So, as it happens, I’m delayed (with thousands of others) by bad weather at the scene of yesterday’s United Airlines crime against a human, O’Hare Airport. Without exaggeration, I can say that it is the talk of this place — I’ve overheard dozens of conversations about it as I walked around killing time.
Patrick Smith, who runs the Ask the Pilot blog has some insight into this incident. One observation I’d make is that it’s about time that a mainline carrier like United got a black eye for some of the shit their commuter junk airlines pull. My experience with the commuter airlines is that many of them seem institutionally unable to keep a schedule, and alarmingly casual about cancelling flights.
That said, I’m wondering if the real reason this guy lost it is because he had just paid $18 for a call cocktail at a bar that doesn’t even have a fucking outlet to charge your electronics. Or maybe he visited a bathroom where none of the “energy saving” sensor faucets would turn on to wash his fucking hands. He might have partaken of some of the truly mediocre, grossly overpriced food available here, such as Wolfgang Puke or Chili’s Diarrhea Factory. Perhaps he had to have his carry ons pawed through by some junior g-man because some other cop wannabe thought he saw something tucked in between the underwear and the teeny tiny toothpaste. In fact, there are so many possible last straws that could have triggered his act of defiance that I can’t even begin to speculate. I’m just surprised that incidents like these don’t happen more often.
Also, spare me the notion that this guy was picked at random. If this guy had any United status – hell, if he even had a goddam UAL credit card – he wouldn’t have been bumped.