The United story ( is really beyond comprehension. First, I thought airlines were required to bid up the price until someone accepts, whether 1000 or 10,000 dollars. And even if they aren't by law required, what an idiotic, self-inflicted and in the end hugely expensive wound it is to forcibly drag a paying customer off a flight. Just wow.

@JohannesMauritzen it is mind boggling, and I'm heartened that public reaction had been swift and critical. Now, if the people responsible are brought to justice....???. As of now, It looks like the Chicago police department are backing up the airport police's actions. Oof.

I'm not even getting into improper use of force. Or the racism.

@CraigHStuart This seems to be part of the problem - everyone *individually* was just doing their job, following company policy and apparently the law (?). No one was empowered to just say, hey stop, this is ethically wrong, and oh, by the way, also a huge corporate mistake. This was a company culture mistake, and in the end it is the CEO and other executives that are responsible for this. Heads should roll.

@JohannesMauritzen the company messed up big time when they, as you pointed out, didn't offer escalating bids.

Coming from a military cop background, I honestly think that the cops who assaulted that man and dragged him off the plane were more than happy to do so.
And plenty of people will say ' well, he should've followed orders', as if not following a verbal command gives someone the right to assault a person. No, no it does not. It was not legal.

@CraigHStuart That is an interesting perspective and background to have! Especially with all the police controversy recently. I imagine you are right, perhaps they were more than happy to get some "action" at work. But maybe strangely, I blame them the least. At the point where the airline gives up coming up with a peaceful and fair solution to a customer who just wants what he paid for, and instead calls *The Guys With Guns*, then they had already messed up.


@JohannesMauritzen I agree with you. It's failure all the way down. The first fact is, the airline itself goofed, and should've eaten a massive cost (pay people to volunteer) to get their own people on the plane. The people in charge were constantly escalating the situation. And the 'apology' letter from United's CEO is appalling and tone-deaf.

@CraigHStuart After having thought about this for a while, I think the best outcome from this story is if congress actually changed laws requiring airlines to escalate bids and not forcibly bump passengers (it seems airlines should willingly do this, but then I am assuming they actually compete for customers, which these quasi-monopolists don't). Better yet then, break up the big carriers. Since the president is fighting for the little guy, this should work out, right? (note sarcasm)

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