Daily Discussion with BQB – The Guy That Was Dragged off the United Airlines Flight

Here’s my take on it, 3.5 readers.

On the one hand, the idea that you can purchase a ticket to leave on a flight at a certain time and yet be moved off of that flight even though you have plans and you’re on a schedule totally sucks.  If the airlines depend on seats to move their employees where they need to go, then they should keep a certain amount of seats open and eat the cost.  If the distance isn’t even that far, say four hours or less, the company should rent a van for the employees to drive to the next location rather than bump paying passengers.

On the other hand, rightly or wrongly, this is a legal practice.  I’m sure buried 10,000 lines down into the fine print on your ticket for any airline and not just United, that the company reserves the right to bump you off a flight.  It sucks, but as long as it’s legal, people have to comply with it.

Yes, complain.  Yes, raise a stink.  However, once the cops get involved…leave.  There’s a disturbing societal trend where people think they have a right to not comply with the police.  Even the worst lawyer will tell you that if you think you’re being unjustly hassled, just shut up, do as the cops say, and then if you really have a case, sue later.

In this case, the guy should have walked away rather than be dragged away.  Take the next flight, then sue for the cost of your missed work, any burdens you suffered, etc.

This is probably a learning lesson that the law should be changed and airlines shouldn’t be allowed to overbook and passengers should have a right to expect that a ticket on a plane at a certain time means they can to leave on a plane at a certain time.  However, as long as this is the law, suck it up, leave, and then seek whatever legal action possible to reimburse whatever the delay cost you.

What say you, 3.5?

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11 thoughts on “Daily Discussion with BQB – The Guy That Was Dragged off the United Airlines Flight

  1. Dakota Kemp says:

    “There’s a disturbing societal trend where people think they have a right to not comply with the police.”

    Thank you, BQB! Someone finally said it. There’s a lot of plain ol’ common sense in this post.

    I don’t know that I agree that we need to introduce new laws into the mix though, even for the flight companies. Too many rules and regulations are what make travel and other stuff a nightmare already. That being said, overbooking is highly irresponsible from a business/customer relationship viewpoint, and the fact that it has become common practice for airlines is disturbing. Perhaps widespread boycott of air travel would convince some airline companies to drop the practice?

    • that quote is super true–however, I have to wonder about why a company would bring the police into a situation where the company screwed up and can’t deal with it–yes, officer, remove that man because we f-ed up and need to take off soon. All sides were at fault, but the airline was stupid as hell. Yes, send a message to the airlines to get their act together.

      • Though the policy is stupid, it is still in effect, and if they ask him to leave and he won’t leave, calling the cops is unfortunately the only other option.

        I feel like the key would be to bump people before they make it onto the plane. Surely, they must have enough advance notice – i.e. they know how many check ins they’ve had, how many seats left, how many workers need seats that they should be able to tell four or five people that they’re getting bumped before they get on the plane.

        Once they’re on the plane and have to be told to get off of the plane, its a confrontation waiting to happen.

      • Dakota Kemp says:

        I agree that the airline company didn’t do anything right here, but the police are just doing their jobs (actually it was airport security, not the police, but whatever), which is to enforce the laws and regulations. Once the police show and ask you to leave, it’s time to comply. Bring your case forward later in a responsible manner.

        But, yeah, the airlines really didn’t make any good impressions with how they handled the situation, that’s for sure…

      • yeah, what a mess all over. I bet if they’d figured out their mistake BEFORE boarding, there wouldn’t have been a problem. Granted, this is from somebody who has never flown before, so I’m learning. Just seems like a lazy, crappy policy that bit them in the butt and (if we’re all lucky) this incident might get them to take a harder look at their policies on employees and passengers and spell them out for everyone. Less lawsuits if there’s no “accepted practice” about as useful as being written on toilet paper (someone who works at an airport told me that).

    • More competition might help. Then again, if they have to compete for profits, they might skimp on, oh I don’t, plane repair. Also I took a train once. The connecting train was late and I had to stay over in a city for a night, room comped. Trains screw up too.

  2. We weren’t there. We see partial/clipped/edited videos designed to incense the public. We have no idea how it all REALLY went down. I’ve heard he was on the phone with his lawyer checking if they could legally throw him off for no fault of his own. Is that true? I don’t know. And I probably never will. Will I fly United? No. But I didn’t fly them before this either. LOL

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