However, the true shocker?? This happens 40,000 times a year, according to an Air Travel Consumer Report issued in 2017. Just last week, a business class traveler going from Kauai to Los Angeles was threatened with handcuffs if he did not vacate his first class seat for a “more important” traveler. And, just a month ago, United Airlines barred two teenage girls from boarding a flight on Sunday morning and required another child to change dress after a gate agent decided the leggings they were wearing were “inappropriate.” The disrespect for passengers even worsened when it comes to animals – the same DOT report also stated that United Airlines killed 4 animals it was carrying last year. https://www.transportati
- “Unreasonable force and violence [were used to remove Dao from the plan]” – Thomas Demetrio, Lawyer for David Dao
- “For a long time airlines, United in particular, have bullied us,” – Thomas Demetrio, Lawyer for David Dao
- “With United, the customer is always last,” – Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ)
- “Service really is at the bottom of the barrel,” – Paul Hudson, President of Flyersrights.org
- “The latest example of a major U.S. airline disrespecting passengers and denying them their basic rights.” – Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
- “To grab a person and drag them off a plane is inhumane,” – Rep. Al Green (D-TX)
Why does this happen? Buzzfeed put it best – “Over the last decade or so, 11 big US domestic airlines have shrunk down to five extremely big ones, in a frenzy of takeovers and mergers. With less competition to worry about, airlines are now doing exactly what you’d expect them to do: spend less time worrying about how to keep their customers happy, and more time working out how to make more money…Less competition means you [the airlines] don’t have to worry as much about annoying people with delays or overbooked flights.
In the Midst of this Debacle, the Big Airlines Are Lobbying for MORE Power Over Our Air Transportation System
Just a couple of weeks ago, in a meeting with President Donald Trump, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly made the push to privatize air traffic control, this time fully admitting that the motivation for his push was to get more control over the air traffic control system. Specifically, he stated, “well, we’re not in control. And I think that’s one of the things that we see as the path to having success, is we need to address the fundamental organization of the air traffic organization.” In addition, Kelly continued to highlight the airlines’ desire for control and management of the air traffic control system, saying, “we want the government out of managing the air traffic control system.”
How can we give airlines the keys to the air traffic control system when they are completely incapable of operating a business and treat their customers with disrespect?