All right, I tried to stay out of this mess and not comment on the United Airlines debacle, but now I can’t help myself after reading this in the WSJ today:
Lawmakers Put Heat on Airlines
House members tell United and rivals to treat fliers better or face new regulation.
Lawmakers on Tuesday warned U.S. Airlines they faced more regulation if they didn’t follow through with pledges to improve customer service following the widespread outcry over the treatment of a passenger last month.
How fitting, coming from the worst customer service organization in our whole country: our government. On top of that, since when does the government get to step in and dictate to private companies what their customer service levels should be, so they can meet some arbitrary government standards?
I don’t know about you, but I get so sick and tired of politicians spending all their time making grandstands to win votes instead of governing and doing real work. Do we even need these guys anymore? I think it’s time to drain the swamp — completely.
United Airlines lost $1 billion in value one day after their mistreatment of Dr. Dao. They were torn apart by every media outlet possible because it was a sensational story to report, and they were ridiculed to the ninth degree by every comedian out there. (My favorite was the hashtag “#NewUnitedAirlinesMottos” posted on Twitter: “Early boarding, late boarding, water boarding. It’s all the same to us.” Now that’s funny.) But, none of that even matters as much as the punishment they will receive from consumers, and that’s how it should be.
Do you think they need to hear from some bag of wind like the committee chair Republican Bill Shuster from Pennsylvania? He told them, “Congress will not hesitate to act, if we don’t see meaningful improvements. I can assure you that you won’t like the outcome.” Darn, United must have not given enough to Shuster’s campaign and now they are paying for it.
Don’t think for a second that I am defending United’s actions or policies. They obviously need improvement, but everyone completely loses track of what really happened. Everyone just wants to get outraged and stand on a pedestal to preach.
We should all know that when an officer of the law tells you to do something over and over, it is not going to end well if you don’t comply. Dr. Dao refused to heed the officers’ warnings and cajoling prior to being physically removed. He then proceeded to fight them and wildly flail his arms all over, which caused the officer to lose his grip and Dao to fall face first into the arm of one of the seats.
If he would have gotten up and left the plane peacefully, you and I wouldn’t be discussing this at all right now, and windbag Shuster would have had to find someone else to pick on for the day.
If the latter scenario would have happened, Dao would have been upset (probably more like mad as hell), and he probably never would have flown with United again. However, United would have provided him a nice hotel room for the night and $800 or more for giving up his seat. Not bad for a minor inconvenience.
There is much more background to this story, such as Dao losing his medical license. He was only allowed to practice one day a week. Also, he apparently ran back onto the plane yelling that he wasn’t going to leave, and that they would have to kill him to get him off the plane again. They were not dealing with a rational person.
None of this makes for a pretty story or sight to see. Now Dao has settled with United for an undisclosed amount. He has basically been rewarded for his behavior instead of being charged with assault or battery of a police officer,or resisting arrest, or whatever the appropriate charges are. And we wonder why people act the way they do.