Monday, April 10, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Hate United Airlines



I don’t know if you saw this news item https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/business/united-flight-passenger-dragged.html?_r=0  , but it’s great.  In particular, scroll to the last video where the dude is jogging up and down the aisle chanting "I have to go home" with a bloody face.  United Airlines oversold a flight from Chicago to Louisville.  They needed to get four ticketed passengers to get off the plane so they could ferry a crew to Louisville for a departing flight the next morning.  Normally United’s move is to dangle a $100 voucher out, up it to $250 and then, if you really sweat them out, they might make it $500.  Personally, a $500 voucher isn’t worth it for me to become a refugee in O’Hare airport sleeping on the floor and scrounging in the garbage for discarded Cinnabon.  Apparently the people on this flight were of the same mindset I was as well, as no one took the unprecedented $800 voucher bait.

United then decides they are going to remove “random computer generated passengers” from the plane.  The guy in the video is sitting there, maybe leafing through SkyMall deciding if he wants to buy a fur lined microwave bacon rack, when someone says on the intercom “11B please exit the plane”.  Now if I’m that guy sitting in 11B having bought my ticket on United.com four weeks ago so I can go to Louisville today, I’m thinking “No way I’m leaving.  I paid for this ticket up front.  I’m just going to sit here and wait for my bag of mini pretzels.”  There is no chance he is thinking a couple goons are going to rough him up and drag his ass out of there. 

United then sends in the three bouncers in black sweatshirts who literally drag him out as he goes completely limp like Ghandi.  I like the screaming in the background, hopefully from his wife who got to witness this public castration.  The best part is that the plane sits in the terminal for two more hours with an obviously jumpy cabin and then they let the guy get back on the plane “disoriented and with a bloody face”.  I spoke with my associate Mr. Lanphier this afternoon and we speculated that this passenger was taken to a mysterious windowless back room.  Once there the men bound his hands behind him with plastic straps while seated on a metal interrogation chair.  Then they took turns “giving him the business”, though maybe “working him over” might be a better term.  I like the idea that perhaps he was slumped over in the chair after absorbing his beating when there was a quiet knock at the door.  The United Airlines agent from Gate 23 leans in and whispers “Can I talk to you guys for a minute?”.  The goons walk outside the door where frantic whispering goes back and forth, stops while they all stare at the slumped body bound to the chair, and then begin whispering again.

“OK, we have a seat in 19D.  How are we going to get this guy on the flight without a lot of hub bub?”  They decide to fill a metal bucket with cold water and throw it in the face of the unconscious Kwan.  Kwan breathes in sharply and then dissolves into a coughing fit spitting out the water and blood.  “Dr. Kwan?  Dr. Kwan?  OK.  We are going to untie you.  We are going to let you get on that plane… but only if you keep your fucking mouth shut about this.  Spider over there wanted to kill you and dump your body off Runway C, but you seem like a good guy to me.  The kind of guy that knows how to keep his fucking trap shut.”  Dr. Kwan then starts crying and Spider tells him to "shut the fuck up".

The shaky Dr. Kwan holds gauze to his bleeding face and in a daze gets back on flight UA3411 to Louisville.  United, aware of this potential public relations powderkeg, quickly rushed in to do the right thing.  By “right thing” I mean offer him a “$25 voucher good for in flight savings for entertainment and snacks on his next domestic United flight”.  Knowing Dr. Kwan might push for more after he begins to piss blood from the kidney punches he took when he was “getting the business” from the goons in the back room, they have already green lit an additional upgrade to economy plus with “added leg room for your comfort and convenience”.  This will be provided only if Dr. Kwan can somehow navigate the telephone dungeon of 1-800-United “help” line.

Then things began to get away from them.  After this all hit the news cycle, United had move into “crisis mode”.  They quickly noted in a tweet that “this is deeply upsetting to all of us here at United”.  I would think dazed and bloody Dr. Kwan would have been more upset than United Airlines, but maybe that is being nitpicky.  It’s good to know they thought they should tell the public that they are upset.  “Man, I’m upset we beat that guy’s ass”.  They are also “going to conduct their own review with a sense of urgency to review what happened”.  That means “we are going to get on the same page and figure out what our spin on this situation is when we have to go on Good Morning America and lie like crazy”.  They are also “reaching our directly to this passenger to further address and resolve this situation”.  That means “we are going to try and give him a bunch of vouchers before he gets a team of lawyers to sue us for a shit ton of money”.


I don’t know how this will end up, but I do hope that I get to get on a plane at some point with a logo of a dazed and bloody Asian guy painted on the tail section.  Kwan Airlines will be able to get me from Chicago to Louisville with 50% less assbeatings than United I’ll betcha!  Until then, I am going to sit in my crappy uncomfortable United coach seat and not make eye contact with anyone.       

3 Comments:

At April 10, 2017 at 6:38:00 PM EDT , Blogger Mike Scott said...

I'm getting on a plane headed to Buffalo in a few hours. My plan was to leave myself plenty of time to find the venue where the Whiskey Daredevils are playing this Friday. But with this United thing my new plan is to parlay my free time into thousands of dollars of airline script by volunteering to give up my seat when the plane is overbooked. As many times as it takes. Someone has to protect the people.

 
At April 10, 2017 at 6:43:00 PM EDT , Blogger Mike Scott said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At April 10, 2017 at 7:27:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

That's why our fanbase is globally known as being Guardians of The People. Plus, you probably don't want to get hit with a baton in the face like that poor guy.

 

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