Over the past few days, everyone, I mean everyone, has been talking about the dreadful experience one passenger had while seated on a United Airlines flight leaving out of Chicago O’Hare. By now, everyone has seen the horrifying video and disturbing photos. I’m sure Pepsi and Kendall Jenner are happy this incident took the spotlight off of them.
Still can’t believe it took United’s CEO days to issue an apology after he stood firm that what had occurred on that flight was not a problem. It took backlash from literally millions of people and losing around $950M in market value for him to see the error of his ways and finally apologize to this poor man.
Social media has been abuzz with calls to #boycottunited. There have even been some rather comical posts and memes using #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos. While I have to admit some are pretty clever, we need to address the situation at hand. United Airlines violated a person’s rights and there is nothing stopping them from doing this again.
Honestly, boycotting United Airlines isn’t going to do much in the long run. They’ve already started slashing their fares, so when someone needs to get from point A to point B for a reasonable amount they’re going to fly United, it’s that simple. I bet in a month, maybe even 2 weeks, this whole situation will have blown over and people will be flying with them as normal, it’s the nature of the business.
While I understand the point of boycotting, these major corporations get away with bad behavior all of the time. Until it gets to the point where they’re settling lawsuits and losing millions of dollars by the day, nothing is going to change.
The craziest part of this whole situation is it has exposed a set of rules called “Contract of Carriage” which protect airlines in the event things like this happen. You can view United’s here. These rules basically give airline carte blanche to deny passengers boarding for numerous reasons. However, it definitely doesn’t include dragging people off of planes because they refused to “volunteer” a seat they paid for with their hard-earned money.
While I’ve had some less than stellar experiences at airports and on airplanes, they certainly never amounted to anything of this caliber. I really hope this serves as a wake up call for United and the other airlines that doing business this way is totally unacceptable and things need to change.
The only winner is this situation is Emirates, who posted a video yesterday with just the right amount of shade towards United. View it here.
What do you think, are you planning to boycott United? Does this latest incident change your opinion of the airline?