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#300602 - 04/11/17 11:05 AM The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video
NW Ponderer Online   content
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Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15137
The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video - The Atlantic. Many of you have no doubt seen video of a United Airlines passenger being forceably dragged off his flight to be "re-accommodated". The bigger scandal, the article points out is, that they can. This incident, and the corporate response, is emblematic of the rule of corporate America, not "exceptional", but routine. (Although this example may be unusual.)

This was a fully-paid customer already seated on his flight. He was a doctor, on his way to resume his practice, scheduled to see patients the next day. But the airline wanted the seat for its convenience - to send flight crew to another location - and their "convenience" superceded their contract. So, they felt justified in assaulting this gentleman by forcefully removing him from the plane. His "disruptive behavior" was, literally, saying "no".

This example is of a piece with corporate "culture" generally. It is a clear demonstration that corporations are not "people." A mantra in many a CEO's office is that their "job" is to make as much money for "the shareholders" as possible - which is patently not true, but is treated as a truism. Corporations are given their charter, and given legal status and protections, to improve society. That's "the truth." Instead, they use that form as an excuse to behave inhumanely. (They have been given a powerful ally in the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.)

It is no surprise, really, that our "CEO" Presidents (e.g. Bush, Trump) perform so poorly. Most CEOs do as CEOs, too. (Why do CEOs fail, and what can we do about it? psychology today.) Trump's multiple business failures are the norm, not the exception. "Top executive failure rates as high as 75% and rarely less than 30%." This rate of failure has a common, familiar cause: hubris and a lack of empathy. It happens when the CEO acts like a corporation.

Consider the biggest corporate scandals: cigarette marketing, the Ford Pinto, Enron- and so many, many more. They come about when the corporate leadership forgets that their customers are human beings - and so are they. It's the kind of mentality that allows a jurist like Neil Gorsuch to put corporate "convenience" above, literally, their driver's survival. And allows an airline to justify dragging a paying customer off a plane so they can fix their personnel scheduling conflict. No, Mitt Romney, corporations aren't people too. How many more examples do you need?
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#300603 - 04/11/17 12:00 PM Re: The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video [Re: NW Ponderer]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8486
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
This may be a case where the free market exerts its influence to punish the corporation. I can see people all over the country looking to book a flight and saying "no freekin' way" to United.

As for United, they may be thinking about how much cheaper it would have been to charter a plane for their employees, or to have offered more money for volunteers to give up their seats. I can't see how injuring a man while evicting him from the plane (even if they had the right to do so) will end well for the company.

I see United's actions as another example of the right wing tendency for fascist authoritarianism that is in vogue these days.
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#300611 - 04/11/17 06:46 PM Re: The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6541
Loc: North San Diego County
What incredible corporate stupidity! United actually did not overbook the flight, but rather decided after the customers were seated that they wanted to kick four passengers out to move employees to man another plane at the destination. This has nothing to do with their algorithm for overbooking to fill seats. (Which they could easily fix by getting rid of overbooking and making every ticket non-refundable unless the seat was taken by a standby passenger.)

They messed up crew scheduling and they should have paid to fix it. So why not just keep offering more cash to the passengers. When they got high enough, somebody would have volunteered. $800 might not have been enough, but up around $2000 I bet they would have a dozen volunteers.

Or they could have looked at putting the crew members on another airline. Or put them in a rental car and driven! It's less than a 5 hour drive from Chicago to Louisville. For what they paid to the volunteers, they could have actually hired a driver so the crew members could sleep during the trip.

I think this is a case where all they have is a hammer, so everything looks like a nail. The point where you decide to use violence against a paying customer should be much much more than $800. More like $100,000. Think of how much the lawsuit will cost you.

Really, isn't this like saying: "The price for an Uber ride is too expensive right now so I will mug the driver and steal the car." The airline and passengers were in the middle of negotiating prices, when the airline switched tactics and went for violence. Seems criminal to me.

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#300616 - 04/11/17 11:16 PM Re: The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6541
Loc: North San Diego County
Here's an interesting idea. Keep negotiating but make it a reverse auction. Let every passenger who wants submit a secret bid on a piece of paper with their name on it. Then the airline picks the cheapest ones. Make it a contest to see who has the lowest price. It they did it that way, they are paying attention to how much people want to stay on the flight.

This is a lot like realizing that some people are mildly irritated by your new bill before Congress, while some people are ready to kill you for other bills. They are not all equivalent.

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#300617 - 04/12/17 12:45 AM Re: The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video [Re: NW Ponderer]
Ken Condon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 3683
Loc: Eugene, OR
Not here to excuse United’s over the top reaction to this event, but something struck me as “funny” about the passengers reaction to being removed from the flight. Please read the linked article in its entirety and see what you think:

Link
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#300618 - 04/12/17 01:37 AM Re: The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Online   content
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15137
It turns out the crew wasn't even United personnel, but a sister airline. Dao may have been a prick, but he was, in my view, within his rights to be so.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#300619 - 04/12/17 02:53 AM Re: The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
Member
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Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40081
Loc: Puget Sound, WA

Southwest Tweeted:



smile , LOL
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#300620 - 04/12/17 03:50 AM Re: The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video [Re: NW Ponderer]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 12437
Loc: Whittier, California
I hear a lot of arguments that United's decision was LEGAL, and that the ticket has Terms of Service that stipulate these conditions. I still tossed it off anyway because the legality of their decision to unceremoniously bounce this doctor isn't the point at all.
No sir, the legality is not what's up for discussion, the OPTICS are.

They were faced with a decision to serve their employees or their customer and chose the former, and resorted to using MUSCLE to enforce said choice.
Again, it's all about the optics.
That one video erased squillions of advertising and public relations dollars in one stroke, and even if there had been NO video, a news story about the incident would have done the same.
Large corporations fail miserably at optics sometimes.
In fact, these days, they fail at it more often than not.
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Recognizing this ought to tell us what we are dealing with."
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#300624 - 04/12/17 05:03 AM Re: The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
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Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40081
Loc: Puget Sound, WA

Just about the entire Internet has come together, a rare thing indeed, to denounce United Airlines. Hmm
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#300626 - 04/12/17 08:35 AM Re: The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40081
Loc: Puget Sound, WA


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