As we probably all know by now, the removal of a 69-year-old passenger from a United flight turned violent a few days ago. If not get out from under your rock and google that stuff. I have talked to one person that felt the man deserved all of it and more because he had a bad attitude, but for all of us normal people, it’s shocking!!!!!
My Take Away
First, we have learned that Ed is responsible for training United Airlines personal. Who is Ed? Ed is a former counter-narcotics officer from Mexico. He now teaches counter custody, knife work, and other security classes.
In all seriousness, a lot of his classes look wicked cool.
Now for real
It takes no time for the memes to start. We live in a world where people have smartphones that can take pictures, videos, make memes and message them to everyone we know, pretend to know, and don’t know at all in second.
Savvy competitors are more than happy to join in on meme roasting. Meme wars are not just for Trumpkins and Bernie Bros.
Right now United may feel like the kid in school who had the bad luck of having their yoga pants rip. Everyone, even your friends laugh when that happens.
That means it’s time to save what little dignity you have left as everyone can see your Dora the Explorer underpants. This means it is probably not time to do the following things
- Deciding to be cute and try to call it re-accommodating
- Blaming the passenger ( I had a debate with one of the few people that bought this as a justification)
- Saying the passenger tripped
- Praising the people involved and saying they went above and beyond their duty
- Use the word voluntary to describe a bloodied man being dragged down the aisle.
Or do, cus the CEO and CPD don’t give a fuck
So what should they have done?
Overbooking is part of the airline industry, it happens and it helps keep prices down. However, like many things
government regulations intervene and in this case shelter the airline from some of the costs. Basically what the airline can pay you to Volunteer to get on a different flight is 1,350 maximum. Now United did not even go up to this number before deciding to use force. I imagine that saving that 500 dollars per person seems really smart right now. 2000 dollars, enough to run a 747 for all of 4 and a half minutes
But let us say that they had offered the full 1,350, a number that feels even smaller when compared to the price of some international tickets.
Even worse let us say that no one volunteered, then once again we are
back to using force.
A little deregulation would go a long ways. If airlines can offer more money and actually get people to volunteer.
But what about now?
The airline was clearly suffering from a lack of creativity to go with being cheap. And trust me I know about being cheap. Now I am no lawyer but as I am reading this giving out tickets is not capped in value, it just has to be greater or equal in value to the cash you would receive as a minimum. Offering ticket vouchers may be a more effective method of getting people to volunteer.
Maybe I am just easy but I would take a voucher for free tickets to anywhere or somewhere I really want to go much faster than the money.
I would more than happily take a free flight to the UK. Or even settle for Japan. It would make me happier than money and makes happier costumers. As the ticket price is nowhere near the cost of the seat it does not cost the airline as much in reality as it does on paper.
An additional option that came to me
One last option to avoid all this mess, a private car. It would have cost about 300 dollars to take Uber from Chicago to Louisville. Did United offer to pay 800 and have a private car drive you to Louisville/ home? No, They opted to use force.