Unfriendly Skies

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Unfriendly Skies

Anna Costa, Editor in Cheif

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Most people can not stand the stress of going to the airport and trying to get through the security lines, baggage check, and all the other frantic people trying to get to their planes on time. But what is not going through most people’s heads at the time is if they should be afraid for their safety from the very people who are there to protect them.
Carolyn Rink expressed how she felt about what happened on the plane, “It was absolutely horrible what happened on that plane, I just can’t understand it.”
A few weeks ago, United Airlines was in a horrendous scandal. A doctor who was sitting patiently waiting for his plane to take off, was dragged forcibly from the plane. The incident started when United overbooked their flight, though this is not a rare occurrence. Airlines usually over book flights to try and save money and in exchange for passengers giving up their seats they give them credit to get another flight. A United Airlines attendant went on the loudspeaker and asked for passengers to give up their seats twice and no one offered, which is completely legal, they bought the seat they are able to keep that seat. After that, they announced that they would pick seats at random and those they picked would have to leave the plane. The doctor’s name was called and he stated that he would not be able to give up his seat because he had patients that need his attention and taking a latter flight would cause him to miss his patients.
That is when things escalated, a security team came on to the plane and brutally dragged the man from his seat. A video of this bloody altercation has stormed the web, causing extreme outcry from the public about the mistreatment. In the video you can see the fear on the man’s face as he is dragged down the aisle on the floor of the plane and the outcries of a women and the passengers on the plane.
The doctor filed a lawsuit against the Airline and the Airline released a statement that read, “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.” The term “re-accommodate” has caused its own public outcry, leaving people to wonder if they will be “re-accommodated” from a United flight one day. As of now the case has now been settled but the amount has not yet been disclosed but what happened to Dr. Dao has now started a call for changes in the airline industry.
More and more information has come about the incident as time goes on and more information is released and as file is collected. According to security on board the doctor was waving his hands, while a couple sat near him reported that he was calm. The company is now in a complete PR mess and their stock dropped 4%, losing 1 Billion dollars, the day after the incident as stated by CNN full report of the aftermath. After this the company’s CEO Oscar Munoz announced that they airline would no longer use law enforcement to remove passengers from the airplanes. And right in the beginning of May the CEO appeared in front of the United States Congress and expressed, “It is my mission to ensure we make the changes needed to provide our customers with the highest level of service and the deepest sense of respect. Ultimately our actions will speak louder than words.”
Though if it wasn’t enough a United passenger was stung by a scorpion and a married couple kicked of their flight, but they are not the only ones. Tens of thousands are removed from flights because an airline overbooked. American Airlines has also been in the news for an incident that occurred on one of their planes involving a women, two babies, a flight attendant, and a few passengers on the plane.
A women carrying two young twins had her stroller ripped from her by a flight attendant hitting her and nearly hitting the babies, as the passengers have reported. The incident heated from there when the flight attendant started screaming at passengers who got up to defend the lady who was trying to hide her babies as she was crying. The airline was quick to condemn the incident.
Jen O’Reilly, a frequent traveler, had a lot to say about the overbooking, “I’ve always flown with United just because it’s so convenient and it’s always been great and easy. Over spring break though when I was going away I noticed that they overbooked almost every flight there and were actually paying people to take a different flight the next day, but it still wasn’t a direct flight to where they needed to go and I just didn’t understand why they would do that especially in a time like this when many people are traveling for spring break.”
Airlines have been in a very heated and escalated state with all of the incident occurring these days, one can only wonder if this will lead to bigger court case and big changes to they way that airlines are run.

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The student news site of Warwick Valley High School
Unfriendly Skies