United Airlines and the Price Race to the Bottom

United Airlines and the Price Race to the Bottom

United Airlines is a dickwad. By now, just about everyone knows the incident where police, at the request of United Airlines, forcibly dragged a passenger off a flight because he refused to give up his seat, resulting in injuries to the man. United Airlines wanted to bump him and 3 others so they could seat four of their own employees.

United had unsuccessfully appealed for volunteers who were willing to give up their seats for $800, stay in a hotel and fly the next day. The passengers were removed so airline staff could get to Louisville to man a flight the following day.

That’s when airport law enforcement was called to remove him man by force. Passengers screamed ‘my god what are you doing’ and ‘this is wrong’ as the man was yanked from his seat. He appeared to go limp after being slammed against a headrest and one passenger said he was ‘knocked out’. When no-one else came forward, the air crew came aboard with four slips of paper with the names and seat numbers of passengers and began informing them they had been chosen to leave the plane.

‘They approached his doctor and told him to get off the plane,’ he said. ‘He refused because he had work the next day. He’s a medical doctor. He was very emphatic, “I can’t be late, I’m a doctor, I’ve got to be there tomorrow.’

Anspach, who said that the whole situation had put him off flying with United in the future, said that he saw the passenger hit his face when staff dragged him off.

United has since issued an apology. They say they are working with authorities, who have suspended the officer in question. Yada, yada, yada.

I have heard several people declare they would now be boycotting United Airlines because of this incident. I can respect that and mostly agree with it. It is an egregious misstep on the company’s part. United is not an airline which routinely covers itself in glory. But by and large, every airline has had instances of terrible customer service. Yes, even Southwest Airlines, which has one of the best reputations in the industry. Read more about United Airlines and the Price Race to the Bottom