Tuesday, April 11, 2017

EXTRA: United mess – Oh Good grief!

I suppose it’s only inevitable that if Chicago is going to be a hub (to listen to us say it, we’re THE hub) of the nation’s transportation, that stupid incidents involving transit are going to occur in our city.

Such as the recent incident where a passenger on board a United Airlines-affiliated flight was removed by force from the seat he fully paid for just so airline employees waiting for a flight on standby could be accommodated.

WE GET THE distinct displeasure of having airport cops at O’Hare be the ones who got to bloody-up a doctor who was trying to get back to home in Kentucky, where he was actually expected back soon for medical reasons. Heck, even President Donald Trump was offended by such behavior, and our very own Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., is talking about Congressional hearings into the airlines’ conduct.

Because the doctor was not exactly someone who could afford to wait for another flight just because someone with the airline oversold the number of tickets intended for that specific Chicago to Louisville, Ky., flight.

Which for me is a key factor to comprehending this incident. Someone paying for a flight has a very serious expectation of getting to his/her intended destination by a scheduled time. I don’t comprehend where a pilot (the so-called captain of his airplane) gets a right to have them removed. Then again, I don’t see where a paying customer has to justify their reason for needing a flight. The airlines’ apology was cheap!

I suspect if I had been in that same situation, my reaction to being removed from the flight by force would have been remarkably similar to that of Dr. David Dao.

AND AS FOR those people who are taking seriously the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper report about the doctor’s criminal record (some drug-related offenses more than a decade ago), keep in mind that I’m going to take more seriously the outrage amongst people in China who are using the Internet to contemplate a United Airlines boycott.

They couldn’t help but notice what actually was my initial impression when I first saw the video – they picked out a “Chinese” guy to bump from the plane. It has me wondering how long until this incident becomes the equivalent of the Asian woman who claims recently she was denied a ride by one of those private car services because of her ethnicity.

My guess is that I’ll never be able to comprehend how an airline employee could have a paying customer bumped. Most businesses are like back when I worked at a suburban-based Carson, Pirie, Scott department store and we workers were told to keep our cars parked a certain distance from the store so that customers could have the prime parking lot spots.

By United Airlines logic, I could have had a paying customer’s car towed so I could have his spot, then perhaps also blamed for any damage the tow truck caused while sloppily removing the vehicle.


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