Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
By now, we’ve all taken sides.
Most, I suspect, are on the side not occupied by United Airlines.
It got law enforcement to drag a passenger off a plane, breaking his nose and smashing his teeth. And all because he refused to “volunteer” to take $800 and vacate his seat in favor of a United Airlines employee.
The airline didn’t even let Dr. David Dao and his wife have their luggage, instead sending it with the plane to Kentucky.
While United’s CEO Oscar Muñoz finally apologized — that took some time — one United pilot says there was a far better solution.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, it talked to an unnamed United pilot who believes that the airline was, indeed, in the wrong. It shouldn’t, he thinks, have called in law enforcement.
In his view, the gate agent should have said: “Folks, we’re not leaving until someone gets off. If someone doesn’t take the $800, we’re going to cancel the flight.”
No, he didn’t speak in bold letters. It’s just that his thought process boggles my mind till it boldly boils where it’s rarely boiled before.
This United pilot believes there was no more room for negotiation. (Unlike Delta, which last week raised its compensation limit to a bumping $9,500)
This United pilot seriously believes that the airline and its employees are paramount and if a passenger expresses a sense of injustice or merely stands his ground against patent excess, then service should be denied to every single passenger on the flight.
He believes that there’s nothing wrong with airline employees turning up at the last minute and displacing paying passengers who just might have somewhere to go too.
I contacted United to ask what it thought of its pilots draconian tendencies. I will update, should the airline get back to me.
Do this pilot’s words represent the feelings of airline employees? I have heard of several, commenting on the use of law enforcement, say: “Well, what else were we supposed to do?”?
The message to passengers is very much in bold letters.
You don’t matter. We just want your money. Otherwise, we want you to shut up and accept whatever it is we decide to give you and whatever we decide to take away.
This used to be a service business. But when 80 percent of all airline seats are in the hands of just four companies, what sort of service should you expect?
None, according to this United pilot.