Monday, April 10, 2017

Why Should Police Help United Airlines Cheat Its Customers?

Via Twitter:  United's action in having a man attacked and dragged off a flight yesterday was heinous. So is the fact that police officers cooperated.
The world is rightly abuzz over an awful incident yesterday in which a man was beaten and dragged off a plane by police at Chicago's O'Hare airport for the crime of wanting to use the seat he's paid for on a United Airline flight getting ready to leave for Louisville.

The man claimed to be a doctor who had patients to see the next morning, explaining why he neither took an initial offer made to everyone on the plane to accept $400 and a hotel room for the night in exchange for voluntarily giving up his seat nor wanted to obey a straight-up order to leave, in an attempt on United's part to clear four seats for its own employees on the full flight.

No one considered even the $800 that was offered after everyone had boarded enough for the inconvenience, so United picked four seats and just ordered those in them to vacate. But the one man in question was not interested in obeying. (Buzzfeed reports, based on tweets from other passengers, that the bloodied man did eventually return to the plane.)

While United's customer service policies in this case are clearly heinous and absurd, let's not forget to also cast blame on the police officers who actually committed the brutality on United's behalf. NPR reports that the cops attacking the man "appear to be wearing the uniforms of Chicago aviation police."

While there may be something to be said for the ability for private businesses to summon the help of the police to remove people from their premises if they refuse to leave peacefully and their presence is unwanted, there he is no excuse for the police to cooperate when the reason their presence is unwanted is not "causing a disturbance" or being violent or threatening to other customers, or stealing goods or services, or doing anything wrong at all, but rather wanting to peacefully use the service they legitimately paid for.

Shame on both United for calling the cops on a passenger to make the lives of their employees and business easier, and shame on the police for having any part of it.

Link to the rest of the article.


Lem said...

There is video and pics of the incident, including one of the bruised man coming back to his seat.

AprilApple said...

Over-booking is a sham policy.

chickelit said...

Is there is anything Chicago can't screw up?

Sixty Grit said...

Did I ever tell you stories about what happened to my coworkers who were on a company-paid vacation at a resort in the Dominican Republic?

No? Well stop by some time and we can talk. All I am saying is the DR thugs, er, police carried fully automatic weapons, and based on what goes on in airports there, they need them.

ampersand said...

There are two black security/cops dragging off an east asian elderly doctor. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Lee Lee's Valise said...

I saw the video.

The airport police are as close to Nazi's as you can get. You give people a little power and it goes to their head. You need to assert your white privilege.

Of course this gook couldn't do that.

In cases like this I have one rule. WWJD.

What would a Jew do.

Amirite ric?

JRoberts said...

United should have kept increasing the value of the voucher beyond the $800 until there were enough volunteers. It may have cost United a little more, but it's still less than they're going to pay now through lawsuits and bad rep.

AllenS said...

A long time ago, flying used to be enjoyable.

Amartel said...

Now it's Russian Roulette - who shall be one chosen to be publicly shamed and physically assaulted for daring to insist that a pre-paid expensive service be provided as ordered?

Trooper York said...

I always enjoy flying. Of course I do it under false pretenses.

I reserve a wheelchair because of my heart. So I have somebody push me to the front of the line. Because I have a pacemaker defibrillator I can't go through the machine. I just have to pretend to be weak. Of course I am kind of weak since it is usually early in the morning and I feel like shit.

But to go back to an old post I do tip the wheelchair people liberally so they are very happy to push a fat old white guy around the airport.

Rabel said...

He fought the raw and the raw won.

AllenS said...


Methadras said...

Rabel wins the thread and the internet today.

Methadras said...

I am normally a law and order kind of guy. Normally, but there are times when you see or read about shit that makes me upend that crap on its ear. This is one of those times. I've seen people in the commentariat internet wide saying that he should have complied and it would all have been no problem, but let's look at the facts as we know them related to this particular incident.

United overbooked, a practice that should frankly be made illegal. If you can't fill your seats by appropriate sales practices, then who's fault is that? Not the passenger's fault, that's for sure. In overbooking, they created an immediate hostile environment, when they had to dead-head their employees to another location for operations. Again, that isn't the PAYING passengers fault. That is on United for being logistical morons.

Then when realizing they have a problem, they ask for volunteers to deplane and get compensation. No one takes them up on the offer, so they up the compensation again. No one takes them on the offer. Then United proceeds to pull their carriage rules out of the hat, choose four people at random, and then proceeds to ask them to deplane. These people are paying customers. They committed no crime, they are not under probable cause, they simply did not volunteer which is a VOLUNTARY activity to deplane. So when United pulled this bullshit rule, which again, along with overbooking, should be made illegal because United took their money and bound themselves by contract. Maybe a lawyer here in contract law can educate me in that an acceptance of payment is an agreement between both parties under their rules and guidelines, which in this case appears to be one way and in this case, United can break at any time?

Then when this passenger refuses to leave because he has done nothing wrong and was singled out at random, he is clearly under the belief that he paid to be there and rightly so. So, then United in its grand wisdom calls the cops who ask the man to deplane because United fingered him as a random who had to make way for their employees. In doing so, the cops became participants in enforcing, and I believe unlawfully, an escalation towards violently removing this passenger, who is now under duress, without just cause, without committing a crime, without due process, nothing. And then proceeded to injure him along the way to carry out United's wishes.

I would feel the same way and frankly, I would have defended myself again these cops if asked to deplane unlawfully and without merit. Yeah, I might end up on the wrong end of it, but I'll still have my fucking dignity intact, and everyone involved will be seeing the inside of a courtroom. No doubt about it. United created this mess, now they are going to pay for it and I hope they lose.

Sixty Grit said...

Better to die on your feet like a man than live after being seen getting your sorry weak ass dragged off an airplane, or something.

Just think about the payoff from the lawsuits, however. He will be able to buy his own plane now.