Thursday, April 13, 2017

Headline: Security beats the snot out of an uncooperative airline passenger. United Airlines is at fault!

While reading the local scandal sheet, I came across the brawl on Flight 3411. One way or another, I came across an interesting blog entry that inspired me to a fisking.

I Know You’re Mad at United but… (Thoughts from a Pilot Wife About Flight 3411) by AngeliaJGriffin on April 11, 2017

AJG: If there’s one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that there are always two sides to every story.
There aren't. You'll find as many sides to a story as flies at the local bar. A few even sound reasonable, and if Divinity is smiling on you, you'll actually find someone who was actually there, and that's one more story.

AJG: On April 9th, a very unfortunate incident played out on United Flight 3411...
Yeah, 'unfortunate'. That's a nice way to describe getting a concussion and having your front teeth knocked out. Real unfortunate.

AJG: 1) “You can’t just kick a paying customer off the plane!”
Actually, they can, and they do it regularly.

The Pilot of an airplane occupies the same areas of responsibility and authority as does the skipper of a ship, or the driver of an automobile. They have what amounts to absolute authority on board the vessel. In the case of an airplane, the pilot decides if it's safe to fly, and that includes weather, the plane's mechanical condition, the phases of the moon... whatever. The pilot also decides who rides and who doesn't. So, for instance, should the pilot see a passenger that he thinks poses a threat, he can direct that passenger to leave. In this case, four names were pulled out of a hat and Dr. David Dao was one of them. The pilot ordered him off, and that should have been the end of the story.

AJG: 2) “Kicking a paying customer off an airplane!? I’m taking my business to Southwest!”
So what? We at United Airlines can do without you and the (at best) several thousand other people who boycott United. Sit and spin.

AJG: 3: “So what’s this ‘must ride’ nonsense anyway? They shouldn’t bump a paying customer for a free employee ride!”
Rest assured that United Airline employs a lot of people whose job it is to watch the bottom line on service. That means flights, individually and collectively. United is more than willing to severely inconvenience four people to accommodate an entire flight load of other people. That's what happened in this case.

AJG: 4: “It’s the airline’s fault for not planning better!”
AJG: You obviously have no clue about the complexities of aviation travel and should do some research.
It is United Airline's fault for failing to have the necessary crew ready and waiting where that crew was needed, and for not having at least two backup plans in place for that rare occasion when standard operating procedure fails. I've been in the transportation business and I know what I'm talking about.

The reason that errors like this happen is money. Profit. Scratch. Long green. It takes money to have backup personnel on standby, and that expenditure cuts into profit.

So United Airline has a choice. They can either make less profit (heresy! heresy!), or they can better accommodate their passengers. Do I really need to draw anyone a flowchart here?

AJG: 5: They shouldn’t have picked the minority Chinese doctor! It’s racist.”
First off, Dr. David Dao isn't Chinese; he's Vietnamese. Secondly, playing the race card isn't going to gain you any allies - unless you count mainstream media, SJWs, various left-leaning special interest groups, roughly half the politicians in local, State and Federal governments, and, well, you get the idea. No, this selection was not motivated by race, but just try proving it.

AJG: 6: “United should go under for assaulting that passenger! Fire the entire crew!”
Yes, the crew should be fired, but for entirely different reasons. The crew should be fired because of their rude behavior and fascist attitudes. They treat passengers like retarded herbivores that are infested with parasites and not completely housebroken.  Which does describe a few of them to a tee, but not all.

AJG: 7: “You piece of **it!”
Yeah, yeah. Again, so what? The passengers have no real recourse against poor treatment by airline personnel, and the workers know it. Airlines are subsidized by the government, and are unregulated. Workers are unionized.

In 1978, airlines were deregulated. This was supposed to provide much better everything for everyone, and the U.S. would have more airlines, passengers would have cheaper fares, there would be more and better flights... surely we have all died and gone to Heaven.

Fat chance.

By 2001, eight major airline carriers went belly up along with several hundred small carriers, including the dozens formed right after deregulation in 1978.  Fares have dropped by a whole 30% in a few areas, but certainly not in all areas. In fact, in some areas fares have actually increased (imagine that!).

The major change, however, involves service. While airlines were regulated, a ticket was a ticket was a ticket.  You bought a ticket to Las Vegas, there were no discounts or shenanigans, you just boarded and left.   The price was the same all over.

So that left service as the only real difference between airlines.

If your luggage got banged up, it mattered. If your luggage was lost, TWA would offer up a human sacrifice if you would just give them another chance. Sexy stewardesses (and these girls were lookers, believe me) were convincingly glad to see you as you boarded, would help you find your seat and stow your luggage.

Seats were bigger. Passengers in first class got treated like visiting royalty.

And while I'm at it, for any SJWs or Feminazis reading this, there was plenty of discrimination and everyone was glad there was.  You had to be young and very good looking to be a stewardess.  If you were fat, or ugly, or smelled bad, or were not a nice friendly person, you could forget it.  The friendly skies were for someone else.

Now, no one cares. The staff are all government workers who can't be fired, and we, the great unwashed, are an annoying interruption to their otherwise pristine day.

The thing that bothers me most about this is the attitude of the security guards; when you clearly have authority and superior force, it's more fun to shout orders, demand instant obedience, and use force than to waste time being nice.

If we the people want this to change, promising to boycott the airlines isn't going to get it.  Write your elected official and demand that the Federal Government reassert regulations over the airlines.  After all, the government likes to control things, right?  And here's something that desperately needs to be controlled: Airline Ticket Price.  Standardize prices and flights.  Let the airline compete on service.  The people will win if that ever happens.

I'd like to add that security personnel are careful about picking their battles. In plain language, you won't catch any of them trying their strong-arm crap with Oliver Thompson, Tyron Woodley, or Tonya Evinger.


CWMartin said...

Deregulation was another fine example of the Law of Unintended Consequences. We keep forgetting the part about "fallen humanity". Works in person, works in business.

Mad Jack said...

You nailed it, CW.