Tuesday, April 11, 2017
If You're Told to Leave, LEAVE
United Airlines is being fiercely criticized for forcibly ejecting, at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, a passenger who refused to leave when told he had to go because the airline needed to carry a crew of four to make United's flite in Louisville. The criticism is absurd.
No one has the RIGHT to remain on a commercial airliner after being asked by the airline to leave, then told in no uncertain terms that he HAS to leave. The passenger in question was offered a voucher for $1,000 to give up his seat on that flite, but refused, then resisted being escorted off the plane by airport police. Unless a passenger OWNS the airplane, s/he has to leave when told to leave. This is especially the case when the passenger loses no money but indeed stands to gain hundreds of dollars as well as retaining a ticket for another flite to his destination.
An airline has the right to keep its operations going by moving staff from one location to another on its own planes, and if that requires that an ordinary paying passenger has to give up a seat, at no financial loss, then the airline has an absolute right to remove the passenger by force if s/he won't go quietly. United did nothing wrong. The passenger was ENTIRELY to blame for what happened.
Think about this in personal terms. What if you were planning to drive from one place to another, and someone offered you money to ride along. You say, "I guess that would be alrite." But then a close relative announced that s/he wanted to ride along after all, but there would be no room if the paid passenger were permitted to ride in the relative's place. You tell the paid would-be passenger, "Sorry, but I'm afraid I have to take my son / daughter / mother-in-law [whatever], so here's your money back. I hope you find an agreeable alternative. Be well." But the paid passenger REFUSES to leave your car, insisting that he has the RIGHT to ride in YOUR car. Do you let him get away with that, or do you call the cops? I'd call the cops. If the adamant passenger refuses the cops' order to leave, the cops have to drag him out, and in the act of removing him, he hurts his lip, who is to blame? The cops, or the would-be passenger? The passenger at O'Hare brought his problem upon himself, and has no one to blame BUT himself.
If you're asked to leave an airliner, just LEAVE!
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