60 Seconds Exploring Design & Technology since 1988

United Airlines: How stupid do you have to be?


Am I the only one asking questions about the United Airlines episode? The news media and social media are having a feeding frenzy on this news story leading me to question whether or not there are intelligent adults involved. How stupid is it to believe that the cabin of an air flight about to take off is the appropriate place to question the reasons for instructions from the crew? How stupid is it to believe it’s okay to disobey official demands to the point of endangerment to yourself and those around you? Is everyone really taking the side of a guy who decides to precipitate such a nasty scene? I’m just asking questions.

Writing for aNewDomain, Ted Rall says :

“Thanks to the United Airlines passenger battering scandal, folks are finally mad enough at the airlines to do something about it.”

Mr. Rall needs a dictionary. It was neither a “battering” nor a scandal. He’s wrong on both accounts, and along with the main stream media, is leading the public to the wrong conclusion. Is that why we’re mad at the airlines? David Dao’s run-in was his own fault, and it was not with United, it was with law enforcement. I’d like to see Mr. Rall the next time he argues with the trooper about why it was okay to run the red light. Stupidity comes in all ages, colors, shapes and sizes.

Forbes says “United has Fake Values” … Market Watch says “United Airlines’ bad week cost Buffett and other investors millions” … last night’s babbleheads gave news of a copy-cat story… I’m astounded. All these supposedly intelligent people have missed the most important point in favor of political correctness or mob rule. Has that become the rule of law?

The recent chain of events surrounding the removal of a problem passenger on an airline is a tough situation, and one we should all pay attention to. Sure, maybe airline policy needs an overhaul. Maybe many regulations could be more lenient. But do you argue it in the cabin of the airplane at the gate? As of now, United is being tried in social media court and forced to apologize for their rules. However, if you put your brain in gear, the story suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

1) Should passengers refuse any orders they don’t like from crew?
2) Should flight attendants ignore a combative or unruly passenger?
3) Should crew demands be negotiated and decided there on the spot?
4) Should other passengers step in to help decide who is right?
5) Should the flight be delayed while arbitrating crew instructions?
6) Should passengers resist law enforcement orders?
7) Should courts find in favor of passengers who refuse crew orders?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you should study the most important question:

Do you realize by virtue of purchasing a ticket and boarding that aircraft you have agreed to and are obligated to obey ALL crew instructions and FAA regulations? And, that if you don’t, you are subject to arrest and prosecution under state and federal laws? Yes, Mr. Dao, you did indeed agree to that.

I realize there are many who don’t read the regulations surrounding air travel. Seriously, how stupid is it to resist crew instructions to the point of physical violence — regardless of the reason for the instructions? How stupid was David Dao to think he would be successful? What did he think the outcome would be? Or was he really counting on making a huge social media issue and extort money from United to ‘make it go away’? After all, what’s a few teeth after you’ve settled for millions out of court? Believe it or not, there are people who actually think that way. And, now there are copy-cat cases popping up with the same plan: violate the rules, get thrown off the flight, sue the airlines and walk away with a pile of cash.

When is being stupid the slippery slope? I’ll let you be the judge of that one!

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60 Seconds Exploring Design & Technology since 1988
Fred Showker explores design, graphics, computing, social media, marketing, and the online world with an eye to entertaining, amazing information that will possibly make you think!

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