It's time to bring the airlines down to Earth, so to speak, and remind them who's in charge.
The United Airlines outrageous treatment of a paid passenger, admitted through the gate to board a UA flight, in his seat ready to fly home, gets dragged from his seat and suffers significant injuries, all because UA knowingly over-booked the flight, and after boarding a plane full of passengers realized that getting some of its employees to the plane's destination is more important than those paid, seated passengers.
UA made an offer, sort of, to get some passengers to voluntarily give up their seats. But this paltry offer did not work, and so the purge began, and a doctor flying home so that he could keep appointments in his office the next day was selected to be removed from the plane, one way or another.
Despite an insulting and embarrassing initial response from the airline's CEO, and a more thoroughly thought out response a couple of days later, UA now properly is the target of a law suit to impose both financial punishment and well-earned financial renumeratiion, and is enduring the abundant and well-deserved ridicule and criticism for its arrogant position re: passengers.
Less objectionable than the United fiasco, but no less ridiculous, is the practice of the American Airlines change policy, which imposed a 57% fee on two potential passengers wanting to change their flight date because a visit to an active duty USAF member was interrupted by orders for the airman to go overseas at the exact time the couple was going to visit the airman.
Other outrageous items also exist.
A news report noted that among all U.S. airlines, paid-up passengers had been bumped from the flights they had booked some 430,000 times in 2016. A common excuse for these inconveniences was to allow airline employees to travel, instead of paying passengers.
Let's not lose site of the importance of all businesses, even airlines, to turn a profit. And perhaps it is a difficult situation for airlines to show a profit in the current environment.
But U.S. airlines had better wake up and smell the anger that their potential and actual passengers harbor: They are POed.
After all, without passengers, we don't need airlines or airports. Flying is sometimes necessary, but more often it is a convenience, and there are other ways to move about than flying.