mandated safety instruction . . . every . . . stage . . . of . . . every . . . flight. Not wanting to think about the hazards of flying doesn't mitigate the problem.
  61. @Danindc
    Was he a doctor though? That's not the behavior of any doctor I know. Scam artist who hit the jackpot more likely. He'll get a lot more than an $800 voucher now.

    I'll be mildly surprised if he's a real doctor and shocked if he doesn't clean up on this "incident" that he caused. And yes, he caused it. He drew short straw (computer randomly selected passengers for de-planing) and acted like a child.

    The fact that social media is running 1000-1 in favor of said doctor only proves I'm right.

    I’ll be mildly surprised if he’s a real doctor and shocked if he doesn’t clean up on this “incident” that he caused. And yes, he caused it. He drew short straw (computer randomly selected passengers for de-planing) and acted like a child.

    When I heard about the incident, I immediately sided with the doctor (or, at least, “doctor”) and against the airline. Then when I saw the video and – more importantly – heard his ridiculous petulant screeching, I wasn’t so sure. The whole incident was kind of disgusting, and didn’t reflect well on anybody.

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  62. Confirmed. This clown is indeed a Dr. Feelgood pill pusher and more. He shouldn’t even be in the country, much less on an airplane causing trouble. And he went to medical school in Vietnam!

    He is nothing more than a parasite on a system too gullible to toss him out. He should be in prison.

    http://nypost.com/2017/04/11/doctor-dragged-off-flight-convicted-of-trading-drugs-for-sex/

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  63. @eah
    All of my personal travel is booked in advance: the tickets are non-refundable, and the booking either cannot be changed, or only if you pay a heavy fee -- business travel cannot always be planned in advance, or far enough in advance -- since non-refundable tickets are generally much cheaper, the company usually books them if available -- if it turns out to be necessary, they pay to change the booking -- or eat the cost if the trip is cancelled -- this saves money over time, since re-booking and cancellation are both uncommon.

    So I don't see the rationale for the terrible business practice of overbooking, and all the ugly scenes (and PR) it causes (because of the inadequate compensation offered) -- the problem must be the more expensive refundable tickets -- most of those are no doubt booked at shorter notice for business travel -- just change the terms on those to require a non-refundable deposit -- most companies will accept that to guarantee the seat -- you get more money back if you cancel within 48 hours, which leaves the airline more time to sell the seat again -- and/or slightly increase the price of non-refundable tickets.

    Now if only cafes would do something about the people who buy one latte and then sit there for two hours using the free WLAN...

    Re eah @ 21, good points.

    I’ve noticed that the cost of refundable tickets have been increasing, to the point that I as a plebe non-business non expense-account flyer I never bother with them. It generally turns out to be cheaper to just eat the fee to change the non-refundable ticket or even just absorb the cost of the unused ticket if your plans change.

    I’ve been assuming that the refundable tickets are being bought by businesses, maybe the types of businesses where the managers don’t like to do much planning. Actually if I were an investor, if I could obtain that information, the amount of money a business spends on non-refundable commercial airline tickets would probably be a good negative indicator.

    So I agree that airlines probably don’t see many refundable tickets any more. And they charge a premium on the refundable ones they do sell. So for every customer who doesn’t show up to a flight or changes at the last minute, the airline is pocketing either the change fee if its non-refundable, and if its refundable, presumably they have all the premiums they are charging for the refundable tickets that don’t wind up being changed (and if all refundable tickets are getting switched, stop selling them!)

    Unless there is something I don’t know here, overbooking flights looks like one of those bad business practices that large bureaucratic businesses like to adopt and stick with. From the airlines point of view, they don’t need to have full flights. What they want is to have fully booked flights. I suspect the solution, if one is required, is to get rid of refundable tickets, lower the cost of the non-refundable tickets, and having passengers just eat the cost of the non-refundable tickets if they can’t use them. The passengers gain with cheaper tickets, cheap enough that eating the cost of an unused ticket every so often can be put up with. They also get less crowded flights, and no chance of being kicked off a flight, since overbooking stops. The airlines get guaranteed revenue from every seat in the flight, plus less crowded flights are more manageable, so it should be worth it to them to lower the cost of the non-refundable tickets.

    “Now if only cafes would do something about the people who buy one latte and then sit there for two hours using the free WLAN…”

    Bars also sell by the drink, and customers tend to or are encouraged to linger, but don’t seem to have this problem. Customers will always by another drink.

    I suspect the solution here involves alcohol, if not other ideas are to charge more for drinks/ food consumed at the location (not to go), and/ or charge for internet access.

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    • Replies: @International Jew

    Bars also sell by the drink, and customers tend to or are encouraged to linger, but don’t seem to have this problem. Customers will always by another drink.

     

    I think that's because at the bar you're sitting a few feet away from the bartender, who can see that you're done, and -- more importantly -- works for tips and so has a strong incentive to sell you more or give your stool to a new customer. At Starbucks, customers can camp out in a corner far away, and few people tip.
  64. @peterike
    This story is so The Current Year. We have an immivasion Chinese doctor -- as Yankee points out, quite possibly a Dr. Feelgood pill pusher exploiting the system -- refusing to get off the plane and using classic Asian passive/aggressive techniques of going limp like a sack of beets. He won't even walk out on his own power.

    Meanwhile, a woman on the plane is frantically virtue signalling how "upset" she is at this -- "oh my Goooodddddd!" -- rather than doing what she should, which is cheering on the cops for dealing with this a-hole.

    And now United will suffer the wrath of SJW lunatics, no doubt facing a #BoycottUnited hash tag (I can't be bothered to look; besides, I'm certain it exists) and a tsunami of righteous internet rage. The outrage is just so yummy, isn't it?

    What a mess our nation has become.

    The hashtag is #UnitedBreaksGuitars. The songs and story are at http://www.UnitedBreaksGuitars.com

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  65. @Jonathan Mason
    This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.

    Both the passenger and the airline seem to have behaved rather badly. I would not be surprised if it turns out in the long run that the passenger had some symptoms of dementia or other mental infirmity,but of course airlines have to take that into account when they decide how to deal with these situations. On the other hand the airline has not yet publicly explained the precise situation that required that seated passengers be forcefully removed from the plane if necessary to accommodate crew. This does not seem to happen very often, so perhaps there were unusual circumstances.

    If my wife and I and our 2 kids had been offered $1000 each plus a night in a nice hotel, a slap up dinner, a couple of hamburgers, and an upgrade to first class on the next day's flight, I am pretty sure we would have taken the loot even if it meant losing a day's pay and missing a day of school. We are a pretty corrupt family.

    George Bush Jr. once said (of terrorists) "they envy us for our freedoms." I think he was quite wrong, but if he was right then, he would be wrong now as the US has increasingly become a police state where corporations and security forces can demand instant obedience and beat people down if they disobey.

    Four of you offered $1000 — cash — each? Dream on. Travel voucher, maybe, which probably only allows you to travel — when the airline has free seats not costing them anything — but cash money? Never happens.

    Yeah, yeah, the dude should have just got up off the plane on his own power, and SJW lady “oh my goodness!” and all of that, but the airlines bring this on themselves for the thousands of insults leading up to these “scene” and for their own SJW sensibilities too.

    Yah think this “incident” will lead to the airlines offering cash money in place of those stupid time-limited “travel vouchers” as cheaper than the resulting lawsuit? Nah!

    Do you get a sense of how close this passenger cabin was to a riot? Have airport cops ever trained for that situation? Yeah, yeah, spoiled brats, all of them, but you are not taking into account all the guff we have taken from airlines over the years.

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  66. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @reiner Tor
    The cavity searches etc. have two benefits for the frequent flyers.

    One is that they can feel safer: "Look, they do cavity searches to me, they must be really diligent!"

    The other is that it's good virtue-signalling for them, "I submit to cavity searches because I'm such a good, law-abiding citizen who helps law enforcement find nothing in his empty cavities", also "I'm anti-racist so I support law enforcement doing this to me, otherwise they would subject MENA people to discrimination, and that would be bad."

    Are there random cavity searches? That sounds pretty extreme.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I never experienced it. It was hyperbole from me, and I guess from commenter Whorefinder whose comment I replied to, and who introduced the term into the conversation.
  67. @Yankee
    As an update, others on the Internet have identified that passenger as David Dao, a doctor in Kentucky, who was indicted in 2003 for trafficking in prescription medicine (hydrocodone and other pills). There were also some issues with sexual misconduct, and with lack of competency in his field. In 2005, he lost his medical license, and he only got back a limited license to practice medicine in 2015.

    http://www.wave3.com/story/4301599/elizabethtown-doctor-indicted-on-98-drug-charges?clienttype=printable

    The guy paid for a ticket and should have been given the promised flight without threats, hassle, embarrassment, and the rest. Doesn’t matter what his race is, whether we think we would like him, whether he is good at his job, whether he is honest in personal and professional life, etc.

    The guy paid for a flight and had the right to stay.

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  68. Here’s an article from the Daily Mail in the UK, with more photos of that guy:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4401444/Name-man-hauled-United-flight-Chicago-revealed.html

    And here’s the judgment from the State of Kentucky against this so-called “doctor”:

    http://www.state.ky.us/agencies/kbml/finalorders/22439.pdf

    That pdf file provides some very interesting reading on this man’s background. In short, he was indicted on multiple drug charges, and later convicted of several drug-related felonies. He manipulated a patient into a sexual relationship, and provided drugs to that person for sex. After losing his license, he had to undergo a strict program of counseling to get it back, and was diagnosed with a mood disorder and lack of interpersonal skills. And his knowledge of medicine in his field was found to be lacking, with also the likelihood that he exaggerated his training and experience in Vietnam.

    Oh, wait, and the patient he traded drugs for sex with was a man. Where does this all lead us?

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    The guy must have been a real screwup to get his license pulled. Most state medical societies will go to the mat against state licensing boards to protect their members.
    , @Peripatetic commenter
    So, let's say he was a convicted felon who had served his time in jail and thus discharged his debt to society.

    Would they be justified in treating him this way?
  69. @Danindc
    Was he a doctor though? That's not the behavior of any doctor I know. Scam artist who hit the jackpot more likely. He'll get a lot more than an $800 voucher now.

    I'll be mildly surprised if he's a real doctor and shocked if he doesn't clean up on this "incident" that he caused. And yes, he caused it. He drew short straw (computer randomly selected passengers for de-planing) and acted like a child.

    The fact that social media is running 1000-1 in favor of said doctor only proves I'm right.

    Airlines can stop or greatly reduce their overbooking of flights to avoid the potential for these problems. You know, honor their agreements and not promise more than they know they can deliver, crazy stuff, admittedly.

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  70. @peterike
    This story is so The Current Year. We have an immivasion Chinese doctor -- as Yankee points out, quite possibly a Dr. Feelgood pill pusher exploiting the system -- refusing to get off the plane and using classic Asian passive/aggressive techniques of going limp like a sack of beets. He won't even walk out on his own power.

    Meanwhile, a woman on the plane is frantically virtue signalling how "upset" she is at this -- "oh my Goooodddddd!" -- rather than doing what she should, which is cheering on the cops for dealing with this a-hole.

    And now United will suffer the wrath of SJW lunatics, no doubt facing a #BoycottUnited hash tag (I can't be bothered to look; besides, I'm certain it exists) and a tsunami of righteous internet rage. The outrage is just so yummy, isn't it?

    What a mess our nation has become.

    I agree that we had no pressing economic or cultural or defense need to admit this guy to the country, and the same goes for most of the people allowed to settle here from china, India, Africa, Middle East, etc.

    But suppose he were merely visiting the USA on tourism or business. Wouldn’t it still be wrong for the airline to intentionally sell more seats than it could guarantee?

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    • Replies: @Federalist
    Exactly. It's not like United kicked this guy off of the plane because he is an immivasion foreigner. United and every other giant corporation is 100% PC, trans-friendly, inclusive, pro-diversity, and all the rest. It's easy to let the airline off the hook because this guy acted like a lunatic and is apparently a pill pusher, etc. The airlines need to honor their commitments. Everyone else has to.
  71. @Jonathan Mason
    This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.

    Both the passenger and the airline seem to have behaved rather badly. I would not be surprised if it turns out in the long run that the passenger had some symptoms of dementia or other mental infirmity,but of course airlines have to take that into account when they decide how to deal with these situations. On the other hand the airline has not yet publicly explained the precise situation that required that seated passengers be forcefully removed from the plane if necessary to accommodate crew. This does not seem to happen very often, so perhaps there were unusual circumstances.

    If my wife and I and our 2 kids had been offered $1000 each plus a night in a nice hotel, a slap up dinner, a couple of hamburgers, and an upgrade to first class on the next day's flight, I am pretty sure we would have taken the loot even if it meant losing a day's pay and missing a day of school. We are a pretty corrupt family.

    George Bush Jr. once said (of terrorists) "they envy us for our freedoms." I think he was quite wrong, but if he was right then, he would be wrong now as the US has increasingly become a police state where corporations and security forces can demand instant obedience and beat people down if they disobey.

    Great, but it’s not up to us to decide whether the guy can “afford” to miss work or anything else has planned to do in the destination.

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  72. @AnotherDad

    The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.
     
    Exactly. Well said, Mr. Brown.

    I have *zero* respect for this drama queen. But it seems we have more and more of 'em everyday. And what's with a grown man falling limp routine like some Victorian maiden when he doesn't get what he wants?

    No one *likes* the flying--corporate flying--experience. But we agree to tuck in our horns, and be packed into the tube with random strangers and obey corporate apparatchiks ... so we can zoom through the air at 500 mile per hour for a few hundred bucks.

    If you must be the king--or this case be a drama *queen*--while going fast, buy a Gulfstream.

    ~~~

    That said, airlines are supposed to resolve overbooking, or emergency crew seats, *outside* the plane at the gate. Never let people on the place you aren't going to fly.

    And if this crew emergency really came up at the last second, then keep upping the bribe until you get your necessary four takers. (Cost of business.) That should really be that hard. Explain to people that a Chicago-Louisville is an easy 300mi, 5 hour drive--a one way rental is what--maybe $150.

    And yeah--pathetic sign of the times that in a plane full of folks, they couldn't get four volunteers willing to drive and get there 4 hours later--several hundred dollars richer--in order to accommodate a flight crew.

    “several hundred dollars richer”

    I think part of the problem was that the airline wasn’t actually offering cash to anyone. As I understand things, it was offering a “voucher.” Which means that there is an information asymmetry. Is the voucher really worth $800? Or are there so many restrictions and qualifications that it’s worth basically nothing?

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    • Replies: @Buck Turgidson
    Those vouchers suck. They do have restrictions. When I hear these announcements "We are looking for passengers..." I never see anyone going to the podium. The flights are so packed (overbooked) that who knows when you are going to get another flight. If they are going to overbook the flights, the least they could do is make an excellent offer and get several takers right away.

    To look at flying today vs what it was 40 years ago is depressing. It's now the Greyhound in the sky. You get CNN shoved down your throat in every terminal. The airlines increasingly use those sardine can "regional jets" that they shouldn't put you on for more than an hour. I have flown first class recently and the food sucks (and I am perfectly happy to have a Five Guys burger for dinner). The booze in first class usually also is not great (the flight attendants call it "airplane wine"). Do you think you maybe can get a cup of green tea in 1st? "Sir this is an airplane." God I am a real complainer I know, but it adds up.

    It has become cheaper and more accessible to more people though, and more people can travel greater distances, I grant that this is worth something. But the business model is decidedly passenger unfriendly, if I have to travel 1000 miles, now I drive and stay at a decent hotel for 2 nights. The glamour of flying is long gone.

    Other airlines all over the world have much better service. Years ago in SE Asia I took a <1 hour flight, huge plane, everyone got a hot meal and the flight attendants made about 12 rounds holding a bottle of red and white in either hand.
    , @Moshe
    I recently scored an $800 Canadian voucher from Air Canada.

    First of all, it goes without saying that the best deal you're going to find for a flight from point A to point B won't necessarily be with Air Canada. So if Air Canada is charging $1,000 and the other guys are charging $500 this voucher ends up being worth $300, not $800. (I assume people here can follow the math.)

    But the real fun point that I didn't consider at the time was that the majority of the cost of an overseas flight is in taxes and fees that are not included in the voucher at all. Also, of course, whatever money you might have left over on your voucher is less likely to be used. But really, the point about the taxes and fees is the main one.

    My own point of you of course is that even if the guy was the worlds worst carney who only claimed to be Jack Bauer but wasn't, the seat was paid for and received and his.

    Ultimately no, none of this has to do with the airline and all of it has to do with the fact that passengers allow police to do whatever they want in this country. Especially if it has anything to do with airports or planes.

    The police are at fault.

    The people who tolerate this police activity in the US are at fault.

    American civs tend not to realize that every time they forgive police violence and laugh at the victim - "Don't taze me bro!" - they are giving police more and more power to do things that are not done in most other countries 1st or even 2nd world countries these days.
    , @Moshe
    Also - and I'll step off dictation for this - חג חרות שמח!
  73. @whorefinder
    You brought up airline monopolies in a different light. I brought it up as a probably reason why airlines weren't making a huge outcry and lobbying hard to remove TSA and put in some sensible, non-invasive policies.

    I think we need some anti-trust action on that front. Although most people recall antitrust legislation being used against Standard Oil, historically, the Sherman Antitrust act was used against Railroad conglomorates , as train travel the dominant methods of long-distance travel in its day. For example, Teddy Roosevelt used it against the formation of a regional monopoly on railroad travel in the Northwest part of the country.

    It's quite easy to draw a parallel between railroad monopolies (the dominant form of transport in its day) and airline monopolies. Rattle their cages and they might be able to get rid of the TSA without breaking them up, or, if they don't respond, splinter them into a million pieces.

    Intense competition is the only way to deliver high quality at low cost to consumers.

    An oligopoly of 5 airlines control 70% of flights inside the United States.

    Since there is so little competition, flights inside the United States are much more expensive than flights inside Europe.

    For example, a one-way airplane ticket from London to Frankfurt can cost as little as $16.25 on Ryanair.

    In order to lower the cost of airplane flights inside the United States to European levels, European airlines should be allowed to fly inside the United States.

    In order to create jobs for Americans, these flights should only be staffed by United States citizens.

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  74. @Dave Pinsen
    You don't build the relationships necessary to close big-dollar deals by sharing desktops virtually. You do that by eating and drinking together. Hence the travel.

    I had a lengthy comment here, looks like Unz brilliant spam avoidance system ate it up again.

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  75. eD, you and eah can start your “all non-refundable, no over booking” airline. Good luck.

    My hunch here is the airlines–with their IT centers–have this figured out. Different features and different price points for different folks. Personally, i’m not longer a business flyer, but–as a retired gentleman of leisure–am price sensitive but very flexible. As a result, I routinely fly coast-to-coast on Frontier for a shade north of $100. (I’ve got $69 Orlando-San Diego tickets in June to join a grad school friend to celebrate our 60ths together.)

    Earlier, for business or vacation travel with the kids–lodgings booked, school to return to–i never took the bump offers–though sorely tempted a time or two. You wave that in front of me now … you’ll be in danger if you’re between me and gate desk.

    Different strokes for different folks, and the airlines have their computers figuring it all out. By comparison, back in the day, i visited my prospective grad schools–Ithaca and Austin–and each flight was near $200 in 1978 dollars–that’s near $800 in today’s dollars.

    The bottom line here is we have incredibly cheap and convenient travel. Zipping around the country for a few hundred bucks. Those who want to whine about that? Try a covered wagon.

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  76. @peterike
    This story is so The Current Year. We have an immivasion Chinese doctor -- as Yankee points out, quite possibly a Dr. Feelgood pill pusher exploiting the system -- refusing to get off the plane and using classic Asian passive/aggressive techniques of going limp like a sack of beets. He won't even walk out on his own power.

    Meanwhile, a woman on the plane is frantically virtue signalling how "upset" she is at this -- "oh my Goooodddddd!" -- rather than doing what she should, which is cheering on the cops for dealing with this a-hole.

    And now United will suffer the wrath of SJW lunatics, no doubt facing a #BoycottUnited hash tag (I can't be bothered to look; besides, I'm certain it exists) and a tsunami of righteous internet rage. The outrage is just so yummy, isn't it?

    What a mess our nation has become.

    Spot on. You only missed the big black policemen who weren’t about to take this guy’s shit. I agree w the policeman 100% inthis case though.
    That and that this guy will be s millionaire very soon unless he already is from his pill dispensary errrr medical practice.

    What a mess.

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  77. @bomag
    ...and the airline could have limoed their employees to Louisville.

    They didn’t have that policy in place. Maybe they will now. But they didn’t. That means the Asian “doctor” had to get his ass off the plane.

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  78. @Anonymous
    The guy they dragged off was an Asian medical doctor who had patients to see. I'd put him at the bottom of list of passengers to boot. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a passenger who it is more important for them to get to where they're going than a medical doctor.

    The guy they dragged off was an Asian medical doctor who had patients to see. I’d put him at the bottom of list of passengers to boot.

    Yeah! We can’t just expect anybody to burn medicinal herbs, murmur incantations, and poke the patient with needles, can we?

    And think about what that cop did to the doctor’s chi! United’s gonna need a lot of powdered shark fin and preserved tiger penises to make this right.

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  79. @Johann Ricke
    OT, but interesting observations on Trump's relationship with Bannon, Priebus and Kushner from National Review's Jonah Goldberg, whose mother, Lucianne, was instrumental in breaking the Monica Lewinsky scandal:

    Right now, there’s a lot of talk about how both Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus may be on the way out at the White House. In general, I’d shed no tears at Bannon’s defenestration, but it’s worth noting that Bannon and Priebus now form an unlikely coalition against Jared Kushner, a lifelong liberal Democrat. By all accounts Kushner is a smart and serious guy. He also has the ace up his sleeve of being married to the president’s (also liberal) daughter. I have grave disagreements with Bannon, but in this fight I think I’m on his side:

    One senior Trump aide said that Bannon was also frustrated with Kushner “continuing to bring in [Obamacare architect] Zeke Emanuel to discuss health care options,” for instance. The aide said Emanuel has had three White House meetings, including one with Trump.
     
    But the idea that the chaos in the White House is a function of bad staff is grossly unfair, even to Bannon. The chaos isn’t a bug in the Trump program — it is the program. It’s how he likes to run things. He could bring in a whole new roster of people, the result will likely be the same.
     
    Trump is also a jealous deity - MSM coverage insinuating that Bannon was his Rasputin may have brought Bannon low:

    Donald Trump is a charismatic political figure. I don’t mean that in the conventional sense that he’s “charming.” I mean it in the sociological and political-science sense. Max Weber delineated three kinds of authority — legal, traditional, and charismatic. Charismatic authority rests “on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him.” Charismatic leaders get people to write books called In Trump We Trust.

    But the problem with charismatic leaders is that they are often a kind of Rorschach test. People project onto them what they want to see. I’ve lost count of how many conversations I’ve had with hardcore Trump fans who’ve described wildly different Donald Trumps — not simply different from the man I see, but different from each other. As a matter of logic, not all of these assessments can be right.

    But logic also dictates that all of them can be wrong. Earlier this week I wrote a column about how the core problem with Trump’s presidency so far isn’t his lack of an agenda or his tweeting or any of that. It’s Trump’s own character. Many angry readers came at me saying that I was just refusing to get over my Never Trumpism (they’re wrong about that by the way). Others suggested I was just a sucker for the mainstream media’s “fake news.” I’m not a political reporter, but I do talk to a lot of people in and around the Trump administration. And the simple fact is that the chaos in the Trump White House is an outgrowth of the president’s personality. He’s mercurial. He cares more about status, saving face, respect, “winning,” etc. than he does about any public policy. That’s not to say he doesn’t care about public policy at all. I think he’s sincere in his views about immigration, trade, excessive regulation, etc. But they take a back seat to Trump’s desire to maintain his charismatic status (which is why we’ve seen so many stories about how he gets mad at staffers who get good press — a really bizarre attitude for a manager when you think about it).
     

    Given Trump's decades-long record as an ethically-shady operator, between the casinos and peddling of overpriced and worthless real estate seminars, it shouldn't be a surprise if there's a difference between what he promised and what he finally delivers. Primary voters bought the sizzle. If we're lucky, we'll get something well short of a crap sandwich. Still, given that the alternative was Hillary ...

    Nonetheless, don't be surprised if Trump goes the Arnold route - better to be a successful liberal pol than a failed conservative one. Gorsuch may be last good thing Trump hands to conservatives.

    As I said before, because of Ivanka, the only way to sideline Jared Kushner is to pull a Charles Kushner on him. Leak an incriminating sex video to the press. Preferably with water sports, just so the left gets a taste of its own medicine. If it can’t be orchestrated, just produce something plausible-looking from scratch.

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  80. @peterike
    This story is so The Current Year. We have an immivasion Chinese doctor -- as Yankee points out, quite possibly a Dr. Feelgood pill pusher exploiting the system -- refusing to get off the plane and using classic Asian passive/aggressive techniques of going limp like a sack of beets. He won't even walk out on his own power.

    Meanwhile, a woman on the plane is frantically virtue signalling how "upset" she is at this -- "oh my Goooodddddd!" -- rather than doing what she should, which is cheering on the cops for dealing with this a-hole.

    And now United will suffer the wrath of SJW lunatics, no doubt facing a #BoycottUnited hash tag (I can't be bothered to look; besides, I'm certain it exists) and a tsunami of righteous internet rage. The outrage is just so yummy, isn't it?

    What a mess our nation has become.
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  81. @whorefinder
    You brought up airline monopolies in a different light. I brought it up as a probably reason why airlines weren't making a huge outcry and lobbying hard to remove TSA and put in some sensible, non-invasive policies.

    I think we need some anti-trust action on that front. Although most people recall antitrust legislation being used against Standard Oil, historically, the Sherman Antitrust act was used against Railroad conglomorates , as train travel the dominant methods of long-distance travel in its day. For example, Teddy Roosevelt used it against the formation of a regional monopoly on railroad travel in the Northwest part of the country.

    It's quite easy to draw a parallel between railroad monopolies (the dominant form of transport in its day) and airline monopolies. Rattle their cages and they might be able to get rid of the TSA without breaking them up, or, if they don't respond, splinter them into a million pieces.

    Who would benefit from the Federal Department of Transportation shutting down 26 inter-city bus companies in a single day in May 2012?

    Possibly the airline oligopoly.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft8-ZaugYSU

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  82. @eah
    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    God help your paying customers if you ever run a business -- what part of confirmed booking, including billing your credit card, ie a contract, do you not understand?

    The problem is airlines overbooking, not customers who demand the service they paid for -- if airlines offered $4k or $8k or more until they got takers, instead of involuntarily removing people from flights, these ugly scenes would be far less common -- but then overbooking would be on average a lot more expensive for them, and they'd have to reconsider the practice -- duh.

    eah, I agree with Clifford and the rest of his replyers (is that a word? It IS now!). We all understand on here what the deal was. The airline was going to reneg on someone’s deal (or 4 people, whatever it was). Your 2nd paragraph is on the right track, but the fact is, these people were not acting like normal human beings as I am used to.

    It is sick to see this stuff. “God help us if something bad ever really happens.” That is exactly what I thought after I saw all I could take of this video. Forget the women, men need to stand up and try to calm things down, talk it over, and don’t act like screeching monkeys – all of them!

    United could have just held the flight forever, or better yet, start upping the annie to $1500 or lots of other options as have been mentioned (a van ride, etc.) The passengers bumped off could get legal recourse if it came down to it, but I guess that’s only in a civil society. This video makes me very ashamed to be in the same species with the people in it, assuming I even am.

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  83. @Dave Pinsen
    You don't build the relationships necessary to close big-dollar deals by sharing desktops virtually. You do that by eating and drinking together. Hence the travel.

    Let’s try this again.

    I work for a huge monopoly that everyone here has heard about, in a non customer facing position and field. Business travel by middle and upper management is out of control. We have people in my division who go overseas 10+ times a year simply to sit at the offices of the same people we already talk to on a daily basis.

    To my amazement, this seems to actually get worse during recessions. Managers apparently need to show that their travel budgets are well used.

    Since I can’t discern any appropriate business reason for flying to Brazil or Germany actual sitting at our regional corporate office talking to the same exact people, only in person, I can only guess that the travel helps build the manager’s brand and allows them to live a full week a month totally on the Corporate dime.

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    When I doing Banksterism, I found there to be a material difference in the quality of communication if it was face to face.
    A ten hour trip to Brazil was well worth it.
  84. anything involving airline travel gets tons of publicity

    Anything involving airline travel takes place in a totalitarian world.

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  85. @Opinionator
    Don't frequents fliers now benefit from express security lines at many airports, while the plebes are stuck with the regular waits?

    Yes, and you can too if you get TSA Pre. Or you can get Global Entry, which lets you skip customs lines and entails TSA Pre.

    As irritating as it is to have to jump through hoops to be excused from the TSA idiocy, it may well be worth doing.

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  86. @George
    China’s internet users accuse United of prejudice after it dragged an Asian passenger off a plane
    https://qz.com/955171/chinas-internet-users-accuse-united-of-prejudice-after-it-dragged-an-asian-passenger-off-a-plane/

    Dude was Asian, perhaps Chinese. It is interesting how Chinese seem to have ethnic consciousness but whites don't. If a White guy that needed to take this flight put up a fight at being bumped it would be assumed they were drunk white trash. Needless to say United publicists are not circulating articles that passenger was drunk, crazy or impaired like they would someone else. But but but United need to bump somebody... No they didn't. And they could have prioritized passengers better.

    Is there going to be a boycott of United by Asians? Don't know but United does need damage control, pronto (how do you say fast in Chinese).

    It will be interesting if this story has staying power in China.

    The guy in question is an immigrant from Vietnam, apparently, but I suspect he is ethnically Chinese (there is a sizeable population in Vietnam – as there is in many SE Asian countris) of so-called overseas-Chinese.

    For your question, I suspect the right term for “fast” here is not the literal (快 – kuai), but in this case, “immediate” (馬上 – ma shang).

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  87. @eD
    Re eah @ 21, good points.

    I've noticed that the cost of refundable tickets have been increasing, to the point that I as a plebe non-business non expense-account flyer I never bother with them. It generally turns out to be cheaper to just eat the fee to change the non-refundable ticket or even just absorb the cost of the unused ticket if your plans change.

    I've been assuming that the refundable tickets are being bought by businesses, maybe the types of businesses where the managers don't like to do much planning. Actually if I were an investor, if I could obtain that information, the amount of money a business spends on non-refundable commercial airline tickets would probably be a good negative indicator.

    So I agree that airlines probably don't see many refundable tickets any more. And they charge a premium on the refundable ones they do sell. So for every customer who doesn't show up to a flight or changes at the last minute, the airline is pocketing either the change fee if its non-refundable, and if its refundable, presumably they have all the premiums they are charging for the refundable tickets that don't wind up being changed (and if all refundable tickets are getting switched, stop selling them!)

    Unless there is something I don't know here, overbooking flights looks like one of those bad business practices that large bureaucratic businesses like to adopt and stick with. From the airlines point of view, they don't need to have full flights. What they want is to have fully booked flights. I suspect the solution, if one is required, is to get rid of refundable tickets, lower the cost of the non-refundable tickets, and having passengers just eat the cost of the non-refundable tickets if they can't use them. The passengers gain with cheaper tickets, cheap enough that eating the cost of an unused ticket every so often can be put up with. They also get less crowded flights, and no chance of being kicked off a flight, since overbooking stops. The airlines get guaranteed revenue from every seat in the flight, plus less crowded flights are more manageable, so it should be worth it to them to lower the cost of the non-refundable tickets.

    "Now if only cafes would do something about the people who buy one latte and then sit there for two hours using the free WLAN…"

    Bars also sell by the drink, and customers tend to or are encouraged to linger, but don't seem to have this problem. Customers will always by another drink.

    I suspect the solution here involves alcohol, if not other ideas are to charge more for drinks/ food consumed at the location (not to go), and/ or charge for internet access.

    Bars also sell by the drink, and customers tend to or are encouraged to linger, but don’t seem to have this problem. Customers will always by another drink.

    I think that’s because at the bar you’re sitting a few feet away from the bartender, who can see that you’re done, and — more importantly — works for tips and so has a strong incentive to sell you more or give your stool to a new customer. At Starbucks, customers can camp out in a corner far away, and few people tip.

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  88. @Jonathan Mason
    This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.

    Both the passenger and the airline seem to have behaved rather badly. I would not be surprised if it turns out in the long run that the passenger had some symptoms of dementia or other mental infirmity,but of course airlines have to take that into account when they decide how to deal with these situations. On the other hand the airline has not yet publicly explained the precise situation that required that seated passengers be forcefully removed from the plane if necessary to accommodate crew. This does not seem to happen very often, so perhaps there were unusual circumstances.

    If my wife and I and our 2 kids had been offered $1000 each plus a night in a nice hotel, a slap up dinner, a couple of hamburgers, and an upgrade to first class on the next day's flight, I am pretty sure we would have taken the loot even if it meant losing a day's pay and missing a day of school. We are a pretty corrupt family.

    George Bush Jr. once said (of terrorists) "they envy us for our freedoms." I think he was quite wrong, but if he was right then, he would be wrong now as the US has increasingly become a police state where corporations and security forces can demand instant obedience and beat people down if they disobey.

    I agree wholeheartedly with every part of your comment, John. That “envy us” or “hate us for our freedoms” was always a lot of crap, even when Bush said it.

    Well, they were right about all the “terrorists would have won” part. If their goal was to turn America into a police state, then, yes, the terrorists have won. I doubt they had any goals other than revenge, wrongly or rightly, and just the goals that are in their koran.

    Can you all, all who’ve been writing about the TSA on here, of which I agree with you all, imagine if passengers had not been routinely disarmed upon boarding aircraft back in 2001? Between 4 mainline jetliners, even with their fairly light loads that September morning, it is very likely that each plane would have had one or more armed passengers. Said passengers would have subdued or eliminated these Saudi nutcases fairly quickly, and 9/11 would have been something for Americans to be proud of, not an excuse of the USSA.

    They are STILL disarming passengers! WTF?

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    • Replies: @MB
    That presumes the accepted narrative that the Saudi Arabian ratpack really could pilot the planes in the sophisticated fashion it took to pull off 9/11.
    Kind of like what is possible with a bolt action rifle from the sixth floor of a building?
    Or worse?
    Call me a little skeptical.
  89. All you have to do is keep upping the voucher bid until enought people bit. At some point they would have. That’s really the only fair way to do it. The airline gets its seats and saves itself a ton of bad publicity.

    Dr. Drama Quin doesn’t come out of this looking very good, either. He acted like a lunatic. I can see him losing more than a few patients over this.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Dr. Drama Quin [LOL - AEN] doesn’t come out of this looking very good, either. He acted like a lunatic. I can see him losing more than a few patients over this.

    About doctors,

    We're stayin' in a Holiday Inn full of surgeons
    I guess they meet there once a year
    They exchange physician stories
    And get drunk on Tuborg beer
    Then they're off to catch a stripper
    With their eyes glued to her G
    But I don't think that I would ever let 'em cut on me

    OK, can't help it - Jimmy Buffet, "Miss you so Badly" from Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD6WM94G3Ic
  90. The people talking “about differing values for differing people” then going on to bash people who don’t like being packed into a cattle car for $69 is pretty lol.

    Have fun with that. I’d rather pay the extra $200 to avoid having someone up my ass for the flight.

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  91. @biz
    The TSA could profile all we want, but we would still need airport screening for everyone. As much as I am on record here slapping people down repeatedly for stupid inane false equivalence narratives regarding Islamic terrorism, even without it there would still be the spectre of just plain old hijackings, DB Cooper or Cuban dissident style.

    You don’t get it, biz. D B Cooper or any of the hijackers of the 70′s got away with what they did because the passengers were all disarmed by law. The hijackers were not disarmed by law, because they were not bound by law, being lawbreakers.

    Yes, there may have been a shootout or a knife fight, but after one of those, it is known there is no free ride – “cash, grass, or ass, nobody rides for free.” Seriously, the 9/11 hijackings were on a completely different level on what they wanted to do to the planes and passengers, but that would have been an even better reason to not disarm the passengers, for cryin’ out loud. This has not been fixed, but has been made worse.

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    • Replies: @biz
    Shootouts in a crowded, confined, pressurized cabin 30,000 ft in the air? No thanks.
  92. @Wilkey
    All you have to do is keep upping the voucher bid until enought people bit. At some point they would have. That's really the only fair way to do it. The airline gets its seats and saves itself a ton of bad publicity.

    Dr. Drama Quin doesn't come out of this looking very good, either. He acted like a lunatic. I can see him losing more than a few patients over this.

    Dr. Drama Quin [LOL - AEN] doesn’t come out of this looking very good, either. He acted like a lunatic. I can see him losing more than a few patients over this.

    About doctors,

    We’re stayin’ in a Holiday Inn full of surgeons
    I guess they meet there once a year
    They exchange physician stories
    And get drunk on Tuborg beer
    Then they’re off to catch a stripper
    With their eyes glued to her G
    But I don’t think that I would ever let ‘em cut on me

    OK, can’t help it – Jimmy Buffet, “Miss you so Badly” from Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD6WM94G3Ic

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  93. @bomag
    The problem here seems to be that four United employees came in late and bullied their way onto an already loaded flight.

    Power flaunting.

    The irony here is that this was not a United flight at all. This was a “United Express” flight that is run under contract with Republic Airline. United saves $ by having its shorter /lower capacity “commuter” flights operated under contract by Republic who pays its pilots bubkes. The pilot business is operated like the acting business where pilots hope to land a gig at a major and earn a decent living but few ever do and those that don’t barely make a living. Regional carrier pilots sleep in the airline terminal or their cars because they can’t afford a motel room. But for United, live by the sword, die by the sword – they lent their name out to Republic so now they have to live with the PR blowback from what Republic did with it.

    Republic as a low rent operation refused to offer more than $800 to get a volunteer although they could have gone much higher. $800 is close to what they pay a pilot in a month. Cheaper to call the cops.

    And the people who dragged the guy off the plane were not employees of either, but Chicago cops. So double irony – why is United getting the grief instead of the Chicago PD? I’m sure that the cops were not under instructions from either United or Republic to beat the crap out of the guy – that was their idea and/or lack of training in how to handle people. Chicago PD is used to handling dindus who are in no position to complain most of the time.

    Speaking of being in no position, David Dao, the victim, has a “troubled past” as a pill doctor.

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2017/04/11/david-dao-passenger-removed-united-flight-doctor-troubled-past/100318320/

    In China, the good doctor’s removal is being spun as anti-Chinese racism. Sort of ironic that the Chinaman is now getting whites addicted to opium instead of vice versa – cosmic revenge I guess.

    So there are no heroes here, just a sordid rogue’s gallery of marginal players trying to scratch out a living in the sad twilight of the American empire, but streamed live and in color on your Korean cell phone.

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    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    OK, cut out the dated word for Chinese person. And people, those "vouchers" are just scrip -- not cash but "funny money."

    Nothing in China is "spun" without approval from their highest levels in government. Great, just great, just on the eve of Rex Tillerson issuing an ultimatum to North Korea, this is becoming an international incident in China. Maybe, maybe, if there is any justice, the United Airlines CEO will find himself in a windowless room in Langley, VA, doing his patriotic duty to assist our intelligence agencies with their inquiries?
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    You''d have been right about 2 years back, Jack. It's all different now, as far as demand for pilots goes.

    Ignore the reply regarding your use of the word Chinaman. The man was from China. That makes him a China man, which we combine into Chinaman. That's the way English works - I didn't start it. I'm not sure why that puts a bug up IM's mind, and you just got done telling him this was a Republic Airlines flight, too and he's responding with something about the president of UAL. Hey, IM, this was not a United Airlines flight - however, the gate agents may have been, but that's a part of the story I have not looked into.

    , @Rod1963
    The thing that got me, is that Dao is a old man and rather frail looking. Certainly not the sort you'd want to man handle like cheap luggage.

    The moment he offered resistance, it should have been hands off. He is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    After the cops beat the shit out of him, he staggers back to his seat with blood coming from his mouth like he just been worked over by the Mafia or Nazi dentist.
  94. @bomag
    The problem here seems to be that four United employees came in late and bullied their way onto an already loaded flight.

    Power flaunting.

    They were “deadheading” – being transported from Point A to Point B to work another flight. Its not like they’re going on vacation. Airline employees traveling for pleasure only get seats that are unsold at the time of departure. They can’t bump paying passengers.

    All sorts of things could have happened – including the crew of another flight scheduled to leave Louisville being out of time for their duty day (pilots and flight attendants are allowed to work X number of hours without a break…if they’re over that the airline either needs to get another crew in to fly it, or else cancel the flight). With weather delays, mechanical problems, ATC delays, it is not unusual for a crew to run out of time before their scheduled day of flying ends.

    Obviously the airline could have handled it better (including continuing to raise the amount they’ll compensate someone until they found volunteers), but in this case better to bump four people to make room for a flight crew headed to Louisville than to cancel a flight scheduled to leave Louisville, and thus ruin travel for 100+ people.

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    • Replies: @Rod1963
    The airline could have put them on a chauffeured bus for the 4 hour drive to their destination and they could have slept on the way there. It would have been cheaper.

    They didn't, they decided to f-up a old man in front of the entire world instead, because they could since the airlines are above the law. UAL should be called ThugAir.

    Then the blithering idiot and out of touch demi-god/CEO attacked the old man in a press release and thereby antagonizing a billion people.

    God almighty you can't get more stupider than that. That is hard core stupidity that legends are made out of.

    It's like that airline has no idea what customer service and decency means. I'd wager most of their management are either ex-prison guards or convicts.

    Jimmy Kimmel's little commerical on United nails those sociopaths.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xecEV4dSAXE
    , @Hallie Scott Kline
    Possibly, a 5-hour limo drive to Louisville could put the four airline employees over their legal limit. Maybe that's why the airline insisted they be given seats--if their duty day had few hours remaining.
  95. @Johann Ricke
    OT, but interesting observations on Trump's relationship with Bannon, Priebus and Kushner from National Review's Jonah Goldberg, whose mother, Lucianne, was instrumental in breaking the Monica Lewinsky scandal:

    Right now, there’s a lot of talk about how both Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus may be on the way out at the White House. In general, I’d shed no tears at Bannon’s defenestration, but it’s worth noting that Bannon and Priebus now form an unlikely coalition against Jared Kushner, a lifelong liberal Democrat. By all accounts Kushner is a smart and serious guy. He also has the ace up his sleeve of being married to the president’s (also liberal) daughter. I have grave disagreements with Bannon, but in this fight I think I’m on his side:

    One senior Trump aide said that Bannon was also frustrated with Kushner “continuing to bring in [Obamacare architect] Zeke Emanuel to discuss health care options,” for instance. The aide said Emanuel has had three White House meetings, including one with Trump.
     
    But the idea that the chaos in the White House is a function of bad staff is grossly unfair, even to Bannon. The chaos isn’t a bug in the Trump program — it is the program. It’s how he likes to run things. He could bring in a whole new roster of people, the result will likely be the same.
     
    Trump is also a jealous deity - MSM coverage insinuating that Bannon was his Rasputin may have brought Bannon low:

    Donald Trump is a charismatic political figure. I don’t mean that in the conventional sense that he’s “charming.” I mean it in the sociological and political-science sense. Max Weber delineated three kinds of authority — legal, traditional, and charismatic. Charismatic authority rests “on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him.” Charismatic leaders get people to write books called In Trump We Trust.

    But the problem with charismatic leaders is that they are often a kind of Rorschach test. People project onto them what they want to see. I’ve lost count of how many conversations I’ve had with hardcore Trump fans who’ve described wildly different Donald Trumps — not simply different from the man I see, but different from each other. As a matter of logic, not all of these assessments can be right.

    But logic also dictates that all of them can be wrong. Earlier this week I wrote a column about how the core problem with Trump’s presidency so far isn’t his lack of an agenda or his tweeting or any of that. It’s Trump’s own character. Many angry readers came at me saying that I was just refusing to get over my Never Trumpism (they’re wrong about that by the way). Others suggested I was just a sucker for the mainstream media’s “fake news.” I’m not a political reporter, but I do talk to a lot of people in and around the Trump administration. And the simple fact is that the chaos in the Trump White House is an outgrowth of the president’s personality. He’s mercurial. He cares more about status, saving face, respect, “winning,” etc. than he does about any public policy. That’s not to say he doesn’t care about public policy at all. I think he’s sincere in his views about immigration, trade, excessive regulation, etc. But they take a back seat to Trump’s desire to maintain his charismatic status (which is why we’ve seen so many stories about how he gets mad at staffers who get good press — a really bizarre attitude for a manager when you think about it).
     

    Given Trump's decades-long record as an ethically-shady operator, between the casinos and peddling of overpriced and worthless real estate seminars, it shouldn't be a surprise if there's a difference between what he promised and what he finally delivers. Primary voters bought the sizzle. If we're lucky, we'll get something well short of a crap sandwich. Still, given that the alternative was Hillary ...

    Nonetheless, don't be surprised if Trump goes the Arnold route - better to be a successful liberal pol than a failed conservative one. Gorsuch may be last good thing Trump hands to conservatives.

    A lot of people including so called “conservatives” (or cuckservatives) are just waiting for Trump to fail. These same people wrote Trump off on a dozen prior occasions but the guy is like an unstoppable zombie of their nightmares. Given their track record of being totally wrong (about almost everything but about Trump especially) I think it’s a little too soon to declare Trump politically dead for the umpteenth time.

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    • Agree: Federalist
    • Replies: @MB
    The difference this time is he is messing with at least part of his base.
    The attraction was that he was something different than your average Repug or Dim warmonger. Not any more, tho he always did say he essentially was going to bomb ISIS back to the Stone Age (and we know how well that went last time we heard it, don't we boys and girls?). So militarism was always in the DNA.
    So yeah, now that he's implementing the neocon swamp agenda, all is well.
    Which is to say Trump the candidate is dead, but Trump now representing establishment interests is going strong. O happy day.
  96. @bomag
    ...and the airline could have limoed their employees to Louisville.

    The 4 vouchers would have been more than the cost of any conceivable limo so there might have been other issues – maybe they wouldn’t have gotten there in time, maybe it was something to do with union or FAA rules on crew rest, maybe the employees were just entitled SOBs who didn’t want to be inconvenienced – IDK.

    Also why did they stop at $800? In retrospect in order to save maybe another $1,000 or so, they have bought themselves millions of $ worth of bad publicity. This one little cell phone video completely negates their entire ad budget.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    maybe the employees were just entitled SOBs who didn’t want to be inconvenienced
     
    If your contract says you're entitled to so much rest, why should you let yourself be inconvenienced by your psychopathic employer, who will sack you the moment they find a cheaper Elbonian to replace you?
  97. @Peter Akuleyev
    Exactly. There aren't really any heroes in this story. It is only a 5 hour drive to Louisville, yet no one was willing to take an $800 voucher to help United get a crew down to Louisville to prevent a hundred people on some other flight from being inconvenienced. The doctor had no qualms creating a scene and delaying the flight of all his fellow passengers. We certainly live in a world of diminishing civic Still, the United team demonstrated an incredible lack of communication skills and creativity. Couldn't they have just offered to hire a nice van or limousine to take 4 passengers to Louisville in comfort? I would take that over a flight any day.

    That was my feeling also – a sordid tale of life at the edge of a crumbling American society where everyone’s expectations are lowered to the level of prison inmates. At least in jail you get a free baloney sandwich.

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  98. I think Steve might have it backwards. In comments here and elsewhere it seems as if the people who fly the most are ones who are least likely to find this shocking – they just accept overbooking as the way things are and involuntary bumping as a rare but necessary fact of life. Infrequent fliers (for whom a voucher bribe would do no good if it might be ages before they fly again) seem the most likely to be upset with these practices.

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  99. @Lot
    Since deregulation domestic airlines have made a net profit of less than 0. They may have a few individual route monopolies, but none on major routes. It is overall not a profitable business, so there is nothing antitrust law can do to change things for the better. The point of antitrust is to create competition, but there is enough competition now that airlines barely make a profit. While they are doing OK now, it is still one of the lowest margin businesses to be in.

    Airlines are very lucrative under certain conditions (low oil prices, economic good times) like right now. And we are down to only 4 major carriers.

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    • Replies: @anon
    Plus software to optimize revenue per flight through pricing algorithms.

    Warren Buffett dipped his toe into the market. Or at least his new portfolio managers.

    There are still low barriers to entry and United added a bunch of capacity a couple of week ago, prompting the WSJ to wonder if/why they never learn.

    Overall, I don't think they are close to making excessive, monopoly like profits. And if/when they do, it shouldn't be hard to increase competition.
    , @Johann Ricke

    Airlines are very lucrative under certain conditions (low oil prices, economic good times) like right now. And we are down to only 4 major carriers.
     
    They have periods of good profits, but these are more than outweighed by periodic bankruptcies and recapitalizations. Employee unions almost always share in the good times, salary-wise, and that is in part why financial trouble inevitably follows. Pan Am and TWA flew a little too close to the sun, and that was all she wrote.
  100. @Yankee
    I thought this video was hilarious. There are no guarantees in travel. Sometimes flights are overbooked (in this case, I believe it was related to the shutdown in Atlanta due to severe weather, which ended up affecting everything else, even in faraway places like where I am). Sometimes, you might be the one guy asked to leave the plane, if no one else volunteers, and even if you are already seated.

    But there are better ways to handle this than by refusing to leave, thus forcing the airline staff to have the police board the plane, and then still refusing to comply with the police, and then resisting so much that you end up with your face bloodied, and with getting dragged out on your ass. After seeing the questionable judgment of that alleged "doctor", who would really want to be one of his patients?

    It’s clear from the contract of carriage that you can be “denied boarding” due to overbooking. But if you are already sitting in your seat and not being disruptive, do they really have the right to remove you from the aircraft so that they can fly some of their own employees instead? Not clear that they can, but’s its even more clear that just because something is legal doesn’t make it a good idea.

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  101. @Steve Sailer
    Ultimately, the captain has to be in charge of his ship, right?

    Everybody thinks Christian Fletcher is a cool guy, but Captain Bligh has to be the decider.

    Not to be pedantic, but it’s Fletcher Christian, not Christian Fletcher.

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    • Replies: @MB
    Been looking for Richard Grenier's article in Commentary article on the rest of the story to the Caine Mutiny. The mutineers ended up killing each other off, while Bligh ended up sailing an open boat 2000? miles to Australia. IOW the mutineers were neither noble or competent.
    Much obliged if anybody knows where a copy could be obtained.
  102. @Danindc
    Was he a doctor though? That's not the behavior of any doctor I know. Scam artist who hit the jackpot more likely. He'll get a lot more than an $800 voucher now.

    I'll be mildly surprised if he's a real doctor and shocked if he doesn't clean up on this "incident" that he caused. And yes, he caused it. He drew short straw (computer randomly selected passengers for de-planing) and acted like a child.

    The fact that social media is running 1000-1 in favor of said doctor only proves I'm right.

    Bzzt, wrong, he’s a real MD (albeit with a shady past as a pill doctor).

    Also the process is not as computerized as you think.

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  103. @Anonymous
    The guy they dragged off was an Asian medical doctor who had patients to see. I'd put him at the bottom of list of passengers to boot. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a passenger who it is more important for them to get to where they're going than a medical doctor.

    Let’s not make this a martyr just yet. https://twitter.com/lisa_fletch/status/851833560583610368

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  104. @bomag
    ...and the airline could have limoed their employees to Louisville.

    …and the airline could have limoed their employees to Louisville.

    Assuming the flight they were going to fly was 5+ hours away.

    C’mon. This *might* have been some United employees being jerks. But that’s very unlikely if they did this when the plane was already loaded. Much more likely is they had some sort of crew “failure” in Louisville–someone sick, or (best guess) coming in from somewhere delayed and would exceed their FAA regs flying again, something like that. In other words if the crew doesn’t get there then some later United flight from Louisville is very severely delayed causing a whole lot more passenger hassle than bumping four folks from this flight.

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    • Replies: @Federalist
    Don't buy their B.S. excuses. They routinely "overbook" flights. It's a scam. Try running a business and pulling crap like that. You or I might be flying and our being delayed might inconvenience a whole bunch of people or might cause us to lose business or go broke. But we don't get to kick people off of the plane because we are so important. The airlines get away with this shit because they can. If someone was sick or would exceed FAA regs., then the airline needs to hire more people. The airlines need to get there shit together and make it happen. Everyone else does. Maybe the airline CEOs shouldn't get millions of dollars if they can't operate an airline efficiently.
  105. @Opinionator
    Don't frequents fliers now benefit from express security lines at many airports, while the plebes are stuck with the regular waits?

    If your definition of a Plebe is someone who can’t afford a one time payment of $80 for TSA Pre, then yes.

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  106. @Danindc
    Was he a doctor though? That's not the behavior of any doctor I know. Scam artist who hit the jackpot more likely. He'll get a lot more than an $800 voucher now.

    I'll be mildly surprised if he's a real doctor and shocked if he doesn't clean up on this "incident" that he caused. And yes, he caused it. He drew short straw (computer randomly selected passengers for de-planing) and acted like a child.

    The fact that social media is running 1000-1 in favor of said doctor only proves I'm right.

    The fact that social media is running 1000-1 in favor of said doctor only proves I’m right.

    Counting China?

    If it’s really running even 90-10 in favor of this doctor acting like a screaming 11-year old girl in the USA, then more confirmation we’re toast.

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  107. @AnotherDad

    The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.
     
    Exactly. Well said, Mr. Brown.

    I have *zero* respect for this drama queen. But it seems we have more and more of 'em everyday. And what's with a grown man falling limp routine like some Victorian maiden when he doesn't get what he wants?

    No one *likes* the flying--corporate flying--experience. But we agree to tuck in our horns, and be packed into the tube with random strangers and obey corporate apparatchiks ... so we can zoom through the air at 500 mile per hour for a few hundred bucks.

    If you must be the king--or this case be a drama *queen*--while going fast, buy a Gulfstream.

    ~~~

    That said, airlines are supposed to resolve overbooking, or emergency crew seats, *outside* the plane at the gate. Never let people on the place you aren't going to fly.

    And if this crew emergency really came up at the last second, then keep upping the bribe until you get your necessary four takers. (Cost of business.) That should really be that hard. Explain to people that a Chicago-Louisville is an easy 300mi, 5 hour drive--a one way rental is what--maybe $150.

    And yeah--pathetic sign of the times that in a plane full of folks, they couldn't get four volunteers willing to drive and get there 4 hours later--several hundred dollars richer--in order to accommodate a flight crew.

    One thing about being a “drama queen” on this jet.

    Flying requires a considerable degree of social cooperation, such as, vacating your seat when “picked” and not “making a scene” as in this recent example.

    Flying also requires social cooperation for the safe operation of the jet. Does everyone here read the seat card and “identify (their) nearest exit, even if it might be behind you”? Of course that is all “safety theatre” because “everyone knows” that if an accident happens, not anyone will be left alive, safety card or no safety card?

    The FARs (Federal Aviation Rules) require the crew to give the safety demonstration but I guess they don’t require passengers to afford it any attention, and we have all flown so many times, we all know about “put on your own oxygen mask before helping others” and that the “seat cushion may be used as a flotation device” by now.

    Are people cool with the pilots skipping checklists because they have flown that type of aircraft so many times it is all rote by now? Are people perfectly comfortable to be in with a crowd of strangers and no one is paying any attention as to how to get out if the pilots make a hard landing, or if a jet engine bursts on takeoff, and smoke fills the cabin?

    One thing that sticks in my memory is as child reading in the Chicago Tribune about a hard landing of one of the new 727 jets. I guess their “handling” was markedly different from the propeller planes that their pilots “transitioned” from. Only two persons made it out alive, who had the presence of mind to use the over-wing emergency exits, and everyone else choked from smoke. I read the seat card and pay heed to the Federally mandated safety instruction . . . every . . . stage . . . of . . . every . . . flight. Not wanting to think about the hazards of flying doesn’t mitigate the problem.

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    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    The worst air disaster (aside from 9/11) was the Tenerife runway collision in 1977. In heavy fog, a KLM 747 began taking off while a Pan Am 747 was still taxiing.

    The KLM pilot saw the Pan Am jet in time to get airborne - there was a long streak on the runway from the tail's scraping against the ground - but, immediately thereafter, the underbelly of the KLM plane sheared off the top of the Pan Am plane. The KLM plane, its engines and landing gear ripped off, then crashed and burned, killing everyone aboard. The Pan Am plane blew up shortly after the crash, killing most aboard, but a number of folks (including the cockpit crew) managed to get off before it exploded.

    One of the survivors said that, immediately after the crash, he nudged his wife and said, "Let's go." They got up, made their way to the nearest exit, and quickly hustled off. He reported that most or even all of the passengers were still alive, sitting quietly in their seats, dazed into a shocked stupor. They all burned to death.
  108. BTW, in the unlikely event that any airline managers are reading …

    My peeve flying isn’t bumping or TSA–since signing up for pre-check last year that’s become less of a hassle–or any of the stuff i usually hear about.

    My #1 peeve, is the incredibly long time to unload the airplane. Something that should take no more than about 5 minutes–with a steady stream of people–but stretches on for 15, entire because of jerk-off passengers–of the mentality of this drama-queen-doc who think the entire ‘effing world revolves around them.

    What you see is a steady stream of folks leaving then plane… then suddenly no movement. Because the next person, instead of being ready to go is gathering all their belongings while the 100 people behind him (usually her) are waiting. (Which usually includes me, being price sensitive and usually in the back half.) Often this person has not two, but three, four … five things–a purse, a coat, another bag, their rollerbag and sometimes some presents or other crap. And then there’re the people–often the same people–who a clogging the jetway because they just can’t wait 15 seconds to call\text their friends and family.

    I’d preference any airline that would simply lay down the law and not board people who can’t walk on and off the plane smartly with all their crap tucked into no more than the theoretical two–one under seat, one overhead–items.

    My suggestion:
    1) Announce after landing that everyone should be “ready to go”, “all items in hand and ready to walk quickly off the airplane” when their row is reached and if they are not ready they must be out of aisle and let others proceed.
    2) Announce that cell phones are stowed during this exiting process until one is inside the terminal and finds a spot outside the flow of passengers.
    3) Instead of standing at the front dispensing thanks and good wishes, flight attendants walk back down the aisle whenever there is a break in the flow. They then command the person blocking the flow out of the aisle to wait until the rest have deplaned.

    Note: I know not everyone is wired up like me–definitely fortunate not to have been born in a socialist country, i’ve heard the queue tales from friends. What i think irks the hell outta me, is not the time wasting, but the sheer arrogance of these people who feel no shame at making everyone else wait for their little turn on stage. (I’d like to punch ‘em, but have managed to restrain myself–so far.) Commercial travel is inherently a group activity, where you *force* everyone else to bear the cost of your sloth, if you are a doofus who can’t get your act together.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    It's the same in loading the plane. Some moron finds his seat, looks around for an overhead bin, puts his bag in it, takes off his coat, etc., all while blocking the f**king aisle for 45 seconds. 45 seconds mount up when 3o people do it.

    I would ban carry on luggage or make people pay for it.
    , @Buck Turgidson
    the airlines allow passengers to carry WAY too much crap onto the plane. I don't get it. I get a bag, fill it with my stuff, and check. I have flown a lot of (not quite 10x6 but close) over the years, never lost a bag, maybe once or twice late? Sometimes the bag is waiting for me b/c the bag got on an earlier flight. I take a few things w me that I would need if somehow I got totally separated from my bags (e.g, if going someplace cold, I have a jacket hat and gloves w me). Sometimes I pack a smaller bag. I never take more than my share of the bin space I marvel at the folks who have all these coats and and and... they seem to make it difficult on themselves
  109. @Jonathan Mason
    This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.

    Both the passenger and the airline seem to have behaved rather badly. I would not be surprised if it turns out in the long run that the passenger had some symptoms of dementia or other mental infirmity,but of course airlines have to take that into account when they decide how to deal with these situations. On the other hand the airline has not yet publicly explained the precise situation that required that seated passengers be forcefully removed from the plane if necessary to accommodate crew. This does not seem to happen very often, so perhaps there were unusual circumstances.

    If my wife and I and our 2 kids had been offered $1000 each plus a night in a nice hotel, a slap up dinner, a couple of hamburgers, and an upgrade to first class on the next day's flight, I am pretty sure we would have taken the loot even if it meant losing a day's pay and missing a day of school. We are a pretty corrupt family.

    George Bush Jr. once said (of terrorists) "they envy us for our freedoms." I think he was quite wrong, but if he was right then, he would be wrong now as the US has increasingly become a police state where corporations and security forces can demand instant obedience and beat people down if they disobey.

    This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.

    Exactly. I see people making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions based on very limited data.

    From what I have read so far and what I have seen on video, here is a timeline of what seems to have occurred plus my own commentary:

    1. Apparently the flight was overbooked, and United gate personnel asked for ONE volunteer. One passenger did volunteer and received compensation.

    2. Then all ticketed passengers were boarded and seated.

    3. At that point, it appears a United official boarded the plane and announced that four United crew members for another flight had to be accommodated and that the plane would not leave until four seated passengers deplaned (apparently the manner in which this was announced was quite unfriendly and turned off the passengers). There was no volunteer.*

    *It appears that the man who was later dragged off volunteered initially in return for compensation, provided he could be booked for a later flight that day (supposedly he is a doctor and had to see patients the next day). When he was told that the later flights were full as well and that he’d have to stay overnight before another flight, he rescinded his offer to be bumped.

    4. At some point, since there were no volunteers, passengers were randomly picked to be deplaned. Three left peacefully; the man in the video refused. [My commentary: it appears unusual for already SEATED passengers to be forcibly deplaned for anything other than for bad behavior/safety reasons; business bumping is usually done at the gate.]

    5. It seems the man in question pulled the ethnicity card at this point – something about being picked because he was Chinese. [My commentary: if true, this was ill-advised, unwarranted, and silly. I am quite tired of people pulling "the race card" at the drop of a hat.]

    6. At that point, United summoned Chicago airport security. We do not know the prior context of their interactions with the passenger. We do see them yanking the shrieking passenger off the seat. We also see the man’s face striking an armrest hard. [My commentary: when commanded by law enforcement or security personnel in controlled areas, it is HIGHLY inadvisable to resist in any manner - even to being forcibly moved. The best thing is to express your lack of consent and then follow the command under protest ("I disagree with your unlawful command. But I am cooperating under duress, because I fear that you will harm me otherwise"). Then work out your grievance, if any, LATER in a calm, office setting.

    However, I should also note that the security personnel in question exercised poor judgment. Again, I do not see or know the prior interaction, so this assessment is quite preliminary. But unless the man was belligerent or posing a physical threat, yanking him so hard that his head strikes the armrest, apparently making him go limp was not wise. This could have been resolved without the use of violence potentially, and even if force were necessary, there are other compliance/come-along techniques they could have used.]

    7. After the man’s head struck the armrest, he seems to have been rendered unconscious or limp. The security personnel then drag (!) him through the plane. [My commentary: given that the man may have suffered a concussion or some sort of trauma to the head, this was extremely unwise move on the part of the security personnel.]

    8. Here is where the story takes a bizarre turn: the now-bloodied man apparently left custody somehow, ran back into the plane and was mumbling incoherently “I have to go home” and “Just kill me.” [My commentary: either this guy is a fantastic actor, was playing possum earlier or he may have suffered a serious head trauma and/or was disoriented. Either way, I cannot begin to imagine the incompetence of the security personnel in letting him escape their custody!]

    9. Subsequently he was apparently removed again, this time on a stretcher.

    Now, my commentary on the overall situation. First of all, United handled this extremely poorly. For one thing, all bumping should have occurred at the gate BEFORE boarding and seating. Passengers get VERY irate, understandably, when forced to deplane for anything other than their own misbehavior or airplane safety. United also appears to have communicated their needs and requests for volunteers poorly given the negative reactions of the passengers. They also seemed not to have elevated the compensation up to the legal limit. If what I have read and seen so far is true, then I assign the majority of the blame for the incident to United.

    The security officers should not escape blame either (unless there was some unreported prior misbehavior from the passenger). They either lacked training or judgment to make the man (reported to be near 70 years old in age) compliant, either by verbal de-escalation or judicious use of forceful compliance/come-along techniques. Yanking someone so hard in a confined space where the man’s head hits the armrest is a poor practice anyway you cut it. Even if he were violent (which he apparent was not), the proper procedure is to subdue and restrain him first, then and only after he was properly restrained (and/or cuffed/shackled, should they transport him while ensuring that his head does not strike anything.

    Lastly, the man himself deserves some of the blame for the violent incident. For one thing, pulling the race card is in poor taste (unless there was specific evidence). More importantly, he should have COMPLIED with the security personnel while expressing his disagreement. If there are problems/complaints/grievances, you resolve it LATER under a PEACEFUL, conversational setting. You don’t risk injury and even death by physical resistance even if it’s just being moved. Again, it is UNWISE to resist unless, of course, you feel that you are being attacked with force unjustly (self-defense; e.g. sleeping in your house, when someone throws a flashbang into your house and masked men burst in with guns, shoot your dogs, etc.).

    I agree with others that this is a society whose civil fabric is being unraveled. In a more civilized era, all parties concerned would have behaved differently – better, that is. In particular, the customer service airline industry seems to have gone down hill dramatically. Most domestic flights today, even in the first class, are cattle cars. I try not to fly domestic airlines nowadays and either drive or rely on GenAv where I can (thankfully I have a close friend who has his own small plane). As a principle, I don’t rely on modes of transportation that disarm me.

    Customer service on some international flights, however, are dramatically different and better. Airlines such as Singapore and Qatar offer impeccable service even at the lowest fare cabin and make our domestic airlines seem like Third World cattle cars that they are.

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    • Replies: @peterike

    ran back into the plane and was mumbling incoherently “I have to go home” and “Just kill me.” [My commentary: either this guy is a fantastic actor, was playing possum earlier or he may have suffered a serious head trauma and/or was disoriented.
     
    Nah, just passive/aggressive Asian hysteria. Routine.
    , @Bill Jones
    "[My commentary: when commanded by law enforcement or security personnel in controlled areas, it is HIGHLY inadvisable to resist in any manner - even to being forcibly moved. The best thing is to express your lack of consent and then follow the command under protest ("I disagree with your unlawful command. But I am cooperating under duress, because I fear that you will harm me otherwise"). Then work out your grievance, if any, LATER in a calm, office setting"

    The Supreme Court has confirmed the right to physically resist unlawfull arrest.

    It needs to be done more not less often
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Great summary, Twinkie. I guess many of us shoot off our mouths before we have investigated the details as much as you have.

    While I'm writing again, in reply to Another Dad: I think it was a change 10 or more years back that made exiting the planes take much longer. That change was charges for checked bags. There were charges for heavies and extra large or big numbers of pieces of luggage before that, but the change to charge for each bag checked to travel in the belly encouraged people to bring carry-ons much more than they used to.

    The number of carry-ons is usually on a full flight too many to fit in all of the bins, even organized as best as possible; the gate agents will ask for people to check them to the destination (for free at this point) to free up space. However, those bins are so full - I see a lot of people rushing upon arrival, but things still take a quite a while, especially if you are in the back of a single-aisle long airplane like the 757-300 or MD-90.
    , @Craig Morris
    The man did not go limp and was not unconscious. He was still firmly grasping his cell phone as he was dragged down the aisle.
  110. @Anonymous
    The guy they dragged off was an Asian medical doctor who had patients to see. I'd put him at the bottom of list of passengers to boot. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a passenger who it is more important for them to get to where they're going than a medical doctor.

    I’d be hard-pressed to come up with a profession whose members think it is more important for them to get to where they’re going than mere non-medical-doctors than medical doctors.

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  111. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Jack D
    Airlines are very lucrative under certain conditions (low oil prices, economic good times) like right now. And we are down to only 4 major carriers.

    Plus software to optimize revenue per flight through pricing algorithms.

    Warren Buffett dipped his toe into the market. Or at least his new portfolio managers.

    There are still low barriers to entry and United added a bunch of capacity a couple of week ago, prompting the WSJ to wonder if/why they never learn.

    Overall, I don’t think they are close to making excessive, monopoly like profits. And if/when they do, it shouldn’t be hard to increase competition.

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  112. @eah
    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    God help your paying customers if you ever run a business -- what part of confirmed booking, including billing your credit card, ie a contract, do you not understand?

    The problem is airlines overbooking, not customers who demand the service they paid for -- if airlines offered $4k or $8k or more until they got takers, instead of involuntarily removing people from flights, these ugly scenes would be far less common -- but then overbooking would be on average a lot more expensive for them, and they'd have to reconsider the practice -- duh.
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  113. I’ll go META for my last comment on this thread.

    It is fascinating; as an earlier commenter said, its a real rorscharch test. But what interests me is that its a rorscharch test for the Right.

    I consider myself pretty right wing (most of us are-otherwise we wouldn’t be here). But my right-wingness is grounded on strong assertion of individual rights-or perhaps more specifically, individual autonomy. I don’t care of the doctor was a good doctor, or a well behaved doctor, or someone we would like or someone we wouldn’t like. I think he was in the right in the situation, and he should have stood his ground. I don’t think my paid-for-seat is sacrificeable just because United wants to cheaply move its employees.

    I’m quite surprised that so many commenters are pretty right wing, but ground their right-wingness in conformity-conformity with the police (do what they say or you deserve the blood you lose), conformity with social norms (don’t shriek like a woman), conformity with social norms (he’s a pill popping doctor in legal trouble: he couldn’t be in the right. So now we like media-driven character assassination?), conformity with the rules of the Corporation (United said X. Do X). Their advice is to behave, give up ones’ seat, and go calmly talk to a human resources drone who will pretend to listen while your paid-for-flight leaves without you.

    joeyjoejoe

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    • Agree: Federalist
    • Replies: @AnotherDad

    But my right-wingness is grounded on strong assertion of individual rights-or perhaps more specifically, individual autonomy. I don’t think my paid-for-seat is sacrificeable just because United wants to cheaply move its employees
     
    .

    If you're driving your car, you're absolutely right, United has no business kicking you out, because United wants to use it. United's plane, on the other hand, is a different story.

    You misunderstand--at least my point of view, and i'd bet a bunch of others. And you don't seem very "individual rights" oriented to me, if we're talking about property rights. You are apparently one of a--vast and growing--number of people who think that their "individualism" entitles them to other peoples'--usually some corporations'--property. (Or in the case of foreigners, to all Americans common property.)

    When United ordered this guy off that flight and he did not go he was then effectively trespassing. Say, my neighbor invites me to a party, I show up. Maybe we have a disagreement, maybe they get tired and want to go to bed. I don't have a right to not leave, just because i'd been invited in. If my neighbor puts hands on me and pitches me out at that point--he's justified.

    This guy has some sort of contract with United--including all that fine print--the terms of which are in fact regulated by law to insure both that we can have reliable air service and that there is reasonable compensation when said service providers can't provide what they claimed. The guy is entitled to all of that. (And can sue if he likes for breach of contract.) But this guy does not somehow *own* a piece of a United plane because he bought a ticket.


    I say this as someone who flies all the time with the low discounted bumpable fares. If the computer was selecting bumpees on a flight I was on, it would probably be picking me to toss off. I'm just under no illusion that I actually own the airplane, or that the airplane is some sort of "public square" where I have the right to shoot me mouth off, do my own thing or most obviously have some sort of God given natural "right" to be.

    We can have a prosperous and free society that respects everyone's freedom and property rights. With that we can actually have cool stuff like ridiculously cheap air travel. However, it's impossible to have a prosperous society--actually a society with any order at all--if everyone thinks they have some sort autonomy sphere, that rolls down the highway, goes into shopping centers and restaurants, into airports, onto airplanes ... where they are lord and king. That can work with *one* king. It can't work with 300 million kings. No you need property rights--and this guy did not, does not own that plane.

    , @Moshe
    Absolutely. People defending the police are fascists-in-waiting.

    Our people (Americans) are more cowardly than most.
  114. @Yankee
    Here's an article from the Daily Mail in the UK, with more photos of that guy:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4401444/Name-man-hauled-United-flight-Chicago-revealed.html

    And here's the judgment from the State of Kentucky against this so-called "doctor":

    http://www.state.ky.us/agencies/kbml/finalorders/22439.pdf

    That pdf file provides some very interesting reading on this man's background. In short, he was indicted on multiple drug charges, and later convicted of several drug-related felonies. He manipulated a patient into a sexual relationship, and provided drugs to that person for sex. After losing his license, he had to undergo a strict program of counseling to get it back, and was diagnosed with a mood disorder and lack of interpersonal skills. And his knowledge of medicine in his field was found to be lacking, with also the likelihood that he exaggerated his training and experience in Vietnam.

    Oh, wait, and the patient he traded drugs for sex with was a man. Where does this all lead us?

    The guy must have been a real screwup to get his license pulled. Most state medical societies will go to the mat against state licensing boards to protect their members.

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  115. @Acmed E. Newman
    You don't get it, biz. D B Cooper or any of the hijackers of the 70's got away with what they did because the passengers were all disarmed by law. The hijackers were not disarmed by law, because they were not bound by law, being lawbreakers.

    Yes, there may have been a shootout or a knife fight, but after one of those, it is known there is no free ride - "cash, grass, or ass, nobody rides for free." Seriously, the 9/11 hijackings were on a completely different level on what they wanted to do to the planes and passengers, but that would have been an even better reason to not disarm the passengers, for cryin' out loud. This has not been fixed, but has been made worse.

    Shootouts in a crowded, confined, pressurized cabin 30,000 ft in the air? No thanks.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Crashes into buildings, death from impact and total 3rd-degree burns even if you weren't on the plane? No, gracias!

    Besides, what kind of weapons do you think the few air marshals and other law enforcement types carry on board? Do you think their hands have been soaking in ivory liquid?

  116. @sabril
    "several hundred dollars richer"

    I think part of the problem was that the airline wasn't actually offering cash to anyone. As I understand things, it was offering a "voucher." Which means that there is an information asymmetry. Is the voucher really worth $800? Or are there so many restrictions and qualifications that it's worth basically nothing?

    Those vouchers suck. They do have restrictions. When I hear these announcements “We are looking for passengers…” I never see anyone going to the podium. The flights are so packed (overbooked) that who knows when you are going to get another flight. If they are going to overbook the flights, the least they could do is make an excellent offer and get several takers right away.

    To look at flying today vs what it was 40 years ago is depressing. It’s now the Greyhound in the sky. You get CNN shoved down your throat in every terminal. The airlines increasingly use those sardine can “regional jets” that they shouldn’t put you on for more than an hour. I have flown first class recently and the food sucks (and I am perfectly happy to have a Five Guys burger for dinner). The booze in first class usually also is not great (the flight attendants call it “airplane wine”). Do you think you maybe can get a cup of green tea in 1st? “Sir this is an airplane.” God I am a real complainer I know, but it adds up.

    It has become cheaper and more accessible to more people though, and more people can travel greater distances, I grant that this is worth something. But the business model is decidedly passenger unfriendly, if I have to travel 1000 miles, now I drive and stay at a decent hotel for 2 nights. The glamour of flying is long gone.

    Other airlines all over the world have much better service. Years ago in SE Asia I took a <1 hour flight, huge plane, everyone got a hot meal and the flight attendants made about 12 rounds holding a bottle of red and white in either hand.

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  117. @Yankee
    Here's an article from the Daily Mail in the UK, with more photos of that guy:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4401444/Name-man-hauled-United-flight-Chicago-revealed.html

    And here's the judgment from the State of Kentucky against this so-called "doctor":

    http://www.state.ky.us/agencies/kbml/finalorders/22439.pdf

    That pdf file provides some very interesting reading on this man's background. In short, he was indicted on multiple drug charges, and later convicted of several drug-related felonies. He manipulated a patient into a sexual relationship, and provided drugs to that person for sex. After losing his license, he had to undergo a strict program of counseling to get it back, and was diagnosed with a mood disorder and lack of interpersonal skills. And his knowledge of medicine in his field was found to be lacking, with also the likelihood that he exaggerated his training and experience in Vietnam.

    Oh, wait, and the patient he traded drugs for sex with was a man. Where does this all lead us?

    So, let’s say he was a convicted felon who had served his time in jail and thus discharged his debt to society.

    Would they be justified in treating him this way?

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  118. @AnotherDad
    BTW, in the unlikely event that any airline managers are reading ...

    My peeve flying isn't bumping or TSA--since signing up for pre-check last year that's become less of a hassle--or any of the stuff i usually hear about.

    My #1 peeve, is the incredibly long time to unload the airplane. Something that should take no more than about 5 minutes--with a steady stream of people--but stretches on for 15, entire because of jerk-off passengers--of the mentality of this drama-queen-doc who think the entire 'effing world revolves around them.

    What you see is a steady stream of folks leaving then plane... then suddenly no movement. Because the next person, instead of being ready to go is gathering all their belongings while the 100 people behind him (usually her) are waiting. (Which usually includes me, being price sensitive and usually in the back half.) Often this person has not two, but three, four ... five things--a purse, a coat, another bag, their rollerbag and sometimes some presents or other crap. And then there're the people--often the same people--who a clogging the jetway because they just can't wait 15 seconds to call\text their friends and family.

    I'd preference any airline that would simply lay down the law and not board people who can't walk on and off the plane smartly with all their crap tucked into no more than the theoretical two--one under seat, one overhead--items.

    My suggestion:
    1) Announce after landing that everyone should be "ready to go", "all items in hand and ready to walk quickly off the airplane" when their row is reached and if they are not ready they must be out of aisle and let others proceed.
    2) Announce that cell phones are stowed during this exiting process until one is inside the terminal and finds a spot outside the flow of passengers.
    3) Instead of standing at the front dispensing thanks and good wishes, flight attendants walk back down the aisle whenever there is a break in the flow. They then command the person blocking the flow out of the aisle to wait until the rest have deplaned.


    Note: I know not everyone is wired up like me--definitely fortunate not to have been born in a socialist country, i've heard the queue tales from friends. What i think irks the hell outta me, is not the time wasting, but the sheer arrogance of these people who feel no shame at making everyone else wait for their little turn on stage. (I'd like to punch 'em, but have managed to restrain myself--so far.) Commercial travel is inherently a group activity, where you *force* everyone else to bear the cost of your sloth, if you are a doofus who can't get your act together.

    It’s the same in loading the plane. Some moron finds his seat, looks around for an overhead bin, puts his bag in it, takes off his coat, etc., all while blocking the f**king aisle for 45 seconds. 45 seconds mount up when 3o people do it.

    I would ban carry on luggage or make people pay for it.

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  119. @AnotherDad
    BTW, in the unlikely event that any airline managers are reading ...

    My peeve flying isn't bumping or TSA--since signing up for pre-check last year that's become less of a hassle--or any of the stuff i usually hear about.

    My #1 peeve, is the incredibly long time to unload the airplane. Something that should take no more than about 5 minutes--with a steady stream of people--but stretches on for 15, entire because of jerk-off passengers--of the mentality of this drama-queen-doc who think the entire 'effing world revolves around them.

    What you see is a steady stream of folks leaving then plane... then suddenly no movement. Because the next person, instead of being ready to go is gathering all their belongings while the 100 people behind him (usually her) are waiting. (Which usually includes me, being price sensitive and usually in the back half.) Often this person has not two, but three, four ... five things--a purse, a coat, another bag, their rollerbag and sometimes some presents or other crap. And then there're the people--often the same people--who a clogging the jetway because they just can't wait 15 seconds to call\text their friends and family.

    I'd preference any airline that would simply lay down the law and not board people who can't walk on and off the plane smartly with all their crap tucked into no more than the theoretical two--one under seat, one overhead--items.

    My suggestion:
    1) Announce after landing that everyone should be "ready to go", "all items in hand and ready to walk quickly off the airplane" when their row is reached and if they are not ready they must be out of aisle and let others proceed.
    2) Announce that cell phones are stowed during this exiting process until one is inside the terminal and finds a spot outside the flow of passengers.
    3) Instead of standing at the front dispensing thanks and good wishes, flight attendants walk back down the aisle whenever there is a break in the flow. They then command the person blocking the flow out of the aisle to wait until the rest have deplaned.


    Note: I know not everyone is wired up like me--definitely fortunate not to have been born in a socialist country, i've heard the queue tales from friends. What i think irks the hell outta me, is not the time wasting, but the sheer arrogance of these people who feel no shame at making everyone else wait for their little turn on stage. (I'd like to punch 'em, but have managed to restrain myself--so far.) Commercial travel is inherently a group activity, where you *force* everyone else to bear the cost of your sloth, if you are a doofus who can't get your act together.

    the airlines allow passengers to carry WAY too much crap onto the plane. I don’t get it. I get a bag, fill it with my stuff, and check. I have flown a lot of (not quite 10×6 but close) over the years, never lost a bag, maybe once or twice late? Sometimes the bag is waiting for me b/c the bag got on an earlier flight. I take a few things w me that I would need if somehow I got totally separated from my bags (e.g, if going someplace cold, I have a jacket hat and gloves w me). Sometimes I pack a smaller bag. I never take more than my share of the bin space I marvel at the folks who have all these coats and and and… they seem to make it difficult on themselves

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  120. @Twinkie

    This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.
     
    Exactly. I see people making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions based on very limited data.

    From what I have read so far and what I have seen on video, here is a timeline of what seems to have occurred plus my own commentary:

    1. Apparently the flight was overbooked, and United gate personnel asked for ONE volunteer. One passenger did volunteer and received compensation.

    2. Then all ticketed passengers were boarded and seated.

    3. At that point, it appears a United official boarded the plane and announced that four United crew members for another flight had to be accommodated and that the plane would not leave until four seated passengers deplaned (apparently the manner in which this was announced was quite unfriendly and turned off the passengers). There was no volunteer.*

    *It appears that the man who was later dragged off volunteered initially in return for compensation, provided he could be booked for a later flight that day (supposedly he is a doctor and had to see patients the next day). When he was told that the later flights were full as well and that he'd have to stay overnight before another flight, he rescinded his offer to be bumped.

    4. At some point, since there were no volunteers, passengers were randomly picked to be deplaned. Three left peacefully; the man in the video refused. [My commentary: it appears unusual for already SEATED passengers to be forcibly deplaned for anything other than for bad behavior/safety reasons; business bumping is usually done at the gate.]

    5. It seems the man in question pulled the ethnicity card at this point - something about being picked because he was Chinese. [My commentary: if true, this was ill-advised, unwarranted, and silly. I am quite tired of people pulling "the race card" at the drop of a hat.]

    6. At that point, United summoned Chicago airport security. We do not know the prior context of their interactions with the passenger. We do see them yanking the shrieking passenger off the seat. We also see the man's face striking an armrest hard. [My commentary: when commanded by law enforcement or security personnel in controlled areas, it is HIGHLY inadvisable to resist in any manner - even to being forcibly moved. The best thing is to express your lack of consent and then follow the command under protest ("I disagree with your unlawful command. But I am cooperating under duress, because I fear that you will harm me otherwise"). Then work out your grievance, if any, LATER in a calm, office setting.

    However, I should also note that the security personnel in question exercised poor judgment. Again, I do not see or know the prior interaction, so this assessment is quite preliminary. But unless the man was belligerent or posing a physical threat, yanking him so hard that his head strikes the armrest, apparently making him go limp was not wise. This could have been resolved without the use of violence potentially, and even if force were necessary, there are other compliance/come-along techniques they could have used.]

    7. After the man's head struck the armrest, he seems to have been rendered unconscious or limp. The security personnel then drag (!) him through the plane. [My commentary: given that the man may have suffered a concussion or some sort of trauma to the head, this was extremely unwise move on the part of the security personnel.]

    8. Here is where the story takes a bizarre turn: the now-bloodied man apparently left custody somehow, ran back into the plane and was mumbling incoherently "I have to go home" and "Just kill me." [My commentary: either this guy is a fantastic actor, was playing possum earlier or he may have suffered a serious head trauma and/or was disoriented. Either way, I cannot begin to imagine the incompetence of the security personnel in letting him escape their custody!]

    9. Subsequently he was apparently removed again, this time on a stretcher.

    Now, my commentary on the overall situation. First of all, United handled this extremely poorly. For one thing, all bumping should have occurred at the gate BEFORE boarding and seating. Passengers get VERY irate, understandably, when forced to deplane for anything other than their own misbehavior or airplane safety. United also appears to have communicated their needs and requests for volunteers poorly given the negative reactions of the passengers. They also seemed not to have elevated the compensation up to the legal limit. If what I have read and seen so far is true, then I assign the majority of the blame for the incident to United.

    The security officers should not escape blame either (unless there was some unreported prior misbehavior from the passenger). They either lacked training or judgment to make the man (reported to be near 70 years old in age) compliant, either by verbal de-escalation or judicious use of forceful compliance/come-along techniques. Yanking someone so hard in a confined space where the man's head hits the armrest is a poor practice anyway you cut it. Even if he were violent (which he apparent was not), the proper procedure is to subdue and restrain him first, then and only after he was properly restrained (and/or cuffed/shackled, should they transport him while ensuring that his head does not strike anything.

    Lastly, the man himself deserves some of the blame for the violent incident. For one thing, pulling the race card is in poor taste (unless there was specific evidence). More importantly, he should have COMPLIED with the security personnel while expressing his disagreement. If there are problems/complaints/grievances, you resolve it LATER under a PEACEFUL, conversational setting. You don't risk injury and even death by physical resistance even if it's just being moved. Again, it is UNWISE to resist unless, of course, you feel that you are being attacked with force unjustly (self-defense; e.g. sleeping in your house, when someone throws a flashbang into your house and masked men burst in with guns, shoot your dogs, etc.).

    I agree with others that this is a society whose civil fabric is being unraveled. In a more civilized era, all parties concerned would have behaved differently - better, that is. In particular, the customer service airline industry seems to have gone down hill dramatically. Most domestic flights today, even in the first class, are cattle cars. I try not to fly domestic airlines nowadays and either drive or rely on GenAv where I can (thankfully I have a close friend who has his own small plane). As a principle, I don't rely on modes of transportation that disarm me.

    Customer service on some international flights, however, are dramatically different and better. Airlines such as Singapore and Qatar offer impeccable service even at the lowest fare cabin and make our domestic airlines seem like Third World cattle cars that they are.

    ran back into the plane and was mumbling incoherently “I have to go home” and “Just kill me.” [My commentary: either this guy is a fantastic actor, was playing possum earlier or he may have suffered a serious head trauma and/or was disoriented.

    Nah, just passive/aggressive Asian hysteria. Routine.

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    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
    this really seems to be an east-asian thing. threatening to kill them-selves or asking others to kill them when they are angry.
    , @Twinkie

    Nah, just passive/aggressive Asian hysteria. Routine.
     
    "Routine"? How many times have you seen videos of episodes such as this?

    Not everything is about race.
  121. Trump should use this event to outlaw overbooking on airlines. It’s an absurd practice. He would get huge props for it.

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  122. It appears that the man who was later dragged off volunteered initially in return for compensation, provided he could be booked for a later flight that day (supposedly he is a doctor and had to see patients the next day). When he was told that the later flights were full as well and that he’d have to stay overnight before another flight, he rescinded his offer to be bumped.

    If this is true, it does not reflect well on the airline. If the passenger was already willing to negotiate giving up his seat on that flight, so that the spare crew could reach its destination, they should have been able to reach some kind of negotiated agreement with him, even if it meant bumping someone else off a later flight. At least the person on the later flight would not already be seated, and possibly they could find a passenger who was an airline employee or relative traveling at a discount who could be bumped off.

    I would agree with what some other commenters have said, that a voucher for $800 worth of air travel is not the same as $800 cash, but then anything is negotiable if both sides really want it badly enough. The airline would presumably lose a great deal more money if the spare air crew was unable to reach its destination on time.

    One wonders how might airlines like Singapore and Qatar handle a situation like this.

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    • Replies: @Escher

    One wonders how might airlines like Singapore and Qatar handle a situation like this.
     
    With a lot more finesse and customer orientation. American airlines (all of them) act like they are doing their passengers a favor by letting them fly.
  123. @Jack D
    The irony here is that this was not a United flight at all. This was a "United Express" flight that is run under contract with Republic Airline. United saves $ by having its shorter /lower capacity "commuter" flights operated under contract by Republic who pays its pilots bubkes. The pilot business is operated like the acting business where pilots hope to land a gig at a major and earn a decent living but few ever do and those that don't barely make a living. Regional carrier pilots sleep in the airline terminal or their cars because they can't afford a motel room. But for United, live by the sword, die by the sword - they lent their name out to Republic so now they have to live with the PR blowback from what Republic did with it.

    Republic as a low rent operation refused to offer more than $800 to get a volunteer although they could have gone much higher. $800 is close to what they pay a pilot in a month. Cheaper to call the cops.

    And the people who dragged the guy off the plane were not employees of either, but Chicago cops. So double irony - why is United getting the grief instead of the Chicago PD? I'm sure that the cops were not under instructions from either United or Republic to beat the crap out of the guy - that was their idea and/or lack of training in how to handle people. Chicago PD is used to handling dindus who are in no position to complain most of the time.

    Speaking of being in no position, David Dao, the victim, has a "troubled past" as a pill doctor.

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2017/04/11/david-dao-passenger-removed-united-flight-doctor-troubled-past/100318320/

    In China, the good doctor's removal is being spun as anti-Chinese racism. Sort of ironic that the Chinaman is now getting whites addicted to opium instead of vice versa - cosmic revenge I guess.

    So there are no heroes here, just a sordid rogue's gallery of marginal players trying to scratch out a living in the sad twilight of the American empire, but streamed live and in color on your Korean cell phone.

    OK, cut out the dated word for Chinese person. And people, those “vouchers” are just scrip — not cash but “funny money.”

    Nothing in China is “spun” without approval from their highest levels in government. Great, just great, just on the eve of Rex Tillerson issuing an ultimatum to North Korea, this is becoming an international incident in China. Maybe, maybe, if there is any justice, the United Airlines CEO will find himself in a windowless room in Langley, VA, doing his patriotic duty to assist our intelligence agencies with their inquiries?

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    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    LOL

    Dude, 'Chinaman' is not the preferred nomenclature.
  124. @Bleuteaux
    Let's try this again.

    I work for a huge monopoly that everyone here has heard about, in a non customer facing position and field. Business travel by middle and upper management is out of control. We have people in my division who go overseas 10+ times a year simply to sit at the offices of the same people we already talk to on a daily basis.

    To my amazement, this seems to actually get worse during recessions. Managers apparently need to show that their travel budgets are well used.

    Since I can't discern any appropriate business reason for flying to Brazil or Germany actual sitting at our regional corporate office talking to the same exact people, only in person, I can only guess that the travel helps build the manager's brand and allows them to live a full week a month totally on the Corporate dime.

    When I doing Banksterism, I found there to be a material difference in the quality of communication if it was face to face.
    A ten hour trip to Brazil was well worth it.

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  125. @Twinkie

    This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.
     
    Exactly. I see people making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions based on very limited data.

    From what I have read so far and what I have seen on video, here is a timeline of what seems to have occurred plus my own commentary:

    1. Apparently the flight was overbooked, and United gate personnel asked for ONE volunteer. One passenger did volunteer and received compensation.

    2. Then all ticketed passengers were boarded and seated.

    3. At that point, it appears a United official boarded the plane and announced that four United crew members for another flight had to be accommodated and that the plane would not leave until four seated passengers deplaned (apparently the manner in which this was announced was quite unfriendly and turned off the passengers). There was no volunteer.*

    *It appears that the man who was later dragged off volunteered initially in return for compensation, provided he could be booked for a later flight that day (supposedly he is a doctor and had to see patients the next day). When he was told that the later flights were full as well and that he'd have to stay overnight before another flight, he rescinded his offer to be bumped.

    4. At some point, since there were no volunteers, passengers were randomly picked to be deplaned. Three left peacefully; the man in the video refused. [My commentary: it appears unusual for already SEATED passengers to be forcibly deplaned for anything other than for bad behavior/safety reasons; business bumping is usually done at the gate.]

    5. It seems the man in question pulled the ethnicity card at this point - something about being picked because he was Chinese. [My commentary: if true, this was ill-advised, unwarranted, and silly. I am quite tired of people pulling "the race card" at the drop of a hat.]

    6. At that point, United summoned Chicago airport security. We do not know the prior context of their interactions with the passenger. We do see them yanking the shrieking passenger off the seat. We also see the man's face striking an armrest hard. [My commentary: when commanded by law enforcement or security personnel in controlled areas, it is HIGHLY inadvisable to resist in any manner - even to being forcibly moved. The best thing is to express your lack of consent and then follow the command under protest ("I disagree with your unlawful command. But I am cooperating under duress, because I fear that you will harm me otherwise"). Then work out your grievance, if any, LATER in a calm, office setting.

    However, I should also note that the security personnel in question exercised poor judgment. Again, I do not see or know the prior interaction, so this assessment is quite preliminary. But unless the man was belligerent or posing a physical threat, yanking him so hard that his head strikes the armrest, apparently making him go limp was not wise. This could have been resolved without the use of violence potentially, and even if force were necessary, there are other compliance/come-along techniques they could have used.]

    7. After the man's head struck the armrest, he seems to have been rendered unconscious or limp. The security personnel then drag (!) him through the plane. [My commentary: given that the man may have suffered a concussion or some sort of trauma to the head, this was extremely unwise move on the part of the security personnel.]

    8. Here is where the story takes a bizarre turn: the now-bloodied man apparently left custody somehow, ran back into the plane and was mumbling incoherently "I have to go home" and "Just kill me." [My commentary: either this guy is a fantastic actor, was playing possum earlier or he may have suffered a serious head trauma and/or was disoriented. Either way, I cannot begin to imagine the incompetence of the security personnel in letting him escape their custody!]

    9. Subsequently he was apparently removed again, this time on a stretcher.

    Now, my commentary on the overall situation. First of all, United handled this extremely poorly. For one thing, all bumping should have occurred at the gate BEFORE boarding and seating. Passengers get VERY irate, understandably, when forced to deplane for anything other than their own misbehavior or airplane safety. United also appears to have communicated their needs and requests for volunteers poorly given the negative reactions of the passengers. They also seemed not to have elevated the compensation up to the legal limit. If what I have read and seen so far is true, then I assign the majority of the blame for the incident to United.

    The security officers should not escape blame either (unless there was some unreported prior misbehavior from the passenger). They either lacked training or judgment to make the man (reported to be near 70 years old in age) compliant, either by verbal de-escalation or judicious use of forceful compliance/come-along techniques. Yanking someone so hard in a confined space where the man's head hits the armrest is a poor practice anyway you cut it. Even if he were violent (which he apparent was not), the proper procedure is to subdue and restrain him first, then and only after he was properly restrained (and/or cuffed/shackled, should they transport him while ensuring that his head does not strike anything.

    Lastly, the man himself deserves some of the blame for the violent incident. For one thing, pulling the race card is in poor taste (unless there was specific evidence). More importantly, he should have COMPLIED with the security personnel while expressing his disagreement. If there are problems/complaints/grievances, you resolve it LATER under a PEACEFUL, conversational setting. You don't risk injury and even death by physical resistance even if it's just being moved. Again, it is UNWISE to resist unless, of course, you feel that you are being attacked with force unjustly (self-defense; e.g. sleeping in your house, when someone throws a flashbang into your house and masked men burst in with guns, shoot your dogs, etc.).

    I agree with others that this is a society whose civil fabric is being unraveled. In a more civilized era, all parties concerned would have behaved differently - better, that is. In particular, the customer service airline industry seems to have gone down hill dramatically. Most domestic flights today, even in the first class, are cattle cars. I try not to fly domestic airlines nowadays and either drive or rely on GenAv where I can (thankfully I have a close friend who has his own small plane). As a principle, I don't rely on modes of transportation that disarm me.

    Customer service on some international flights, however, are dramatically different and better. Airlines such as Singapore and Qatar offer impeccable service even at the lowest fare cabin and make our domestic airlines seem like Third World cattle cars that they are.

    “[My commentary: when commanded by law enforcement or security personnel in controlled areas, it is HIGHLY inadvisable to resist in any manner – even to being forcibly moved. The best thing is to express your lack of consent and then follow the command under protest (“I disagree with your unlawful command. But I am cooperating under duress, because I fear that you will harm me otherwise”). Then work out your grievance, if any, LATER in a calm, office setting”

    The Supreme Court has confirmed the right to physically resist unlawfull arrest.

    It needs to be done more not less often

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    • Replies: @Moshe
    Unless you know how to sue, this doesn't seem like a wise thing to attempt on your own but it does seem like something to educate the masses on such that it becomes commonplace.

    If indeed what you said actually commonly applies. Considering how dangerous it is to even be remotely seen to be resisting arrest - there are plenty of cases where it turned out to be lethal in fact - I'm curious about the context. Whatever information you could provide for all of us here would probably be worth knowing.
    , @Twinkie

    The Supreme Court has confirmed the right to physically resist unlawfull arrest.
     
    Yes, it did, but when confronted with force by law enforcement while you are unarmed in a controlled area, what are you going to do? Fight and suffer a serious injury or death and then what? Argue later in heaven or at the hospital?

    Unless the said LE offers you no way out but violence, the wisest thing is to comply under protest and sort it out later calmly. There is a difference between what is legal and what is wise.

    It needs to be done more not less often
     
    Be first in line.

    The rest of you who don't fancy getting Tasered or, worse, shot, comply, but indicate your disagreement, then let your legal counsel seek remedy later when everyone is civil.
  126. @O'Really
    Since early in the campaign, I have felt that Trump could buy himself an easy 5% bump in the polls by promising to fix the TSA from the bottom up.

    It has surprised me that he never seized on this easy populist issue. Of course, the last time he flew commercial, there were no metal detectors, much less TSA. And his WWC people don't fly much either, so he might not really be in touch with the degree of outrage out there.

    This is a great idea. People hate the TSA. Trump wouldn’t even have to be particularly successful. He wouldn’t have to disband the TSA or anything like that. If he would talk about how much the TSA sucks and make some kind of improvement, regular people would find it appealing. Trump is a populist and he would be great as coming across at standing up for regular people against incompetent, pain in the ass bureaucracy. What voters or political figures are going to defend TSA? None that would ever vote for or support Trump.

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  127. @Peter Akuleyev
    Exactly. There aren't really any heroes in this story. It is only a 5 hour drive to Louisville, yet no one was willing to take an $800 voucher to help United get a crew down to Louisville to prevent a hundred people on some other flight from being inconvenienced. The doctor had no qualms creating a scene and delaying the flight of all his fellow passengers. We certainly live in a world of diminishing civic Still, the United team demonstrated an incredible lack of communication skills and creativity. Couldn't they have just offered to hire a nice van or limousine to take 4 passengers to Louisville in comfort? I would take that over a flight any day.

    They could have offered to hire a van or limo but they didn’t and won’t. They offer a shitty travel voucher and if that doesn’t work just call the cops. Everybody talks about bad P.R. They don’t really give a damn. If they did, they would raise hell about TSA. They would try to get their gate agents and other employees to give decent customer service. Instead you get customer service that makes the DMV look good. Most “flight attendants” couldn’t cut it as waiters/waitresses at a decent restaurant. And there’s no law of nature that causes flights to be “overbooked.” For small business owners, try to get away with shit like that.

    The airlines regularly file bankruptcy and make very little money or lose money. Who cares? The CEO’s and other top execs make millions and that’s all that matters.

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  128. @Twinkie

    This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.
     
    Exactly. I see people making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions based on very limited data.

    From what I have read so far and what I have seen on video, here is a timeline of what seems to have occurred plus my own commentary:

    1. Apparently the flight was overbooked, and United gate personnel asked for ONE volunteer. One passenger did volunteer and received compensation.

    2. Then all ticketed passengers were boarded and seated.

    3. At that point, it appears a United official boarded the plane and announced that four United crew members for another flight had to be accommodated and that the plane would not leave until four seated passengers deplaned (apparently the manner in which this was announced was quite unfriendly and turned off the passengers). There was no volunteer.*

    *It appears that the man who was later dragged off volunteered initially in return for compensation, provided he could be booked for a later flight that day (supposedly he is a doctor and had to see patients the next day). When he was told that the later flights were full as well and that he'd have to stay overnight before another flight, he rescinded his offer to be bumped.

    4. At some point, since there were no volunteers, passengers were randomly picked to be deplaned. Three left peacefully; the man in the video refused. [My commentary: it appears unusual for already SEATED passengers to be forcibly deplaned for anything other than for bad behavior/safety reasons; business bumping is usually done at the gate.]

    5. It seems the man in question pulled the ethnicity card at this point - something about being picked because he was Chinese. [My commentary: if true, this was ill-advised, unwarranted, and silly. I am quite tired of people pulling "the race card" at the drop of a hat.]

    6. At that point, United summoned Chicago airport security. We do not know the prior context of their interactions with the passenger. We do see them yanking the shrieking passenger off the seat. We also see the man's face striking an armrest hard. [My commentary: when commanded by law enforcement or security personnel in controlled areas, it is HIGHLY inadvisable to resist in any manner - even to being forcibly moved. The best thing is to express your lack of consent and then follow the command under protest ("I disagree with your unlawful command. But I am cooperating under duress, because I fear that you will harm me otherwise"). Then work out your grievance, if any, LATER in a calm, office setting.

    However, I should also note that the security personnel in question exercised poor judgment. Again, I do not see or know the prior interaction, so this assessment is quite preliminary. But unless the man was belligerent or posing a physical threat, yanking him so hard that his head strikes the armrest, apparently making him go limp was not wise. This could have been resolved without the use of violence potentially, and even if force were necessary, there are other compliance/come-along techniques they could have used.]

    7. After the man's head struck the armrest, he seems to have been rendered unconscious or limp. The security personnel then drag (!) him through the plane. [My commentary: given that the man may have suffered a concussion or some sort of trauma to the head, this was extremely unwise move on the part of the security personnel.]

    8. Here is where the story takes a bizarre turn: the now-bloodied man apparently left custody somehow, ran back into the plane and was mumbling incoherently "I have to go home" and "Just kill me." [My commentary: either this guy is a fantastic actor, was playing possum earlier or he may have suffered a serious head trauma and/or was disoriented. Either way, I cannot begin to imagine the incompetence of the security personnel in letting him escape their custody!]

    9. Subsequently he was apparently removed again, this time on a stretcher.

    Now, my commentary on the overall situation. First of all, United handled this extremely poorly. For one thing, all bumping should have occurred at the gate BEFORE boarding and seating. Passengers get VERY irate, understandably, when forced to deplane for anything other than their own misbehavior or airplane safety. United also appears to have communicated their needs and requests for volunteers poorly given the negative reactions of the passengers. They also seemed not to have elevated the compensation up to the legal limit. If what I have read and seen so far is true, then I assign the majority of the blame for the incident to United.

    The security officers should not escape blame either (unless there was some unreported prior misbehavior from the passenger). They either lacked training or judgment to make the man (reported to be near 70 years old in age) compliant, either by verbal de-escalation or judicious use of forceful compliance/come-along techniques. Yanking someone so hard in a confined space where the man's head hits the armrest is a poor practice anyway you cut it. Even if he were violent (which he apparent was not), the proper procedure is to subdue and restrain him first, then and only after he was properly restrained (and/or cuffed/shackled, should they transport him while ensuring that his head does not strike anything.

    Lastly, the man himself deserves some of the blame for the violent incident. For one thing, pulling the race card is in poor taste (unless there was specific evidence). More importantly, he should have COMPLIED with the security personnel while expressing his disagreement. If there are problems/complaints/grievances, you resolve it LATER under a PEACEFUL, conversational setting. You don't risk injury and even death by physical resistance even if it's just being moved. Again, it is UNWISE to resist unless, of course, you feel that you are being attacked with force unjustly (self-defense; e.g. sleeping in your house, when someone throws a flashbang into your house and masked men burst in with guns, shoot your dogs, etc.).

    I agree with others that this is a society whose civil fabric is being unraveled. In a more civilized era, all parties concerned would have behaved differently - better, that is. In particular, the customer service airline industry seems to have gone down hill dramatically. Most domestic flights today, even in the first class, are cattle cars. I try not to fly domestic airlines nowadays and either drive or rely on GenAv where I can (thankfully I have a close friend who has his own small plane). As a principle, I don't rely on modes of transportation that disarm me.

    Customer service on some international flights, however, are dramatically different and better. Airlines such as Singapore and Qatar offer impeccable service even at the lowest fare cabin and make our domestic airlines seem like Third World cattle cars that they are.

    Great summary, Twinkie. I guess many of us shoot off our mouths before we have investigated the details as much as you have.

    While I’m writing again, in reply to Another Dad: I think it was a change 10 or more years back that made exiting the planes take much longer. That change was charges for checked bags. There were charges for heavies and extra large or big numbers of pieces of luggage before that, but the change to charge for each bag checked to travel in the belly encouraged people to bring carry-ons much more than they used to.

    The number of carry-ons is usually on a full flight too many to fit in all of the bins, even organized as best as possible; the gate agents will ask for people to check them to the destination (for free at this point) to free up space. However, those bins are so full – I see a lot of people rushing upon arrival, but things still take a quite a while, especially if you are in the back of a single-aisle long airplane like the 757-300 or MD-90.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    One way to get around the checked bag fee is to not check your bag. Then at boarding usually they will announce that there is no more carryon space, but they will check your bag (free) on the jetway.

    I am flying Frontier in a few weeks and they charge for carry on bags too. They also charge $2 for soda, and $5 to use the inflight entertainment system. Reviews say their seats are tiny and do not recline. Otoh, it's $220 round trip DC to Denver. I remember flying Houston to NYC in the 70s pre-deregulation for $400 which is $1200 today. So I will suck it up.

    Some airlines are starting to awards miles to their frequent fliers not on distance flown, but on price paid.

    I like a lot of things about the modern world, but flying blows dead dogs.
  129. @RadicalCenter
    The guy paid for a ticket and should have been given the promised flight without threats, hassle, embarrassment, and the rest. Doesn't matter what his race is, whether we think we would like him, whether he is good at his job, whether he is honest in personal and professional life, etc.

    The guy paid for a flight and had the right to stay.

    It really is that simple.

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  130. @Wilkey
    "Your comment and this one recalls: every time the IRS tries to tax FF miles, they get shut down. Harass conservatives or liberals, fine. But don’t touch FF miles."

    They don't tax the rewards I get back from my credit cards, either, or the money I save with coupons. Frequent flier miles are just a form of discount or coupon. Why would you tax them?

    More debatable is the fact that they don't tax travel vouchers given to people who give up their seats on overbooked flights.

    Because the FF miles accrue from your business travel and actually belong to your employer. But employers don’t claim them to offset against the travel expense, so they are income to you. And all income is taxable from whatever source, unless exempted by Congress.

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  131. Frequent flyers are peons. To a middle class person, CEOs seem super high status. But really they are just lackeys of the upper class. They actually have to work, often up to 80 hours a week. The upper class tend not to do a lot of strenuous work. So I guess in that way, the homeless are kind of like the upper class. It’s the people in the middle that do all the real work.

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    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    There are lots of folks working 80+ hours a week who make 1/80th of what the CEO makes, and who have maybe 1/800th of the status.

    Weep not for the jet-setting Type A workaholic lackeys.
  132. @sabril
    "several hundred dollars richer"

    I think part of the problem was that the airline wasn't actually offering cash to anyone. As I understand things, it was offering a "voucher." Which means that there is an information asymmetry. Is the voucher really worth $800? Or are there so many restrictions and qualifications that it's worth basically nothing?

    I recently scored an $800 Canadian voucher from Air Canada.

    First of all, it goes without saying that the best deal you’re going to find for a flight from point A to point B won’t necessarily be with Air Canada. So if Air Canada is charging $1,000 and the other guys are charging $500 this voucher ends up being worth $300, not $800. (I assume people here can follow the math.)

    But the real fun point that I didn’t consider at the time was that the majority of the cost of an overseas flight is in taxes and fees that are not included in the voucher at all. Also, of course, whatever money you might have left over on your voucher is less likely to be used. But really, the point about the taxes and fees is the main one.

    My own point of you of course is that even if the guy was the worlds worst carney who only claimed to be Jack Bauer but wasn’t, the seat was paid for and received and his.

    Ultimately no, none of this has to do with the airline and all of it has to do with the fact that passengers allow police to do whatever they want in this country. Especially if it has anything to do with airports or planes.

    The police are at fault.

    The people who tolerate this police activity in the US are at fault.

    American civs tend not to realize that every time they forgive police violence and laugh at the victim – “Don’t taze me bro!” – they are giving police more and more power to do things that are not done in most other countries 1st or even 2nd world countries these days.

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  133. @sabril
    "several hundred dollars richer"

    I think part of the problem was that the airline wasn't actually offering cash to anyone. As I understand things, it was offering a "voucher." Which means that there is an information asymmetry. Is the voucher really worth $800? Or are there so many restrictions and qualifications that it's worth basically nothing?

    Also – and I’ll step off dictation for this – חג חרות שמח!

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  134. @AnotherDad

    …and the airline could have limoed their employees to Louisville.
     
    Assuming the flight they were going to fly was 5+ hours away.

    C'mon. This *might* have been some United employees being jerks. But that's very unlikely if they did this when the plane was already loaded. Much more likely is they had some sort of crew "failure" in Louisville--someone sick, or (best guess) coming in from somewhere delayed and would exceed their FAA regs flying again, something like that. In other words if the crew doesn't get there then some later United flight from Louisville is very severely delayed causing a whole lot more passenger hassle than bumping four folks from this flight.

    Don’t buy their B.S. excuses. They routinely “overbook” flights. It’s a scam. Try running a business and pulling crap like that. You or I might be flying and our being delayed might inconvenience a whole bunch of people or might cause us to lose business or go broke. But we don’t get to kick people off of the plane because we are so important. The airlines get away with this shit because they can. If someone was sick or would exceed FAA regs., then the airline needs to hire more people. The airlines need to get there shit together and make it happen. Everyone else does. Maybe the airline CEOs shouldn’t get millions of dollars if they can’t operate an airline efficiently.

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  135. @Bill Jones
    "[My commentary: when commanded by law enforcement or security personnel in controlled areas, it is HIGHLY inadvisable to resist in any manner - even to being forcibly moved. The best thing is to express your lack of consent and then follow the command under protest ("I disagree with your unlawful command. But I am cooperating under duress, because I fear that you will harm me otherwise"). Then work out your grievance, if any, LATER in a calm, office setting"

    The Supreme Court has confirmed the right to physically resist unlawfull arrest.

    It needs to be done more not less often

    Unless you know how to sue, this doesn’t seem like a wise thing to attempt on your own but it does seem like something to educate the masses on such that it becomes commonplace.

    If indeed what you said actually commonly applies. Considering how dangerous it is to even be remotely seen to be resisting arrest – there are plenty of cases where it turned out to be lethal in fact – I’m curious about the context. Whatever information you could provide for all of us here would probably be worth knowing.

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    The Negro who was murdered by police in NYC (Staten Island?) a couple of years ago for selling single cigarettes was guilty of a citable, none-arrestable offense.

    The government thug got away, literally, with murder.
  136. Maybe it’s my inner fascist, but I love seeing someone who obstinately refuses a lawful order by a police officer get beaten to a bloody pulp.

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  137. Apropos my comment on Syria that the present structure of things seems to make the White House goes into crisis mode over every news item–part of the reason for the 50 missiles attack–they are saying that pulling someone off a plane may warrant federal action!

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  138. @Clifford Brown
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4CizzE-zZo

    The whole episode struck me as emblematic of dysfunctional society. Sure, airlines can be exploitive and this is a legitimate concern, but the issue is not best addressed by screeching like a raccoon in a dumpster and running around the plane covered in your own blood. The doctor who was removed from the plane struck me as mentally unwell. From the erratic doctor, the abusive cops, the grandstanding fellow passengers, histrionic social media responses, the corporate PR flacks and the media coverage; it all reveals a society that is incapable of dealing with inconvenience, sacrifice and conflict in semi-civilized manner.

    God help us if something bad ever really happens.

    “Mentally unwell” is highly generous.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4401980/Dr-dragged-United-swapped-drugs-secret-gay-sex.html

    We’ve all gotten bumped from flights, even those of us who rack up two-comma-numbered miles per year with better seats than coach. That’s part of the algorithm of flying.

    We’ve all got to be somewhere that’s important to us, and we want to get there fast, which is why we take planes.

    O/c most of us don’t have documented histories of disruptive conduct, anger management issues, and sexual predation, with opiates, of our patients.

    So we just take the (surprisingly rare) lumps and sort things out in other ways.

    As you note, what this story really is about (other than a seriously degenerate individual put in charge of vulnerable people because diversitopia) is a lack of civic respect and awareness of others on the flight. I have zero empathy for this selfish clown. The way the age and race cards are getting played only hardens that.

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  139. @peterike

    ran back into the plane and was mumbling incoherently “I have to go home” and “Just kill me.” [My commentary: either this guy is a fantastic actor, was playing possum earlier or he may have suffered a serious head trauma and/or was disoriented.
     
    Nah, just passive/aggressive Asian hysteria. Routine.

    this really seems to be an east-asian thing. threatening to kill them-selves or asking others to kill them when they are angry.

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  140. @biz
    Shootouts in a crowded, confined, pressurized cabin 30,000 ft in the air? No thanks.

    Crashes into buildings, death from impact and total 3rd-degree burns even if you weren’t on the plane? No, gracias!

    Besides, what kind of weapons do you think the few air marshals and other law enforcement types carry on board? Do you think their hands have been soaking in ivory liquid?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Air marshals, at least when the program started were issued SIG Sauer autoloading pistols chambered .357 SIG. (This is not the common .357 Magnum round but a necked down 10mm autoloading cartridge.)
  141. @Jack D
    The irony here is that this was not a United flight at all. This was a "United Express" flight that is run under contract with Republic Airline. United saves $ by having its shorter /lower capacity "commuter" flights operated under contract by Republic who pays its pilots bubkes. The pilot business is operated like the acting business where pilots hope to land a gig at a major and earn a decent living but few ever do and those that don't barely make a living. Regional carrier pilots sleep in the airline terminal or their cars because they can't afford a motel room. But for United, live by the sword, die by the sword - they lent their name out to Republic so now they have to live with the PR blowback from what Republic did with it.

    Republic as a low rent operation refused to offer more than $800 to get a volunteer although they could have gone much higher. $800 is close to what they pay a pilot in a month. Cheaper to call the cops.

    And the people who dragged the guy off the plane were not employees of either, but Chicago cops. So double irony - why is United getting the grief instead of the Chicago PD? I'm sure that the cops were not under instructions from either United or Republic to beat the crap out of the guy - that was their idea and/or lack of training in how to handle people. Chicago PD is used to handling dindus who are in no position to complain most of the time.

    Speaking of being in no position, David Dao, the victim, has a "troubled past" as a pill doctor.

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2017/04/11/david-dao-passenger-removed-united-flight-doctor-troubled-past/100318320/

    In China, the good doctor's removal is being spun as anti-Chinese racism. Sort of ironic that the Chinaman is now getting whites addicted to opium instead of vice versa - cosmic revenge I guess.

    So there are no heroes here, just a sordid rogue's gallery of marginal players trying to scratch out a living in the sad twilight of the American empire, but streamed live and in color on your Korean cell phone.

    You”d have been right about 2 years back, Jack. It’s all different now, as far as demand for pilots goes.

    Ignore the reply regarding your use of the word Chinaman. The man was from China. That makes him a China man, which we combine into Chinaman. That’s the way English works – I didn’t start it. I’m not sure why that puts a bug up IM’s mind, and you just got done telling him this was a Republic Airlines flight, too and he’s responding with something about the president of UAL. Hey, IM, this was not a United Airlines flight – however, the gate agents may have been, but that’s a part of the story I have not looked into.

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  142. @RadicalCenter
    I agree that we had no pressing economic or cultural or defense need to admit this guy to the country, and the same goes for most of the people allowed to settle here from china, India, Africa, Middle East, etc.

    But suppose he were merely visiting the USA on tourism or business. Wouldn't it still be wrong for the airline to intentionally sell more seats than it could guarantee?

    Exactly. It’s not like United kicked this guy off of the plane because he is an immivasion foreigner. United and every other giant corporation is 100% PC, trans-friendly, inclusive, pro-diversity, and all the rest. It’s easy to let the airline off the hook because this guy acted like a lunatic and is apparently a pill pusher, etc. The airlines need to honor their commitments. Everyone else has to.

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  143. @mothball2
    I want to bring attention to this article that argues how the airline monopolies are economically strangling Middle America and leading to the decline of the heartland cities.

    http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/marchapril-2012/terminal-sickness/

    This is true. Airline routes can make or break cities and regions. Years ago, while marketing for a mid-western state, I was repeatedly told that major corporations, hedge funds, and investors would not invest in a city that did not have direct airline connections to their home offices … primarily located on the East Coast and Left Coast of course. No waiting for flights in hubs or flying prop jobs. So much for the Great Flyover and its economy.

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  144. @Moshe
    Unless you know how to sue, this doesn't seem like a wise thing to attempt on your own but it does seem like something to educate the masses on such that it becomes commonplace.

    If indeed what you said actually commonly applies. Considering how dangerous it is to even be remotely seen to be resisting arrest - there are plenty of cases where it turned out to be lethal in fact - I'm curious about the context. Whatever information you could provide for all of us here would probably be worth knowing.

    The Negro who was murdered by police in NYC (Staten Island?) a couple of years ago for selling single cigarettes was guilty of a citable, none-arrestable offense.

    The government thug got away, literally, with murder.

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  145. @Inquiring Mind
    One thing about being a "drama queen" on this jet.

    Flying requires a considerable degree of social cooperation, such as, vacating your seat when "picked" and not "making a scene" as in this recent example.

    Flying also requires social cooperation for the safe operation of the jet. Does everyone here read the seat card and "identify (their) nearest exit, even if it might be behind you"? Of course that is all "safety theatre" because "everyone knows" that if an accident happens, not anyone will be left alive, safety card or no safety card?

    The FARs (Federal Aviation Rules) require the crew to give the safety demonstration but I guess they don't require passengers to afford it any attention, and we have all flown so many times, we all know about "put on your own oxygen mask before helping others" and that the "seat cushion may be used as a flotation device" by now.

    Are people cool with the pilots skipping checklists because they have flown that type of aircraft so many times it is all rote by now? Are people perfectly comfortable to be in with a crowd of strangers and no one is paying any attention as to how to get out if the pilots make a hard landing, or if a jet engine bursts on takeoff, and smoke fills the cabin?

    One thing that sticks in my memory is as child reading in the Chicago Tribune about a hard landing of one of the new 727 jets. I guess their "handling" was markedly different from the propeller planes that their pilots "transitioned" from. Only two persons made it out alive, who had the presence of mind to use the over-wing emergency exits, and everyone else choked from smoke. I read the seat card and pay heed to the Federally mandated safety instruction . . . every . . . stage . . . of . . . every . . . flight. Not wanting to think about the hazards of flying doesn't mitigate the problem.

    The worst air disaster (aside from 9/11) was the Tenerife runway collision in 1977. In heavy fog, a KLM 747 began taking off while a Pan Am 747 was still taxiing.

    The KLM pilot saw the Pan Am jet in time to get airborne – there was a long streak on the runway from the tail’s scraping against the ground – but, immediately thereafter, the underbelly of the KLM plane sheared off the top of the Pan Am plane. The KLM plane, its engines and landing gear ripped off, then crashed and burned, killing everyone aboard. The Pan Am plane blew up shortly after the crash, killing most aboard, but a number of folks (including the cockpit crew) managed to get off before it exploded.

    One of the survivors said that, immediately after the crash, he nudged his wife and said, “Let’s go.” They got up, made their way to the nearest exit, and quickly hustled off. He reported that most or even all of the passengers were still alive, sitting quietly in their seats, dazed into a shocked stupor. They all burned to death.

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  146. @Dave Pinsen
    Touché. Amazon trouncing bricks & mortar retail invalidates my point about businessmen landing big-dollar deals in person.

    Touché. Amazon trouncing bricks & mortar retail invalidates my point about businessmen landing big-dollar deals in person.

    I do not think your interlocutor is able to see the open sarc close sarc tags in your reply.

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  147. @Achmed E. Newman
    I agree wholeheartedly with every part of your comment, John. That "envy us" or "hate us for our freedoms" was always a lot of crap, even when Bush said it.

    Well, they were right about all the "terrorists would have won" part. If their goal was to turn America into a police state, then, yes, the terrorists have won. I doubt they had any goals other than revenge, wrongly or rightly, and just the goals that are in their koran.

    Can you all, all who've been writing about the TSA on here, of which I agree with you all, imagine if passengers had not been routinely disarmed upon boarding aircraft back in 2001? Between 4 mainline jetliners, even with their fairly light loads that September morning, it is very likely that each plane would have had one or more armed passengers. Said passengers would have subdued or eliminated these Saudi nutcases fairly quickly, and 9/11 would have been something for Americans to be proud of, not an excuse of the USSA.

    They are STILL disarming passengers! WTF?

    That presumes the accepted narrative that the Saudi Arabian ratpack really could pilot the planes in the sophisticated fashion it took to pull off 9/11.
    Kind of like what is possible with a bolt action rifle from the sixth floor of a building?
    Or worse?
    Call me a little skeptical.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    You're right - that is just an assumption (or presumption)
  148. @Inquiring Mind
    OK, cut out the dated word for Chinese person. And people, those "vouchers" are just scrip -- not cash but "funny money."

    Nothing in China is "spun" without approval from their highest levels in government. Great, just great, just on the eve of Rex Tillerson issuing an ultimatum to North Korea, this is becoming an international incident in China. Maybe, maybe, if there is any justice, the United Airlines CEO will find himself in a windowless room in Langley, VA, doing his patriotic duty to assist our intelligence agencies with their inquiries?

    LOL

    Dude, ‘Chinaman’ is not the preferred nomenclature.

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  149. @Jack D
    A lot of people including so called "conservatives" (or cuckservatives) are just waiting for Trump to fail. These same people wrote Trump off on a dozen prior occasions but the guy is like an unstoppable zombie of their nightmares. Given their track record of being totally wrong (about almost everything but about Trump especially) I think it's a little too soon to declare Trump politically dead for the umpteenth time.

    The difference this time is he is messing with at least part of his base.
    The attraction was that he was something different than your average Repug or Dim warmonger. Not any more, tho he always did say he essentially was going to bomb ISIS back to the Stone Age (and we know how well that went last time we heard it, don’t we boys and girls?). So militarism was always in the DNA.
    So yeah, now that he’s implementing the neocon swamp agenda, all is well.
    Which is to say Trump the candidate is dead, but Trump now representing establishment interests is going strong. O happy day.

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  150. @MC
    Not to be pedantic, but it's Fletcher Christian, not Christian Fletcher.

    Been looking for Richard Grenier’s article in Commentary article on the rest of the story to the Caine Mutiny. The mutineers ended up killing each other off, while Bligh ended up sailing an open boat 2000? miles to Australia. IOW the mutineers were neither noble or competent.
    Much obliged if anybody knows where a copy could be obtained.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/what-really-happened-on-the-bounty/

    Richard Grenier's lengthy review of the Antony Hopkins - Mel Gibson Mutiny on the Bounty remake.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    I miss Richard Grenier. Sam Francis too.
  151. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Isn’t this analogous to a ship, where the captain has absolute authority, and can put anyone off for any reason he likes regardless of who they are or what they’ve done. If the captain orders you off his ship then you leave. Take it up with his employer.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Right, the captain of a ship or, especially, airplane needs to have arbitrary power.
  152. I had to watch the video to find out the passenger was korean. No mention whatsoever in the article about that. Throws you off when you have a white guy pictured in your mind and find out he was actually korean.

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  153. @Jack D
    The irony here is that this was not a United flight at all. This was a "United Express" flight that is run under contract with Republic Airline. United saves $ by having its shorter /lower capacity "commuter" flights operated under contract by Republic who pays its pilots bubkes. The pilot business is operated like the acting business where pilots hope to land a gig at a major and earn a decent living but few ever do and those that don't barely make a living. Regional carrier pilots sleep in the airline terminal or their cars because they can't afford a motel room. But for United, live by the sword, die by the sword - they lent their name out to Republic so now they have to live with the PR blowback from what Republic did with it.

    Republic as a low rent operation refused to offer more than $800 to get a volunteer although they could have gone much higher. $800 is close to what they pay a pilot in a month. Cheaper to call the cops.

    And the people who dragged the guy off the plane were not employees of either, but Chicago cops. So double irony - why is United getting the grief instead of the Chicago PD? I'm sure that the cops were not under instructions from either United or Republic to beat the crap out of the guy - that was their idea and/or lack of training in how to handle people. Chicago PD is used to handling dindus who are in no position to complain most of the time.

    Speaking of being in no position, David Dao, the victim, has a "troubled past" as a pill doctor.

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2017/04/11/david-dao-passenger-removed-united-flight-doctor-troubled-past/100318320/

    In China, the good doctor's removal is being spun as anti-Chinese racism. Sort of ironic that the Chinaman is now getting whites addicted to opium instead of vice versa - cosmic revenge I guess.

    So there are no heroes here, just a sordid rogue's gallery of marginal players trying to scratch out a living in the sad twilight of the American empire, but streamed live and in color on your Korean cell phone.

    The thing that got me, is that Dao is a old man and rather frail looking. Certainly not the sort you’d want to man handle like cheap luggage.

    The moment he offered resistance, it should have been hands off. He is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    After the cops beat the shit out of him, he staggers back to his seat with blood coming from his mouth like he just been worked over by the Mafia or Nazi dentist.

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  154. @Dave Pinsen
    If frequent flyers ran America, airports wouldn't have the TSA, its body scanners, and jailhouse pat-downs.

    I suspect the people who really run America don't fly commercial.

    I think a lot of frequent flyers learn how to game the system to their (our, back in my consulting days) favor, and spend enough energy on that not to need to push too hard to make the system less nasty overall. Platinum club, airport lounge, automatic upgrade to first class, TSA Pre, etc.

    There’s some bit of unpleasant human nature here–it’s actually pretty tolerable to get a bucket of shit dumped on my head once a day, so long as I get to watch a bunch of other people get it twice a day. Hey, I’m *beating the system*, what’s not to like?

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  155. @Inquiring Mind
    Doesn't the unfortunate man dragged of the airplane remind anyone about Milton from "Office Space" and the Red Stapler Incident?

    If you could just give up your seat, that would be greaaaatttt!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imPVFLF0r8c

    I could shut this whole airline down. Sir? I’ll take my traveler’s checks to a competing carrier. I could write a letter to the FAA and I could have this airline condemned. I could put… I could put… strychnine in the pretzels.

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    • Replies: @Olorin
    At least you didn't say "peanuts."

    Those cause life threatening allergic reactions!

    I hope the pretzels are organic and gluten-free, btw.

  156. Sigh. Airlines & airports have become meccas for feral slobs & schlubs in the past 20 yrs (even in Business Class) Expectations for a civilized experience when travelling are so remote, that it is a *win* if the experience is barely tolerable. All most desire nowadays is that the plane be at least somewhat clean, and not be more than an hour late. Anything more is a bonus.
    Airline travel is knotted up in similar ways to health care. It is no longer a free market but a Frankenstein of over-regulation, deteriorating airports, political correctness-guided security, subsidies, & crony alliances w/ duopolies on many routes.
    Mass immigration has suppressed wages in airline & airport staffing, and morale is always terrible. No point in getting upset at the staff – they’d probably earn more as cashiers at Chuckie Cheese.

    I suggest people drive, take the train, ferry, or if you must fly, travel at obscure times. Otherwise, be prepared to numb yourself with 3 shots of Whiskey, noise-cancelling headphones & a steely resolve to endure.

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  157. @Anonymous
    Isn't this analogous to a ship, where the captain has absolute authority, and can put anyone off for any reason he likes regardless of who they are or what they've done. If the captain orders you off his ship then you leave. Take it up with his employer.

    Right, the captain of a ship or, especially, airplane needs to have arbitrary power.

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    • Replies: @Venator
    Jerry Seinfeld was once kicked off a plane because the captain didn't like his jokes.
    , @Federalist
    Why does the "captain" of a commuter airplane need to have arbitrary power to kick people off when the plane is on the ground? Does the driver of a city bus get arbitrary power? He just needs to fly the damn thing.
    , @Moshe
    Right, the captain of a ship or, especially, airplane needs to have arbitrary power.


    The guy on my block with the longest pubic hairs needs to have arbitrary power to deal with whomever he wills, however he wills.

    Less snarkily, what are you talking about?

    There are numerous cities around the world without a police force. And even more villages and towns.

    Does someone sometimes act in a manner that it would be nice to have an all-wise, all-powerful King Solomon around to resolve? Sure. But we don't have such a guy.

    Pilots abd captains and kings have gone nuts and Been The Problem too.

    Totalitarianism has a bad track record and is unnecessary.

    Your comment normally comes from a "Thibk Of The Children!" sort of worst-case-scenario person.
  158. @William Badwhite
    They were "deadheading" - being transported from Point A to Point B to work another flight. Its not like they're going on vacation. Airline employees traveling for pleasure only get seats that are unsold at the time of departure. They can't bump paying passengers.

    All sorts of things could have happened - including the crew of another flight scheduled to leave Louisville being out of time for their duty day (pilots and flight attendants are allowed to work X number of hours without a break...if they're over that the airline either needs to get another crew in to fly it, or else cancel the flight). With weather delays, mechanical problems, ATC delays, it is not unusual for a crew to run out of time before their scheduled day of flying ends.

    Obviously the airline could have handled it better (including continuing to raise the amount they'll compensate someone until they found volunteers), but in this case better to bump four people to make room for a flight crew headed to Louisville than to cancel a flight scheduled to leave Louisville, and thus ruin travel for 100+ people.

    The airline could have put them on a chauffeured bus for the 4 hour drive to their destination and they could have slept on the way there. It would have been cheaper.

    They didn’t, they decided to f-up a old man in front of the entire world instead, because they could since the airlines are above the law. UAL should be called ThugAir.

    Then the blithering idiot and out of touch demi-god/CEO attacked the old man in a press release and thereby antagonizing a billion people.

    God almighty you can’t get more stupider than that. That is hard core stupidity that legends are made out of.

    It’s like that airline has no idea what customer service and decency means. I’d wager most of their management are either ex-prison guards or convicts.

    Jimmy Kimmel’s little commerical on United nails those sociopaths.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xecEV4dSAXE

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    • Replies: @William Badwhite
    "I’d wager most of their management are either ex-prison guards or convicts."

    Ok, I'll take that bet. Send Steve the specifics on how to contact you. $1,000 enough?

    "Jimmy Kimmel’s little commerical on United nails those sociopaths. "

    Good grief
  159. @Jack D
    Airlines are very lucrative under certain conditions (low oil prices, economic good times) like right now. And we are down to only 4 major carriers.

    Airlines are very lucrative under certain conditions (low oil prices, economic good times) like right now. And we are down to only 4 major carriers.

    They have periods of good profits, but these are more than outweighed by periodic bankruptcies and recapitalizations. Employee unions almost always share in the good times, salary-wise, and that is in part why financial trouble inevitably follows. Pan Am and TWA flew a little too close to the sun, and that was all she wrote.

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  160. @grapesoda
    Frequent flyers are peons. To a middle class person, CEOs seem super high status. But really they are just lackeys of the upper class. They actually have to work, often up to 80 hours a week. The upper class tend not to do a lot of strenuous work. So I guess in that way, the homeless are kind of like the upper class. It's the people in the middle that do all the real work.

    There are lots of folks working 80+ hours a week who make 1/80th of what the CEO makes, and who have maybe 1/800th of the status.

    Weep not for the jet-setting Type A workaholic lackeys.

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  161. 1. “You bought the ticket, you’ve got a right to the seat!”
    2. “Once you’re in the seat, you have a right to the seat!”
    3. “They dumped paying passengers for employees who wanted the seats!”
    4. “They should have put the employees in a limo!”
    5. “They should have just upped the offer!”

    All very stupid things to say.

    You don’t have a right to your seat. If you’re in a restaurant and the restaurant decides to refuse you service, they give you your money back. They don’t have to serve you dinner. And a restaurant is a whole lot less restrictive than an airline. Hotels overbook all the time, and they don’t owe you anything more than not charging you for the room. Airlines owe you in excess of the cost of the ticket.

    When you are in an airport, you do what the hell you are told to do. I’m an ornery crank and have to remind myself of this often. You can yell and snarl occasionally, but you don’t refuse to get off a plane.

    The airline’s right to kick your ass out of that seat, with legally defined compensation, ends when the plane’s wheels leave the ground. Not before.

    They couldn’t put the employees on a car because there are union rules against it. For whatever reason, they needed to get the employees to Louisville, and they didn’t learn about it until after everyone was on the plane. Or they thought they had another path and learned otherwise. Airlines don’t deliberately put people on the plane if they think they might have to take some off.

    Airlines have limits on what employees are allowed to offer. For good reason.

    The guy wasn’t mentally ill, by the way. Haven’t you ever seen what the Chinese do in airports? He was a jackass. He thought he could get away with it.

    I think United was right to call the cops when he refused to get off the plane. I can’t really judge what they did before that point, but I doubt they were all that incompetent.

    All airlines involuntarily deboard passengers. Southwest, which has been snarking at United all day, had twice the IDB rate of United last quarter.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    All very stupid things to say.
     
    They are not stupid at all. They are all very reasonable things to say (except the limo one).

    You don’t have a right to your seat.
     
    I am not going to debate United's Contract of Carriage with a math cram school teacher, but you are entirely missing the point in an effort to sound as if you are smarter than the rest (which is par for the course for you).

    The main point isn't whether or not the carrier in question was legally entitled to do what it did or not, but rather that it did a series of very unwise things (as did the passenger in question). Both from customer service (just about everyone was angry) and operational point of view (the episode resulted in the flight being 3 hours late), United bungled one thing after another.

    you don’t refuse to get off a plane.
     
    In this I agree. You indicate that you are under duress and comply, then seek remedy later.

    I can’t really judge what they did before that point, but I doubt they were all that incompetent.
     
    If by "they," you mean the security personnel, it's clear you don't know much at all, as is typical. It was amateur hour all around. Unless a 69 year-old is presenting a physical threat or danger, you don't toss him face first into a hard object and then drag him away while he is limp or unconscious. That is liable to cause serious brain trauma or even death, followed by a massive lawsuit and a giant shitstorm coming down the department.

    You either de-escalate verbally and seek a way of gaining compliance without force (which experienced LEOs with good judgments can do with a bit of street psychology) or, failing that/encountering resistance, you isolate, then subdue/restrain the person in question. Especially if the arrestee is violent, removing bystanders from the area for their own protection and to reduce chaos is vital. It's a bonus for the LE that all those phone cameras also disappear when you isolate the arrestee. In a case such as this where the arrestee is not actively fighting but simply refusing to budge, there are several less-lethal alternatives better than yanking the man and slamming him into an armrest head first. The security personnel in question was either not proficient in those techniques (lack of training) or they chose not to use them (poor judgment).

    And what's really baffling is that after they dragged the man out, they then lost custody and somehow allowed the man to run back into the plane while mumbling incoherent things. That resulted in all the other passengers having to deplane and escorting the man out the second time (this time on a stretcher). If that is "not all that incompetent" in your view, I am beginning to see why you claim blacks overperform their IQ/SAT tests in real life (which, by the way, is contradicted by study).

    The airline’s right to kick your ass out of that seat, with legally defined compensation, ends when the plane’s wheels leave the ground. Not before.
     
    Wrong. If a passenger is disruptive, violent or otherwise cause danger mid-air, the captain can return the flight back to the origination point or divert, and can have the passenger removed.

    As a matter of practice and customer service/courtesy, however, airlines rarely if ever involuntarily deplane passengers who are already onboard and seated for BUSINESS (e.g. overbooking, staffing needs elsewhere, etc.) reasons.

    Airlines have limits on what employees are allowed to offer. For good reason.
     
    1) What reason is that?

    2) United is known for being cheap on bumping compensation (see: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-us-airlines-bumping-fewer-passengers-compensation-varies-2017-4). Alaska and JetBlue offer $1600+ and $1200+ on average, respectively. United's average is $559. In this case, it offered $800. It's not unreasonable or stupid to ask why United didn't try offering more until there was one more taker, especially since the problem was not even overbooking, but accomodation for another flight crew, in other words, United/Republic's business operational needs.

    Furthermore, at least one other passenger interviewed claimed that the man in question initially offered to relinquish his seat if he were compensated and given another flight later that day (United told him he'd have to fly the next day and he declined). But a more significant psychological hurdle might have been the way that initial United agent handled the request from the beginning. He/she was apparently quite arrogant and declared that, the plane had to accomodate another flight crew and it wasn't taking off until four of the passengers got off. After this announcement, apparently there was no taker for the compensated bump (which is already psychologically less likely to happen once passengers are onboard and seated).

    The guy wasn’t mentally ill, by the way. Haven’t you ever seen what the Chinese do in airports? He was a jackass. He thought he could get away with it.
     
    He was clearly irate by the circumstance and was unwise, but you are letting your Asian-hatred get the better of the rational side of your brain as usual. His type of moderately obstinate behavior is (sadly) all too common.

    If you asked LEOs in highly "vibrant" areas, they will tell you that East Asians are generally the most compliant with police orders, followed by whites. Blacks... well, they "overperform" their IQ test as you like to say.

    All airlines involuntarily deboard passengers. Southwest, which has been snarking at United all day, had twice the IDB rate of United last quarter.
     
    Almost all of those "involuntary deboarding" are instigated by the passengers in question or are otherwise safety-related, rather than for an airline's crew staffing needs elsewhere. In any case, I think your statistics might be regarding bumping (usually before boarding), aka "involuntary denied boarding" rather than forcible removal of already seated passengers (involuntary deboarding). Get your terms straight.

    Finally, we should all be glad that the man in question was Asian. If he were instead black... Wow, that'd been some new coverage.
    , @Federalist
    And diversity is our greatest strength because that's what I was told.
    , @Anonymous

    The guy wasn’t mentally ill, by the way. Haven’t you ever seen what the Chinese do in airports? He was a jackass. He thought he could get away with it.
     
    hahaha. some real talk right there.
    , @James Kabala
    I don't know who is in the right here. Both sides make good points. And there is no perfect analogy that can be made to an airplane - even other forms of transportation are not the same because there is some room for standers and because many people will get off (or on!) at stops along the way. A crowded restaurant would never need to kick anyone out because they can just have people wait for a table to open up. But - if a restaurant did start to frequently deny service to randomly selected people and forcibly eject those who resisted, their business would suffer for sure.
  162. @peterike

    ran back into the plane and was mumbling incoherently “I have to go home” and “Just kill me.” [My commentary: either this guy is a fantastic actor, was playing possum earlier or he may have suffered a serious head trauma and/or was disoriented.
     
    Nah, just passive/aggressive Asian hysteria. Routine.

    Nah, just passive/aggressive Asian hysteria. Routine.

    “Routine”? How many times have you seen videos of episodes such as this?

    Not everything is about race.

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  163. @Bill Jones
    "[My commentary: when commanded by law enforcement or security personnel in controlled areas, it is HIGHLY inadvisable to resist in any manner - even to being forcibly moved. The best thing is to express your lack of consent and then follow the command under protest ("I disagree with your unlawful command. But I am cooperating under duress, because I fear that you will harm me otherwise"). Then work out your grievance, if any, LATER in a calm, office setting"

    The Supreme Court has confirmed the right to physically resist unlawfull arrest.

    It needs to be done more not less often

    The Supreme Court has confirmed the right to physically resist unlawfull arrest.

    Yes, it did, but when confronted with force by law enforcement while you are unarmed in a controlled area, what are you going to do? Fight and suffer a serious injury or death and then what? Argue later in heaven or at the hospital?

    Unless the said LE offers you no way out but violence, the wisest thing is to comply under protest and sort it out later calmly. There is a difference between what is legal and what is wise.

    It needs to be done more not less often

    Be first in line.

    The rest of you who don’t fancy getting Tasered or, worse, shot, comply, but indicate your disagreement, then let your legal counsel seek remedy later when everyone is civil.

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  164. @MB
    Been looking for Richard Grenier's article in Commentary article on the rest of the story to the Caine Mutiny. The mutineers ended up killing each other off, while Bligh ended up sailing an open boat 2000? miles to Australia. IOW the mutineers were neither noble or competent.
    Much obliged if anybody knows where a copy could be obtained.

    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/what-really-happened-on-the-bounty/

    Richard Grenier’s lengthy review of the Antony Hopkins – Mel Gibson Mutiny on the Bounty remake.

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    • Replies: @MB
    Thanks, have been looking for that on web ever since I read it the first time in 84.
    Found it after posting yesterday. A bungled attempt to print it out, put it behind the paywall, but was finally able to read it anonymously today on Tor.
    Which got me to looking at Nordhoff and Hall's Bounty Trilogy again.
    According to them Bligh sailed 3600 miles, while Grenier said 4000.


    Anyway, The Federalist has a pretty good article on the legal contractual issue for United:
    https://thefederalist.com/2017/04/11/did-united-airlines-violate-its-own-contract-by-forcing-that-passenger-off-the-plane/
    Can't find the other article but the airline bean counters run no show/buy out algorithims in order to come up with the exact target to shoot for in overbooking.
    It makes economic sense, but in this case United hadn't overbooked. Just messed up.

  165. @education realist
    1. "You bought the ticket, you've got a right to the seat!"
    2. "Once you're in the seat, you have a right to the seat!"
    3. "They dumped paying passengers for employees who wanted the seats!"
    4. "They should have put the employees in a limo!"
    5. "They should have just upped the offer!"

    All very stupid things to say.

    You don't have a right to your seat. If you're in a restaurant and the restaurant decides to refuse you service, they give you your money back. They don't have to serve you dinner. And a restaurant is a whole lot less restrictive than an airline. Hotels overbook all the time, and they don't owe you anything more than not charging you for the room. Airlines owe you in excess of the cost of the ticket.

    When you are in an airport, you do what the hell you are told to do. I'm an ornery crank and have to remind myself of this often. You can yell and snarl occasionally, but you don't refuse to get off a plane.


    The airline's right to kick your ass out of that seat, with legally defined compensation, ends when the plane's wheels leave the ground. Not before.


    They couldn't put the employees on a car because there are union rules against it. For whatever reason, they needed to get the employees to Louisville, and they didn't learn about it until after everyone was on the plane. Or they thought they had another path and learned otherwise. Airlines don't deliberately put people on the plane if they think they might have to take some off.

    Airlines have limits on what employees are allowed to offer. For good reason.

    The guy wasn't mentally ill, by the way. Haven't you ever seen what the Chinese do in airports? He was a jackass. He thought he could get away with it.

    I think United was right to call the cops when he refused to get off the plane. I can't really judge what they did before that point, but I doubt they were all that incompetent.

    All airlines involuntarily deboard passengers. Southwest, which has been snarking at United all day, had twice the IDB rate of United last quarter.

    All very stupid things to say.

    They are not stupid at all. They are all very reasonable things to say (except the limo one).

    You don’t have a right to your seat.

    I am not going to debate United’s Contract of Carriage with a math cram school teacher, but you are entirely missing the point in an effort to sound as if you are smarter than the rest (which is par for the course for you).

    The main point isn’t whether or not the carrier in question was legally entitled to do what it did or not, but rather that it did a series of very unwise things (as did the passenger in question). Both from customer service (just about everyone was angry) and operational point of view (the episode resulted in the flight being 3 hours late), United bungled one thing after another.

    you don’t refuse to get off a plane.

    In this I agree. You indicate that you are under duress and comply, then seek remedy later.

    I can’t really judge what they did before that point, but I doubt they were all that incompetent.

    If by “they,” you mean the security personnel, it’s clear you don’t know much at all, as is typical. It was amateur hour all around. Unless a 69 year-old is presenting a physical threat or danger, you don’t toss him face first into a hard object and then drag him away while he is limp or unconscious. That is liable to cause serious brain trauma or even death, followed by a massive lawsuit and a giant shitstorm coming down the department.

    You either de-escalate verbally and seek a way of gaining compliance without force (which experienced LEOs with good judgments can do with a bit of street psychology) or, failing that/encountering resistance, you isolate, then subdue/restrain the person in question. Especially if the arrestee is violent, removing bystanders from the area for their own protection and to reduce chaos is vital. It’s a bonus for the LE that all those phone cameras also disappear when you isolate the arrestee. In a case such as this where the arrestee is not actively fighting but simply refusing to budge, there are several less-lethal alternatives better than yanking the man and slamming him into an armrest head first. The security personnel in question was either not proficient in those techniques (lack of training) or they chose not to use them (poor judgment).

    And what’s really baffling is that after they dragged the man out, they then lost custody and somehow allowed the man to run back into the plane while mumbling incoherent things. That resulted in all the other passengers having to deplane and escorting the man out the second time (this time on a stretcher). If that is “not all that incompetent” in your view, I am beginning to see why you claim blacks overperform their IQ/SAT tests in real life (which, by the way, is contradicted by study).

    The airline’s right to kick your ass out of that seat, with legally defined compensation, ends when the plane’s wheels leave the ground. Not before.

    Wrong. If a passenger is disruptive, violent or otherwise cause danger mid-air, the captain can return the flight back to the origination point or divert, and can have the passenger removed.

    As a matter of practice and customer service/courtesy, however, airlines rarely if ever involuntarily deplane passengers who are already onboard and seated for BUSINESS (e.g. overbooking, staffing needs elsewhere, etc.) reasons.

    Airlines have limits on what employees are allowed to offer. For good reason.

    1) What reason is that?

    2) United is known for being cheap on bumping compensation (see: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-us-airlines-bumping-fewer-passengers-compensation-varies-2017-4). Alaska and JetBlue offer $1600+ and $1200+ on average, respectively. United’s average is $559. In this case, it offered $800. It’s not unreasonable or stupid to ask why United didn’t try offering more until there was one more taker, especially since the problem was not even overbooking, but accomodation for another flight crew, in other words, United/Republic’s business operational needs.

    Furthermore, at least one other passenger interviewed claimed that the man in question initially offered to relinquish his seat if he were compensated and given another flight later that day (United told him he’d have to fly the next day and he declined). But a more significant psychological hurdle might have been the way that initial United agent handled the request from the beginning. He/she was apparently quite arrogant and declared that, the plane had to accomodate another flight crew and it wasn’t taking off until four of the passengers got off. After this announcement, apparently there was no taker for the compensated bump (which is already psychologically less likely to happen once passengers are onboard and seated).

    The guy wasn’t mentally ill, by the way. Haven’t you ever seen what the Chinese do in airports? He was a jackass. He thought he could get away with it.

    He was clearly irate by the circumstance and was unwise, but you are letting your Asian-hatred get the better of the rational side of your brain as usual. His type of moderately obstinate behavior is (sadly) all too common.

    If you asked LEOs in highly “vibrant” areas, they will tell you that East Asians are generally the most compliant with police orders, followed by whites. Blacks… well, they “overperform” their IQ test as you like to say.

    All airlines involuntarily deboard passengers. Southwest, which has been snarking at United all day, had twice the IDB rate of United last quarter.

    Almost all of those “involuntary deboarding” are instigated by the passengers in question or are otherwise safety-related, rather than for an airline’s crew staffing needs elsewhere. In any case, I think your statistics might be regarding bumping (usually before boarding), aka “involuntary denied boarding” rather than forcible removal of already seated passengers (involuntary deboarding). Get your terms straight.

    Finally, we should all be glad that the man in question was Asian. If he were instead black… Wow, that’d been some new coverage.

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    • Replies: @Peripatetic commenter

    That is liable to cause serious brain trauma or even death, followed by a massive lawsuit and a giant shitstorm coming down the department.
     
    While it could be that the fact correctors need correction, it seems that United, whose CEO has referred to the alleged drug-related licensing issues Dr David Dao has had, has slandered or whatever, their passenger and customer:

    https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2017/04/daily-mail-libels-united-passenger.html


    Finally, we should all be glad that the man in question was Asian. If he were instead black… Wow, that’d been some new coverage.
     
    They would probably go bankrupt quicker than they will currently. I like a long, drawn-out bankruptcy.

    This incident is going from bad to worse from a PR perspective. Probably the only thing worse they could do is to hire someone to kill Dr Dao.

  166. @Twinkie

    This story is like a Rorschach ink blot test. People will see in it what they want to see.
     
    Exactly. I see people making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions based on very limited data.

    From what I have read so far and what I have seen on video, here is a timeline of what seems to have occurred plus my own commentary:

    1. Apparently the flight was overbooked, and United gate personnel asked for ONE volunteer. One passenger did volunteer and received compensation.

    2. Then all ticketed passengers were boarded and seated.

    3. At that point, it appears a United official boarded the plane and announced that four United crew members for another flight had to be accommodated and that the plane would not leave until four seated passengers deplaned (apparently the manner in which this was announced was quite unfriendly and turned off the passengers). There was no volunteer.*

    *It appears that the man who was later dragged off volunteered initially in return for compensation, provided he could be booked for a later flight that day (supposedly he is a doctor and had to see patients the next day). When he was told that the later flights were full as well and that he'd have to stay overnight before another flight, he rescinded his offer to be bumped.

    4. At some point, since there were no volunteers, passengers were randomly picked to be deplaned. Three left peacefully; the man in the video refused. [My commentary: it appears unusual for already SEATED passengers to be forcibly deplaned for anything other than for bad behavior/safety reasons; business bumping is usually done at the gate.]

    5. It seems the man in question pulled the ethnicity card at this point - something about being picked because he was Chinese. [My commentary: if true, this was ill-advised, unwarranted, and silly. I am quite tired of people pulling "the race card" at the drop of a hat.]

    6. At that point, United summoned Chicago airport security. We do not know the prior context of their interactions with the passenger. We do see them yanking the shrieking passenger off the seat. We also see the man's face striking an armrest hard. [My commentary: when commanded by law enforcement or security personnel in controlled areas, it is HIGHLY inadvisable to resist in any manner - even to being forcibly moved. The best thing is to express your lack of consent and then follow the command under protest ("I disagree with your unlawful command. But I am cooperating under duress, because I fear that you will harm me otherwise"). Then work out your grievance, if any, LATER in a calm, office setting.

    However, I should also note that the security personnel in question exercised poor judgment. Again, I do not see or know the prior interaction, so this assessment is quite preliminary. But unless the man was belligerent or posing a physical threat, yanking him so hard that his head strikes the armrest, apparently making him go limp was not wise. This could have been resolved without the use of violence potentially, and even if force were necessary, there are other compliance/come-along techniques they could have used.]

    7. After the man's head struck the armrest, he seems to have been rendered unconscious or limp. The security personnel then drag (!) him through the plane. [My commentary: given that the man may have suffered a concussion or some sort of trauma to the head, this was extremely unwise move on the part of the security personnel.]

    8. Here is where the story takes a bizarre turn: the now-bloodied man apparently left custody somehow, ran back into the plane and was mumbling incoherently "I have to go home" and "Just kill me." [My commentary: either this guy is a fantastic actor, was playing possum earlier or he may have suffered a serious head trauma and/or was disoriented. Either way, I cannot begin to imagine the incompetence of the security personnel in letting him escape their custody!]

    9. Subsequently he was apparently removed again, this time on a stretcher.

    Now, my commentary on the overall situation. First of all, United handled this extremely poorly. For one thing, all bumping should have occurred at the gate BEFORE boarding and seating. Passengers get VERY irate, understandably, when forced to deplane for anything other than their own misbehavior or airplane safety. United also appears to have communicated their needs and requests for volunteers poorly given the negative reactions of the passengers. They also seemed not to have elevated the compensation up to the legal limit. If what I have read and seen so far is true, then I assign the majority of the blame for the incident to United.

    The security officers should not escape blame either (unless there was some unreported prior misbehavior from the passenger). They either lacked training or judgment to make the man (reported to be near 70 years old in age) compliant, either by verbal de-escalation or judicious use of forceful compliance/come-along techniques. Yanking someone so hard in a confined space where the man's head hits the armrest is a poor practice anyway you cut it. Even if he were violent (which he apparent was not), the proper procedure is to subdue and restrain him first, then and only after he was properly restrained (and/or cuffed/shackled, should they transport him while ensuring that his head does not strike anything.

    Lastly, the man himself deserves some of the blame for the violent incident. For one thing, pulling the race card is in poor taste (unless there was specific evidence). More importantly, he should have COMPLIED with the security personnel while expressing his disagreement. If there are problems/complaints/grievances, you resolve it LATER under a PEACEFUL, conversational setting. You don't risk injury and even death by physical resistance even if it's just being moved. Again, it is UNWISE to resist unless, of course, you feel that you are being attacked with force unjustly (self-defense; e.g. sleeping in your house, when someone throws a flashbang into your house and masked men burst in with guns, shoot your dogs, etc.).

    I agree with others that this is a society whose civil fabric is being unraveled. In a more civilized era, all parties concerned would have behaved differently - better, that is. In particular, the customer service airline industry seems to have gone down hill dramatically. Most domestic flights today, even in the first class, are cattle cars. I try not to fly domestic airlines nowadays and either drive or rely on GenAv where I can (thankfully I have a close friend who has his own small plane). As a principle, I don't rely on modes of transportation that disarm me.

    Customer service on some international flights, however, are dramatically different and better. Airlines such as Singapore and Qatar offer impeccable service even at the lowest fare cabin and make our domestic airlines seem like Third World cattle cars that they are.

    The man did not go limp and was not unconscious. He was still firmly grasping his cell phone as he was dragged down the aisle.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    The man did not go limp and was not unconscious. He was still firmly grasping his cell phone as he was dragged down the aisle.
     
    1. You don't know. I don't know either. I can only speculate based on the video footage. It shows him a) hitting an armrest head/face first and b) him being dragged away with zero movement. I don't think he even blinks. Obviously I can't be sure without seeing it firsthand, but there is good chance that he suffered some head trauma (possibly concussion) and was "out." His subsequent incoherence and bloody face lend further evidence to the possibility of a concussion.

    2. Knocked out people often go rigid. The fact that he was still clutching his cell phone is not an evidence against the possibility.
  167. @Anonymous
    Are there random cavity searches? That sounds pretty extreme.

    I never experienced it. It was hyperbole from me, and I guess from commenter Whorefinder whose comment I replied to, and who introduced the term into the conversation.

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  168. @Steve Sailer
    Right, the captain of a ship or, especially, airplane needs to have arbitrary power.

    Jerry Seinfeld was once kicked off a plane because the captain didn’t like his jokes.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Jerry choked up there on the stage - then his jokes weren't gonna work. Nobody liked his jokes that night. The Captain was right to kick him off - he was afraid that he himself might choke on approach, kicked Jerry off, and that's why he and his handler ended up in the swimming pool and why Kramer lost Newman's Son-of-Sam briefcase to the Texan.

    Got it? Good, FIFY ;-!
  169. @Steve Sailer
    Right, the captain of a ship or, especially, airplane needs to have arbitrary power.

    Why does the “captain” of a commuter airplane need to have arbitrary power to kick people off when the plane is on the ground? Does the driver of a city bus get arbitrary power? He just needs to fly the damn thing.

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  170. @education realist
    1. "You bought the ticket, you've got a right to the seat!"
    2. "Once you're in the seat, you have a right to the seat!"
    3. "They dumped paying passengers for employees who wanted the seats!"
    4. "They should have put the employees in a limo!"
    5. "They should have just upped the offer!"

    All very stupid things to say.

    You don't have a right to your seat. If you're in a restaurant and the restaurant decides to refuse you service, they give you your money back. They don't have to serve you dinner. And a restaurant is a whole lot less restrictive than an airline. Hotels overbook all the time, and they don't owe you anything more than not charging you for the room. Airlines owe you in excess of the cost of the ticket.

    When you are in an airport, you do what the hell you are told to do. I'm an ornery crank and have to remind myself of this often. You can yell and snarl occasionally, but you don't refuse to get off a plane.


    The airline's right to kick your ass out of that seat, with legally defined compensation, ends when the plane's wheels leave the ground. Not before.


    They couldn't put the employees on a car because there are union rules against it. For whatever reason, they needed to get the employees to Louisville, and they didn't learn about it until after everyone was on the plane. Or they thought they had another path and learned otherwise. Airlines don't deliberately put people on the plane if they think they might have to take some off.

    Airlines have limits on what employees are allowed to offer. For good reason.

    The guy wasn't mentally ill, by the way. Haven't you ever seen what the Chinese do in airports? He was a jackass. He thought he could get away with it.

    I think United was right to call the cops when he refused to get off the plane. I can't really judge what they did before that point, but I doubt they were all that incompetent.

    All airlines involuntarily deboard passengers. Southwest, which has been snarking at United all day, had twice the IDB rate of United last quarter.

    And diversity is our greatest strength because that’s what I was told.

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  171. @Jonathan Mason

    It appears that the man who was later dragged off volunteered initially in return for compensation, provided he could be booked for a later flight that day (supposedly he is a doctor and had to see patients the next day). When he was told that the later flights were full as well and that he’d have to stay overnight before another flight, he rescinded his offer to be bumped.
     
    If this is true, it does not reflect well on the airline. If the passenger was already willing to negotiate giving up his seat on that flight, so that the spare crew could reach its destination, they should have been able to reach some kind of negotiated agreement with him, even if it meant bumping someone else off a later flight. At least the person on the later flight would not already be seated, and possibly they could find a passenger who was an airline employee or relative traveling at a discount who could be bumped off.

    I would agree with what some other commenters have said, that a voucher for $800 worth of air travel is not the same as $800 cash, but then anything is negotiable if both sides really want it badly enough. The airline would presumably lose a great deal more money if the spare air crew was unable to reach its destination on time.

    One wonders how might airlines like Singapore and Qatar handle a situation like this.

    One wonders how might airlines like Singapore and Qatar handle a situation like this.

    With a lot more finesse and customer orientation. American airlines (all of them) act like they are doing their passengers a favor by letting them fly.

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    • Replies: @Moshe
    There's also the matter of Americanos being taught that Escalation rather than de-escalation is the way for Authoritahs to treat people.

    Look, you just pulled over this 19 year old annoying loser white boy who's high on weed. He's saying stuff like, "according to the constitution i don't have to show you my license dude", and stuff like that.

    He's no threat at all but he is annoying.

    How do you get to kill him?

    He's even videoing the encounter.

    Hmmmm.

    Yes. Taze him repeatedly and when he involuntarily thrashes out in a panic as all mammals would, THEN you shoot him dead.

    And because he's white 80% of the comments on the dead boy's youtube video will support you. No questions asked.
  172. @Jack D
    The 4 vouchers would have been more than the cost of any conceivable limo so there might have been other issues - maybe they wouldn't have gotten there in time, maybe it was something to do with union or FAA rules on crew rest, maybe the employees were just entitled SOBs who didn't want to be inconvenienced - IDK.

    Also why did they stop at $800? In retrospect in order to save maybe another $1,000 or so, they have bought themselves millions of $ worth of bad publicity. This one little cell phone video completely negates their entire ad budget.

    maybe the employees were just entitled SOBs who didn’t want to be inconvenienced

    If your contract says you’re entitled to so much rest, why should you let yourself be inconvenienced by your psychopathic employer, who will sack you the moment they find a cheaper Elbonian to replace you?

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  173. @William Badwhite
    They were "deadheading" - being transported from Point A to Point B to work another flight. Its not like they're going on vacation. Airline employees traveling for pleasure only get seats that are unsold at the time of departure. They can't bump paying passengers.

    All sorts of things could have happened - including the crew of another flight scheduled to leave Louisville being out of time for their duty day (pilots and flight attendants are allowed to work X number of hours without a break...if they're over that the airline either needs to get another crew in to fly it, or else cancel the flight). With weather delays, mechanical problems, ATC delays, it is not unusual for a crew to run out of time before their scheduled day of flying ends.

    Obviously the airline could have handled it better (including continuing to raise the amount they'll compensate someone until they found volunteers), but in this case better to bump four people to make room for a flight crew headed to Louisville than to cancel a flight scheduled to leave Louisville, and thus ruin travel for 100+ people.

    Possibly, a 5-hour limo drive to Louisville could put the four airline employees over their legal limit. Maybe that’s why the airline insisted they be given seats–if their duty day had few hours remaining.

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  174. @Twinkie

    All very stupid things to say.
     
    They are not stupid at all. They are all very reasonable things to say (except the limo one).

    You don’t have a right to your seat.
     
    I am not going to debate United's Contract of Carriage with a math cram school teacher, but you are entirely missing the point in an effort to sound as if you are smarter than the rest (which is par for the course for you).

    The main point isn't whether or not the carrier in question was legally entitled to do what it did or not, but rather that it did a series of very unwise things (as did the passenger in question). Both from customer service (just about everyone was angry) and operational point of view (the episode resulted in the flight being 3 hours late), United bungled one thing after another.

    you don’t refuse to get off a plane.
     
    In this I agree. You indicate that you are under duress and comply, then seek remedy later.

    I can’t really judge what they did before that point, but I doubt they were all that incompetent.
     
    If by "they," you mean the security personnel, it's clear you don't know much at all, as is typical. It was amateur hour all around. Unless a 69 year-old is presenting a physical threat or danger, you don't toss him face first into a hard object and then drag him away while he is limp or unconscious. That is liable to cause serious brain trauma or even death, followed by a massive lawsuit and a giant shitstorm coming down the department.

    You either de-escalate verbally and seek a way of gaining compliance without force (which experienced LEOs with good judgments can do with a bit of street psychology) or, failing that/encountering resistance, you isolate, then subdue/restrain the person in question. Especially if the arrestee is violent, removing bystanders from the area for their own protection and to reduce chaos is vital. It's a bonus for the LE that all those phone cameras also disappear when you isolate the arrestee. In a case such as this where the arrestee is not actively fighting but simply refusing to budge, there are several less-lethal alternatives better than yanking the man and slamming him into an armrest head first. The security personnel in question was either not proficient in those techniques (lack of training) or they chose not to use them (poor judgment).

    And what's really baffling is that after they dragged the man out, they then lost custody and somehow allowed the man to run back into the plane while mumbling incoherent things. That resulted in all the other passengers having to deplane and escorting the man out the second time (this time on a stretcher). If that is "not all that incompetent" in your view, I am beginning to see why you claim blacks overperform their IQ/SAT tests in real life (which, by the way, is contradicted by study).

    The airline’s right to kick your ass out of that seat, with legally defined compensation, ends when the plane’s wheels leave the ground. Not before.
     
    Wrong. If a passenger is disruptive, violent or otherwise cause danger mid-air, the captain can return the flight back to the origination point or divert, and can have the passenger removed.

    As a matter of practice and customer service/courtesy, however, airlines rarely if ever involuntarily deplane passengers who are already onboard and seated for BUSINESS (e.g. overbooking, staffing needs elsewhere, etc.) reasons.

    Airlines have limits on what employees are allowed to offer. For good reason.
     
    1) What reason is that?

    2) United is known for being cheap on bumping compensation (see: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-us-airlines-bumping-fewer-passengers-compensation-varies-2017-4). Alaska and JetBlue offer $1600+ and $1200+ on average, respectively. United's average is $559. In this case, it offered $800. It's not unreasonable or stupid to ask why United didn't try offering more until there was one more taker, especially since the problem was not even overbooking, but accomodation for another flight crew, in other words, United/Republic's business operational needs.

    Furthermore, at least one other passenger interviewed claimed that the man in question initially offered to relinquish his seat if he were compensated and given another flight later that day (United told him he'd have to fly the next day and he declined). But a more significant psychological hurdle might have been the way that initial United agent handled the request from the beginning. He/she was apparently quite arrogant and declared that, the plane had to accomodate another flight crew and it wasn't taking off until four of the passengers got off. After this announcement, apparently there was no taker for the compensated bump (which is already psychologically less likely to happen once passengers are onboard and seated).

    The guy wasn’t mentally ill, by the way. Haven’t you ever seen what the Chinese do in airports? He was a jackass. He thought he could get away with it.
     
    He was clearly irate by the circumstance and was unwise, but you are letting your Asian-hatred get the better of the rational side of your brain as usual. His type of moderately obstinate behavior is (sadly) all too common.

    If you asked LEOs in highly "vibrant" areas, they will tell you that East Asians are generally the most compliant with police orders, followed by whites. Blacks... well, they "overperform" their IQ test as you like to say.

    All airlines involuntarily deboard passengers. Southwest, which has been snarking at United all day, had twice the IDB rate of United last quarter.
     
    Almost all of those "involuntary deboarding" are instigated by the passengers in question or are otherwise safety-related, rather than for an airline's crew staffing needs elsewhere. In any case, I think your statistics might be regarding bumping (usually before boarding), aka "involuntary denied boarding" rather than forcible removal of already seated passengers (involuntary deboarding). Get your terms straight.

    Finally, we should all be glad that the man in question was Asian. If he were instead black... Wow, that'd been some new coverage.

    That is liable to cause serious brain trauma or even death, followed by a massive lawsuit and a giant shitstorm coming down the department.

    While it could be that the fact correctors need correction, it seems that United, whose CEO has referred to the alleged drug-related licensing issues Dr David Dao has had, has slandered or whatever, their passenger and customer:

    https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2017/04/daily-mail-libels-united-passenger.html

    Finally, we should all be glad that the man in question was Asian. If he were instead black… Wow, that’d been some new coverage.

    They would probably go bankrupt quicker than they will currently. I like a long, drawn-out bankruptcy.

    This incident is going from bad to worse from a PR perspective. Probably the only thing worse they could do is to hire someone to kill Dr Dao.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The airline made only one mistake, of picking on a racial minority.
  175. @Achmed E. Newman
    Great summary, Twinkie. I guess many of us shoot off our mouths before we have investigated the details as much as you have.

    While I'm writing again, in reply to Another Dad: I think it was a change 10 or more years back that made exiting the planes take much longer. That change was charges for checked bags. There were charges for heavies and extra large or big numbers of pieces of luggage before that, but the change to charge for each bag checked to travel in the belly encouraged people to bring carry-ons much more than they used to.

    The number of carry-ons is usually on a full flight too many to fit in all of the bins, even organized as best as possible; the gate agents will ask for people to check them to the destination (for free at this point) to free up space. However, those bins are so full - I see a lot of people rushing upon arrival, but things still take a quite a while, especially if you are in the back of a single-aisle long airplane like the 757-300 or MD-90.

    One way to get around the checked bag fee is to not check your bag. Then at boarding usually they will announce that there is no more carryon space, but they will check your bag (free) on the jetway.

    I am flying Frontier in a few weeks and they charge for carry on bags too. They also charge $2 for soda, and $5 to use the inflight entertainment system. Reviews say their seats are tiny and do not recline. Otoh, it’s $220 round trip DC to Denver. I remember flying Houston to NYC in the 70s pre-deregulation for $400 which is $1200 today. So I will suck it up.

    Some airlines are starting to awards miles to their frequent fliers not on distance flown, but on price paid.

    I like a lot of things about the modern world, but flying blows dead dogs.

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  176. @MB
    Been looking for Richard Grenier's article in Commentary article on the rest of the story to the Caine Mutiny. The mutineers ended up killing each other off, while Bligh ended up sailing an open boat 2000? miles to Australia. IOW the mutineers were neither noble or competent.
    Much obliged if anybody knows where a copy could be obtained.

    I miss Richard Grenier. Sam Francis too.

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  177. @joeyjoejoe
    I'll go META for my last comment on this thread.

    It is fascinating; as an earlier commenter said, its a real rorscharch test. But what interests me is that its a rorscharch test for the Right.

    I consider myself pretty right wing (most of us are-otherwise we wouldn't be here). But my right-wingness is grounded on strong assertion of individual rights-or perhaps more specifically, individual autonomy. I don't care of the doctor was a good doctor, or a well behaved doctor, or someone we would like or someone we wouldn't like. I think he was in the right in the situation, and he should have stood his ground. I don't think my paid-for-seat is sacrificeable just because United wants to cheaply move its employees.

    I'm quite surprised that so many commenters are pretty right wing, but ground their right-wingness in conformity-conformity with the police (do what they say or you deserve the blood you lose), conformity with social norms (don't shriek like a woman), conformity with social norms (he's a pill popping doctor in legal trouble: he couldn't be in the right. So now we like media-driven character assassination?), conformity with the rules of the Corporation (United said X. Do X). Their advice is to behave, give up ones' seat, and go calmly talk to a human resources drone who will pretend to listen while your paid-for-flight leaves without you.


    joeyjoejoe

    But my right-wingness is grounded on strong assertion of individual rights-or perhaps more specifically, individual autonomy. I don’t think my paid-for-seat is sacrificeable just because United wants to cheaply move its employees

    .

    If you’re driving your car, you’re absolutely right, United has no business kicking you out, because United wants to use it. United’s plane, on the other hand, is a different story.

    You misunderstand–at least my point of view, and i’d bet a bunch of others. And you don’t seem very “individual rights” oriented to me, if we’re talking about property rights. You are apparently one of a–vast and growing–number of people who think that their “individualism” entitles them to other peoples’–usually some corporations’–property. (Or in the case of foreigners, to all Americans common property.)

    When United ordered this guy off that flight and he did not go he was then effectively trespassing. Say, my neighbor invites me to a party, I show up. Maybe we have a disagreement, maybe they get tired and want to go to bed. I don’t have a right to not leave, just because i’d been invited in. If my neighbor puts hands on me and pitches me out at that point–he’s justified.

    This guy has some sort of contract with United–including all that fine print–the terms of which are in fact regulated by law to insure both that we can have reliable air service and that there is reasonable compensation when said service providers can’t provide what they claimed. The guy is entitled to all of that. (And can sue if he likes for breach of contract.) But this guy does not somehow *own* a piece of a United plane because he bought a ticket.

    I say this as someone who flies all the time with the low discounted bumpable fares. If the computer was selecting bumpees on a flight I was on, it would probably be picking me to toss off. I’m just under no illusion that I actually own the airplane, or that the airplane is some sort of “public square” where I have the right to shoot me mouth off, do my own thing or most obviously have some sort of God given natural “right” to be.

    We can have a prosperous and free society that respects everyone’s freedom and property rights. With that we can actually have cool stuff like ridiculously cheap air travel. However, it’s impossible to have a prosperous society–actually a society with any order at all–if everyone thinks they have some sort autonomy sphere, that rolls down the highway, goes into shopping centers and restaurants, into airports, onto airplanes … where they are lord and king. That can work with *one* king. It can’t work with 300 million kings. No you need property rights–and this guy did not, does not own that plane.

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  178. @MB
    That presumes the accepted narrative that the Saudi Arabian ratpack really could pilot the planes in the sophisticated fashion it took to pull off 9/11.
    Kind of like what is possible with a bolt action rifle from the sixth floor of a building?
    Or worse?
    Call me a little skeptical.

    You’re right – that is just an assumption (or presumption)

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  179. @Venator
    Jerry Seinfeld was once kicked off a plane because the captain didn't like his jokes.

    Jerry choked up there on the stage – then his jokes weren’t gonna work. Nobody liked his jokes that night. The Captain was right to kick him off – he was afraid that he himself might choke on approach, kicked Jerry off, and that’s why he and his handler ended up in the swimming pool and why Kramer lost Newman’s Son-of-Sam briefcase to the Texan.

    Got it? Good, FIFY ;-!

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  180. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @education realist
    1. "You bought the ticket, you've got a right to the seat!"
    2. "Once you're in the seat, you have a right to the seat!"
    3. "They dumped paying passengers for employees who wanted the seats!"
    4. "They should have put the employees in a limo!"
    5. "They should have just upped the offer!"

    All very stupid things to say.

    You don't have a right to your seat. If you're in a restaurant and the restaurant decides to refuse you service, they give you your money back. They don't have to serve you dinner. And a restaurant is a whole lot less restrictive than an airline. Hotels overbook all the time, and they don't owe you anything more than not charging you for the room. Airlines owe you in excess of the cost of the ticket.

    When you are in an airport, you do what the hell you are told to do. I'm an ornery crank and have to remind myself of this often. You can yell and snarl occasionally, but you don't refuse to get off a plane.


    The airline's right to kick your ass out of that seat, with legally defined compensation, ends when the plane's wheels leave the ground. Not before.


    They couldn't put the employees on a car because there are union rules against it. For whatever reason, they needed to get the employees to Louisville, and they didn't learn about it until after everyone was on the plane. Or they thought they had another path and learned otherwise. Airlines don't deliberately put people on the plane if they think they might have to take some off.

    Airlines have limits on what employees are allowed to offer. For good reason.

    The guy wasn't mentally ill, by the way. Haven't you ever seen what the Chinese do in airports? He was a jackass. He thought he could get away with it.

    I think United was right to call the cops when he refused to get off the plane. I can't really judge what they did before that point, but I doubt they were all that incompetent.

    All airlines involuntarily deboard passengers. Southwest, which has been snarking at United all day, had twice the IDB rate of United last quarter.

    The guy wasn’t mentally ill, by the way. Haven’t you ever seen what the Chinese do in airports? He was a jackass. He thought he could get away with it.

    hahaha. some real talk right there.

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  181. @education realist
    1. "You bought the ticket, you've got a right to the seat!"
    2. "Once you're in the seat, you have a right to the seat!"
    3. "They dumped paying passengers for employees who wanted the seats!"
    4. "They should have put the employees in a limo!"
    5. "They should have just upped the offer!"

    All very stupid things to say.

    You don't have a right to your seat. If you're in a restaurant and the restaurant decides to refuse you service, they give you your money back. They don't have to serve you dinner. And a restaurant is a whole lot less restrictive than an airline. Hotels overbook all the time, and they don't owe you anything more than not charging you for the room. Airlines owe you in excess of the cost of the ticket.

    When you are in an airport, you do what the hell you are told to do. I'm an ornery crank and have to remind myself of this often. You can yell and snarl occasionally, but you don't refuse to get off a plane.


    The airline's right to kick your ass out of that seat, with legally defined compensation, ends when the plane's wheels leave the ground. Not before.


    They couldn't put the employees on a car because there are union rules against it. For whatever reason, they needed to get the employees to Louisville, and they didn't learn about it until after everyone was on the plane. Or they thought they had another path and learned otherwise. Airlines don't deliberately put people on the plane if they think they might have to take some off.

    Airlines have limits on what employees are allowed to offer. For good reason.

    The guy wasn't mentally ill, by the way. Haven't you ever seen what the Chinese do in airports? He was a jackass. He thought he could get away with it.

    I think United was right to call the cops when he refused to get off the plane. I can't really judge what they did before that point, but I doubt they were all that incompetent.

    All airlines involuntarily deboard passengers. Southwest, which has been snarking at United all day, had twice the IDB rate of United last quarter.

    I don’t know who is in the right here. Both sides make good points. And there is no perfect analogy that can be made to an airplane – even other forms of transportation are not the same because there is some room for standers and because many people will get off (or on!) at stops along the way. A crowded restaurant would never need to kick anyone out because they can just have people wait for a table to open up. But – if a restaurant did start to frequently deny service to randomly selected people and forcibly eject those who resisted, their business would suffer for sure.

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  182. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peripatetic commenter

    That is liable to cause serious brain trauma or even death, followed by a massive lawsuit and a giant shitstorm coming down the department.
     
    While it could be that the fact correctors need correction, it seems that United, whose CEO has referred to the alleged drug-related licensing issues Dr David Dao has had, has slandered or whatever, their passenger and customer:

    https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2017/04/daily-mail-libels-united-passenger.html


    Finally, we should all be glad that the man in question was Asian. If he were instead black… Wow, that’d been some new coverage.
     
    They would probably go bankrupt quicker than they will currently. I like a long, drawn-out bankruptcy.

    This incident is going from bad to worse from a PR perspective. Probably the only thing worse they could do is to hire someone to kill Dr Dao.

    The airline made only one mistake, of picking on a racial minority.

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  183. @Njguy73
    I could shut this whole airline down. Sir? I'll take my traveler's checks to a competing carrier. I could write a letter to the FAA and I could have this airline condemned. I could put... I could put... strychnine in the pretzels.

    At least you didn’t say “peanuts.”

    Those cause life threatening allergic reactions!

    I hope the pretzels are organic and gluten-free, btw.

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  184. @joeyjoejoe
    I'll go META for my last comment on this thread.

    It is fascinating; as an earlier commenter said, its a real rorscharch test. But what interests me is that its a rorscharch test for the Right.

    I consider myself pretty right wing (most of us are-otherwise we wouldn't be here). But my right-wingness is grounded on strong assertion of individual rights-or perhaps more specifically, individual autonomy. I don't care of the doctor was a good doctor, or a well behaved doctor, or someone we would like or someone we wouldn't like. I think he was in the right in the situation, and he should have stood his ground. I don't think my paid-for-seat is sacrificeable just because United wants to cheaply move its employees.

    I'm quite surprised that so many commenters are pretty right wing, but ground their right-wingness in conformity-conformity with the police (do what they say or you deserve the blood you lose), conformity with social norms (don't shriek like a woman), conformity with social norms (he's a pill popping doctor in legal trouble: he couldn't be in the right. So now we like media-driven character assassination?), conformity with the rules of the Corporation (United said X. Do X). Their advice is to behave, give up ones' seat, and go calmly talk to a human resources drone who will pretend to listen while your paid-for-flight leaves without you.


    joeyjoejoe

    Absolutely. People defending the police are fascists-in-waiting.

    Our people (Americans) are more cowardly than most.

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  185. @Steve Sailer
    Right, the captain of a ship or, especially, airplane needs to have arbitrary power.

    Right, the captain of a ship or, especially, airplane needs to have arbitrary power.

    The guy on my block with the longest pubic hairs needs to have arbitrary power to deal with whomever he wills, however he wills.

    Less snarkily, what are you talking about?

    There are numerous cities around the world without a police force. And even more villages and towns.

    Does someone sometimes act in a manner that it would be nice to have an all-wise, all-powerful King Solomon around to resolve? Sure. But we don’t have such a guy.

    Pilots abd captains and kings have gone nuts and Been The Problem too.

    Totalitarianism has a bad track record and is unnecessary.

    Your comment normally comes from a “Thibk Of The Children!” sort of worst-case-scenario person.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The distinction between a village and a vessel is one that the law recognizes. Captains of vessels have traditionally been granted much wider powers.
  186. @Escher

    One wonders how might airlines like Singapore and Qatar handle a situation like this.
     
    With a lot more finesse and customer orientation. American airlines (all of them) act like they are doing their passengers a favor by letting them fly.

    There’s also the matter of Americanos being taught that Escalation rather than de-escalation is the way for Authoritahs to treat people.

    Look, you just pulled over this 19 year old annoying loser white boy who’s high on weed. He’s saying stuff like, “according to the constitution i don’t have to show you my license dude”, and stuff like that.

    He’s no threat at all but he is annoying.

    How do you get to kill him?

    He’s even videoing the encounter.

    Hmmmm.

    Yes. Taze him repeatedly and when he involuntarily thrashes out in a panic as all mammals would, THEN you shoot him dead.

    And because he’s white 80% of the comments on the dead boy’s youtube video will support you. No questions asked.

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    • Agree: Escher
    • Replies: @Escher
    This behavior of law enforcement seems to have increased exponentially after 9/11, when they got carte blanche to abuse their authority, and their ranks started to get populated by returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, who applied the same tactics and mindset at home as they did in the occupied territories.
  187. @Moshe
    Right, the captain of a ship or, especially, airplane needs to have arbitrary power.


    The guy on my block with the longest pubic hairs needs to have arbitrary power to deal with whomever he wills, however he wills.

    Less snarkily, what are you talking about?

    There are numerous cities around the world without a police force. And even more villages and towns.

    Does someone sometimes act in a manner that it would be nice to have an all-wise, all-powerful King Solomon around to resolve? Sure. But we don't have such a guy.

    Pilots abd captains and kings have gone nuts and Been The Problem too.

    Totalitarianism has a bad track record and is unnecessary.

    Your comment normally comes from a "Thibk Of The Children!" sort of worst-case-scenario person.

    The distinction between a village and a vessel is one that the law recognizes. Captains of vessels have traditionally been granted much wider powers.

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    • Replies: @Brutusale
    MUCH wider powers...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keelhauling
  188. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    A ship isn’t a town. If the mayor of a town makes a mistake the result is a hole in the budget. If the captain of a ship makes a mistake hundreds of people die. No sane person will take on that responsibility unless he has the absolute obedience of everybody on board the vessel, including the passengers. Passengers who refuse to obey the captain’s orders, even over trivial things, will be removed from the ship. No captain will take a ship to sea unless he has this power.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Right. A ship and a plane are not a democracy. The Captain is The Law.
  189. @Olorin
    At least you didn't say "peanuts."

    Those cause life threatening allergic reactions!

    I hope the pretzels are organic and gluten-free, btw.

    Peanuts? God, no! I’m not a monster.

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  190. @Steve Sailer
    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/what-really-happened-on-the-bounty/

    Richard Grenier's lengthy review of the Antony Hopkins - Mel Gibson Mutiny on the Bounty remake.

    Thanks, have been looking for that on web ever since I read it the first time in 84.
    Found it after posting yesterday. A bungled attempt to print it out, put it behind the paywall, but was finally able to read it anonymously today on Tor.
    Which got me to looking at Nordhoff and Hall’s Bounty Trilogy again.
    According to them Bligh sailed 3600 miles, while Grenier said 4000.

    Anyway, The Federalist has a pretty good article on the legal contractual issue for United:
    https://thefederalist.com/2017/04/11/did-united-airlines-violate-its-own-contract-by-forcing-that-passenger-off-the-plane/
    Can’t find the other article but the airline bean counters run no show/buy out algorithims in order to come up with the exact target to shoot for in overbooking.
    It makes economic sense, but in this case United hadn’t overbooked. Just messed up.

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  191. @Anonymous
    A ship isn't a town. If the mayor of a town makes a mistake the result is a hole in the budget. If the captain of a ship makes a mistake hundreds of people die. No sane person will take on that responsibility unless he has the absolute obedience of everybody on board the vessel, including the passengers. Passengers who refuse to obey the captain's orders, even over trivial things, will be removed from the ship. No captain will take a ship to sea unless he has this power.

    Right. A ship and a plane are not a democracy. The Captain is The Law.

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  192. @Moshe
    There's also the matter of Americanos being taught that Escalation rather than de-escalation is the way for Authoritahs to treat people.

    Look, you just pulled over this 19 year old annoying loser white boy who's high on weed. He's saying stuff like, "according to the constitution i don't have to show you my license dude", and stuff like that.

    He's no threat at all but he is annoying.

    How do you get to kill him?

    He's even videoing the encounter.

    Hmmmm.

    Yes. Taze him repeatedly and when he involuntarily thrashes out in a panic as all mammals would, THEN you shoot him dead.

    And because he's white 80% of the comments on the dead boy's youtube video will support you. No questions asked.

    This behavior of law enforcement seems to have increased exponentially after 9/11, when they got carte blanche to abuse their authority, and their ranks started to get populated by returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, who applied the same tactics and mindset at home as they did in the occupied territories.

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  193. @penskefile
    I work with people who sell millions of dollars of product to Amazon. Trust me, they travel to Seattle and build relationships with everyone they can. Pinsen is right on the money.

    Replace “build” with “buy” and you’re correct.

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  194. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @O'Really
    Based on my observations, all this business travel does serve a major function - it gets the traveler away from his wife.

    A former flight instructor of mine told me, decades ago, that corporate jets were “basically turbine propelled dildos”.

    Sex has a lot to do with their ‘necessity’. For one thing, it gets execs away from the wives so they can round some up in relative safety and anonymity. The airplane can be used as bait, and serve as a place to accomplish the deed too, whether on the ramp or in the air. Who hasn’t wanted to join the Mile High Club in style?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=867iOLXSkAA

    (Regretfully, joining the Ten Mile High Club seems impracticable, since no commercially available aircraft anymore has a certificated service ceiling above FL 510. Just short of 52800 feet, alas. )

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  195. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @O'Really
    Since early in the campaign, I have felt that Trump could buy himself an easy 5% bump in the polls by promising to fix the TSA from the bottom up.

    It has surprised me that he never seized on this easy populist issue. Of course, the last time he flew commercial, there were no metal detectors, much less TSA. And his WWC people don't fly much either, so he might not really be in touch with the degree of outrage out there.

    The TSA does very little to provide real security for American air travel.

    I have talked more than once with former “elite special operators” (I’ve seen their 214′s and in a couple of cases seen their names in history books: I even asked the legendary Don Shipley about one and found out not only was he legit but that Shipley was in awe of the guy) who have told me that there is only one really secure airline, El Al, and that they would have no problem getting a gun onboard any US commercial domestic flight if they had to. (None would say exactly how, though. Just like no aircrew will tell you how the secret bypass to the cabin door works, but none will deny it’s there, at least on some aircraft.)

    For my own case, I have openly referred to TSA as “the SA” numerous times at airports and have only once had someone say a word about it: a Mexican thought it was a racial slur. I explained that, no, it was a reference to “Europe back in the day” and he let it go with that.

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  196. @Craig Morris
    The man did not go limp and was not unconscious. He was still firmly grasping his cell phone as he was dragged down the aisle.

    The man did not go limp and was not unconscious. He was still firmly grasping his cell phone as he was dragged down the aisle.

    1. You don’t know. I don’t know either. I can only speculate based on the video footage. It shows him a) hitting an armrest head/face first and b) him being dragged away with zero movement. I don’t think he even blinks. Obviously I can’t be sure without seeing it firsthand, but there is good chance that he suffered some head trauma (possibly concussion) and was “out.” His subsequent incoherence and bloody face lend further evidence to the possibility of a concussion.

    2. Knocked out people often go rigid. The fact that he was still clutching his cell phone is not an evidence against the possibility.

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  197. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Achmed E. Newman
    Crashes into buildings, death from impact and total 3rd-degree burns even if you weren't on the plane? No, gracias!

    Besides, what kind of weapons do you think the few air marshals and other law enforcement types carry on board? Do you think their hands have been soaking in ivory liquid?

    Air marshals, at least when the program started were issued SIG Sauer autoloading pistols chambered .357 SIG. (This is not the common .357 Magnum round but a necked down 10mm autoloading cartridge.)

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  198. @Steve Sailer
    The distinction between a village and a vessel is one that the law recognizes. Captains of vessels have traditionally been granted much wider powers.
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  199. @Rod1963
    The airline could have put them on a chauffeured bus for the 4 hour drive to their destination and they could have slept on the way there. It would have been cheaper.

    They didn't, they decided to f-up a old man in front of the entire world instead, because they could since the airlines are above the law. UAL should be called ThugAir.

    Then the blithering idiot and out of touch demi-god/CEO attacked the old man in a press release and thereby antagonizing a billion people.

    God almighty you can't get more stupider than that. That is hard core stupidity that legends are made out of.

    It's like that airline has no idea what customer service and decency means. I'd wager most of their management are either ex-prison guards or convicts.

    Jimmy Kimmel's little commerical on United nails those sociopaths.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xecEV4dSAXE

    “I’d wager most of their management are either ex-prison guards or convicts.”

    Ok, I’ll take that bet. Send Steve the specifics on how to contact you. $1,000 enough?

    “Jimmy Kimmel’s little commerical on United nails those sociopaths. ”

    Good grief

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