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A Puzzlement

When did airlines stop sorting out overbooking at the gate and start doing it after the passengers were on board with carry-on luggage stored in the overhead bins? It is a lot easier to deal with problems in the open space of the gate area than trying to remove someone from the restrictive space of an aircraft cabin.

I’m getting the feeling that the flight was overbooked; people were boarded until all of the seats were filled; and then the four United employees showed up needing a seat. If the airline knew they needed four seats for a crew, they should have filled those seats first, and then start boarding paying passengers.

I realize that flying is now considered a privilege that requires you to submit to annoying/humiliating security theater, and you have almost no rights after putting out a considerable amount of money. This is why CEOs want a corporate airplane – so they don’t have to put up with this crap.

I was fortunate enough to have done most of my flying on commercial aircraft when even tourist class got real silverware to eat with, and the food was delivered by people who were smiling and seemingly enjoying their jobs. When flights were overbooked, airline employees seemed to be genuinely sorry about the problem and worked to get you on another flight. Today passengers are no longer customers, but simply objects to be moved from point A to point B when it is convenient for the corporation.

Update: Wikipedia has a decent summary of the event and the United contractor, Repulic Airlines flying as United Express, whose employees were responsible for this situation.

April 12, 2017   2 Comments