It's been an interesting few days since the video of a man being carried off a United Airlines flight went viral.
Everyone has their thoughts on this. I have a few, too.
I understand the concept of overbooking upsets a lot of people, but the airlines know better than I do how many people don't show up for flights. If it means ultimately I pay less, then I'm OK with that. And generally, it all works out. I've been bumped waiting to board a flight. I've just never been bumped after I was already seated.
That's where I feel like United made their big mistake.
I get they needed another crew to get to another airport or else even more people would be inconvenienced, but when no one took their monetary offer to leave the plane, the solution was simple: offer more money.
At some point, it would have been worth it for someone to step off the plane. United let the prospect of spending more money grow into a much bigger issue.
As for the man who was carried off, I will say this: sometimes things don't go your way. Sometimes things are just unfair. But, at a certain point, you have to understand what your options are. Forcing people to carry him off the plane just delayed the inevitable -- and it hurts, too.
One last thought. I saw a few media stories aimed at filling us in on the man's troubled legal past.
What does that have to do with any part of this story? This isn't about his job or his past. It isn't even about overbooking or about airline policies. It's about people on both sides of a conflict completely losing perspective and letting things escalate way out of proportion.
Luckily, that never happens anywhere else.
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