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United airlines going against their name

Video of United passenger removed from flight causes a stir across the country

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Sharp kicks and loud screams still haunt Jade Kelley, a passenger of the Louisville, Kentucky-bound United flight 3411, according to CNN.  United Airlines was thrown into the national spotlight but didn’t receive a positive public response after security forcibly removed David Dao, who was also a passenger on United flight 3411. Their reason for removing Dao was because four crew members needed to get on the flight so they could work for another flight in Louisville or that flight would be canceled. United used a system which randomly picked a passenger to be removed from a flight after it was discovered they needed more crew members on the plane. One common airline tactic left David Dao with a severe concussion, a broken nose, and a lasting memory of that traumatic event.

Airlines overbooking flights is a way to maximize profits because there have been many cases of no-shows in the past. Passengers don’t show for many reasons, whether it is not hearing their alarm or getting stuck in traffic. However, satisfying the customers comes before a company’s financial gain. If an airline has a specific amount of tickets then they should only sell those certain tickets. When the customer buys a ticket they expect to arrive at their destination within the estimated time frame. Telling someone they have to get off a flight completely shatters their plans. Yes, airlines are within their rights to kick passengers off the plane, but that serves as an inconvenience to them.

Airlines can select passengers to be removed from the plane if no one volunteers to give up their seat. Although they say the pick is random, airlines tend to bump those who paid the lowest fares according to the Business Insider. Federal law states that a carrier does not have to pay back the booted customer if they can get the passenger to their destination within an hour of the estimated arrival time of the overbooked flight. If the passenger takes a flight that arrives between one and four hours later than the arrival time of the overbooked flight, then the airline must pay 200% of the original fare with a maximum of $675. Lastly, the carrier must pay 400% of the original fare with a maximum $1,350 if the airline gets the passenger on a flight more than four hours later than the overbooked flight.

According to TechCrunch, 46,000 travelers were involuntarily bumped from flights last year. That is 46,000 upset passengers in an unfortunate situation. When one buys a ticket, they expect to have a seat because they have spent their hard earned money for it. Purchasing a ticket and knowing that it still doesn’t belong to its owner is unsettling for everyone. United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has apologized since the incident but recently announced that no one has been fired because of this event. I believe if the airline is truly sorry for the actions that have been made, then they would hold someone accountable for the incident. This incident should have resulted in a man being forcibly dragged from his seat, screaming in terror.

Just because one has a little bit of authority over another doesn’t give them the right to treat that person with disrespect.”

    

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The Voice of Wakefield High School
United airlines going against their name