A Real Do-Nothing Day. . .

We never left the rig. In fact we never even opened the rig door.

Very nice.



I did spend a good bit of time working on a new website, trying to configure a lot of photos so they can be posted. I’ve got a ways to go.

Still enjoying my new Jetpack MiFi. I checked the speed this morning about 2:30am and got over 30 Mbps.

Looking forward to picking up my new Galaxy S8+ this coming Friday. Of course then I’ve got several days work loading and setting up a lot of apps. But this will be a good chance to weed out programs that I really don’t use any more.

Following the recent story of the doctor who thrown, literally, off a United flight. I’m always interested in how the story changes after one of these big events break, and this one has been all over the place.

But right now the consensus of the many law blogs I read is that he’s in line for a big payday, maybe as big as 8 figures ($10,000,000), but we’ll see.

Initially everyone pointed to what’s known as the Contract of Carriage, the 30+ pages of Federal rules, the fine print on your ticket.



Because the initial story said the flight was ‘overbooked’, people looked at that section of the rules. And if you’re still at the gate on an ‘overbooked’ flight, they can deny you boarding for pretty much any reason. But the kicker here was that the flight was not overbooked, but was fully booked, with every seated filled.

And all the passengers, including the doctor, had been seated.

Then four United cabin personnel showed up at the gate and needed to get to Louisville so they could work a flight the next morning. The gate agent then went on the plane and ask for four volunteers to take a later flight (at 3:45 the next afternoon) and offered up to $800 in compensation.

When no one volunteered after repeated tries, they had the computer pick four passengers at random, who were basically told to get off or else. The ‘else’ being they would be forcibly ejected. At this point two passengers left.

Turns that the ‘at random’ picking wasn’t really random, but used an algorithm that looked at what class they were flying, (economy class got kicked off before business class who got kicked off before first class, etc.), what clubs they belonged to, how many miles they had, and how early they had checked in for the flight. The problem with all this was that once the Doctor was on board and seated, a whole new set of Federal rules come into play.

Under Part 21 – Refusal to Transport, there are 19 specific reasons a passenger can be ejected from a flight, like being drunk, barefoot, smelly, 9 months pregnant without a note from your doctor, blind with no escort, etc.

But not one of these reasons is needing his seat so a company employee could fly instead.

So then when the Doctor refused to deplane the ‘police’ were called  The problem here was that the three gentlemen were NOT really police, NOT Law Enforcement Officers. They were Chicago Aviation Police, i.e. they were licensed non-armed security guards, just like Jan and I are for gate guarding. In fact it is questionable whether or not they had any legal right to even be on the plane.

According to eyewitnesses and the several videos, when the Doctor refused to leave the plane, he was tazered, punched in the head several times, dragged from his seat, hitting his head on the opposite armrest and was knocked unconscious.



At this point he was dragged out of the plane and left bleeding and still unconscious in the jetway while the three ‘gentlemen’ went to find a gurney or stretcher. I guess they figured that just continuing to drag him thought the terminal would be bad form.

At some point he came to, and dazed,confused and bloody, stumbled back into the plane, mumbling both that he had patient’s to see tomorrow morning and he wanted his laptop.

At this point he was once again dragged from the plane.

He ended up hospitalized with a severe concussion, a broken nose, and two missing teeth.

At first the United CEO blamed the whole thing on a ‘rowdy’ passenger that they were required to ‘re-accommodate’. But that didn’t stick, as the videos of the bloody, unconscious 69 year old Asian doctor went viral on the Net.

Then it was a ‘sincere’ apology. And when that didn’t help, the CEO promise to never, ever throw a passenger off a United plane again.

Passport America, Save 50% on Campsites

At this point the rest of the Internet piled on with some really hilarious themes.

Fly Delta – We Beat The Competition, Not Passengers!

United Airlines – We have an offer you can’t refuse. No, really.

Flight: $400, checking a bag: $25, getting dragged down the aisle: priceless

And even new seating charts.

United Flight Club

So that’s pretty much the story at this point. The three ‘gentlemen’ have been suspended and will probably fired. But we’ll see how it plays out for the rest.


Thought for the Day:

Some people are Humbly Grateful, while some are Grumbly Hateful.

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3 Responses to A Real Do-Nothing Day. . .

  1. Butch says:

    Greg,

    Thank you, for taking the time to research the whole UA debacle, and writing up an understandable, summation of it.

    As I used to fly a lot, I find it interesting, but I have neither the time nor the patience to track it all down and try to sort it out.

    As you say, “we’ll see how it plays out”.

    Butch

  2. Great Post Greg. Thanks for that research, and great info.

    The whole thing was fishy smelling from the onset. My initial thought, when I first heard the story on the news was…why did the 4 overbooked passenger waiting in the boarding area have a greater right to be on the plane than the passengers already on the plane?… to the point of being beaten and dragged off the plane to accommodate them.

    But now that you say it was Delta employees that needed to be somewhere it makes more sense…well not really.

     

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Well, as if it is not enough to have to run the gauntlet in getting past the guards…even though you have not done a criminal act in your life is not a guarantee that you will not face unconstitutional treatment.  I have permanent damage in my gut from my last flight out of Raleigh over a year ago now.  I continue having issues crop up…caused by the pounding on my fat gut from the street person who was the gate nazi?  Who knows…time will tell.  I wish someone had videoed my treatment.  I feel certain it was a race thing…I am also Cherokee however, but that only faintly shows…if only that nutcake knew…I am still angry.  I cooperated in every conceivable way I knew.  We have since gotten the finger printing job done and investigations, and so it is supposed to avoid such treatment.  We did make a short 3 day trip to LA, flying from Seattle in Oct. and that went ok.  So we shall see.  I am in no way looking forward to flying again…I still hope maybe we can find another mode of transportation, even if it takes longer to get there and back!!  I was simply horrified to see how that poor man was treated.  And it seems he did have a valid need to get to his destination.  But even if not…he paid for his ticket.  I hope United has to pay a huge price…now and from now on!!

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