Well, apparently airline management doesn’t consume news. If they did, they’d know and understand that, right now, screwing over their paying customers is a VERY BAD IDEA. Now it’s Delta’s turn. They kicked a family of four off a flight – from seats that they had paid for – because of overbooking. Again, like with United, the passengers had boarded already. They had paid for four seats, one for the husband, one for the wife, and two for their small children.
The excuse from the airline is that the family refused to give up the 1-year-old’s seat and carry him in their laps. My perspective – as with the man in the video – is that they paid for that seat. Long story short, they screwed over a paying customer on the way back from a Hawaiian vacation, and the family ended up having to spend over $2,000 for a flight on another airline.
What ties all of these incidents together is POWER. By law, failure to comply with the instructions of any member of a flight crew is a federal crime, and the airline personnel have gotten drunk with that power. In this situation, they threatened peaceful paying customers with federal imprisonment and the loss of their children. And for what, exactly? For refusing to give back a seat that they had paid for in good faith.
What amazes me is that these incidents keep happening, on a daily and weekly basis, despite the negative publicity. What amazes me even more is that memos haven’t gone out from airline CEO’s reading something like this:
To all employees of XXXXX airline:
We are under the spotlight now. Yes, we’ve been able to treat passengers rudely with impunity for years, knowing that the cops will back our play, whether we are right or wrong. However, something’s changed. These smartphone thingies that people carry now can actually VIDEO what we do to our passengers – did you know that? And apparently we can’t ban passengers from carrying them.
So, until this blows over, let’s clean up our act a bit. No more tossing people off of flights that they’ve paid for. No more assaulting passengers (I know, some of you may have to go to anger management courses). No more bringing in the cops to fix our overbooking problems. You see, if we don’t regulate ourselves, the government may step in, and we know what we won’t like what they do.
In short, for the near future, let’s not be idiots. OK?
That memo SHOULD be going out this morning from airline CEO’s all over the country. It won’t. What’s the end game? Simple. History shows us that any industry that refuses to self-regulate eventually gets regulated (and perhaps overregulated) by the government. We’re heading for a collision course here. Look for Federal legislation – or regulation (each has the force of law) to be introduced banning overbooking.