Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bumpy Flight

Even the sports guys were talking about this with a nod to the Globe for front-paging it (bottom left):

"A passenger was violently removed from an overbooked flight. Now some are urging a boycott" by Christopher Muther Globe Staff  April 10, 2017

Pictures and video of a bloodied man being dragged by police from a United Airlines flight spread across the Internet Monday, creating a firestorm of ill will toward the airline and focusing attention on the practice of bumping passengers off overbooked flights.

What other flights are in the air today, dropping bombs? 

Oh, I'm sorry, I need to focus my attention.

Tens of thousands took to social media Monday to call for a boycott of United and the firing of its CEO after the upsetting images of the man being dragged by his arms down the aisle went viral.


The video shows the shrieking man forcibly removed from the plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport Sunday night by police officers. The man and three other passengers were bumped from the flight so that United could fly four employees who were needed in Louisville the following day. The man, who was not identified, said he was a doctor who needed to fly home to see patients.

It is the second high-profile embarrassment for the airline in recent weeks, after it refused to let two girls board a flight in late March for wearing leggings. As of Monday evening, the hashtag #boycottunited was trending on social media, reflecting the rampant outrage. 

Hey, lady, you mind moving?

United was slow to offer an apology then appeared to apologize for the overbooking but not for the violent removal of the passenger. Audra Bridges, who said she was on the plane and posted video to Facebook, told the Louisville-based newspaper, the Courier-Journal, that passengers were allowed to board the flight but were later told that four people would need to give up their seats for United employees who were needed in Louisville on Monday. The airline was offering $400 and a hotel room for volunteers willing to take a flight the following day at 3 p.m.

When no one volunteered, an airline manager came aboard and said passengers would be randomly selected and asked to leave.

That’s when the trouble began.


When the United flight finally took off two hours late, the four United employees were seated. Bridges said they were berated by passengers and told they should be ashamed.

And you are in close quarters in that little aluminum cylinder. 

Everybody stay calm, will ya'?!

United spokesman Charlie Hobart told the Associated Press: “We followed the right procedures. . . . That plane had to depart. We wanted to get our customers to their destinations.”

Hobart declined to say how the airline compensated the passengers who were forced to leave the plane, saying he did not have those details.

Last year, United forced 3,765 people off oversold flights, and another 62,895 United passengers volunteered to give up their seats, probably in exchange for travel vouchers. United ranks in the middle of US carriers when it comes to bumping passengers.


Professor John Banzhaf of the George Washington University Law School said he believes that the passenger has a very good case against the airline if he decides to bring a legal action and that the force used to remove the doctor may be considered excessive.

“In addition to the tort of simply removing a passenger even if the force to do so was reasonable, it might be argued that the force used here was excessive,” Banzhaf told the website LawNewz.com. “In other words, even if somehow the law permitted a passenger to be removed by force under these circumstances, it would appear that the force used here was excessive, and that the airline acquiesced in the use of that excessive force.”

According to the US Department of Transportation, overbooking flights is not illegal, and most airlines oversell to compensate for no-shows. Airlines are allowed to set their own policy for the order in which they will bump categories of passengers. Airlines will usually bump people flying on the cheapest tickets because the required compensation will be lower.... 

I'll bet it's a tough landing, too!


Still waiting for my ears to pop.


"Navy’s Blue Angels will stop using maneuver that killed a pilot" Washington Post   September 18, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Navy’s Blue Angels stunt team will stop performing the aerial maneuver that a pilot attempted before a fatal crash in June, and the team will implement a variety of other changes after an investigation found pilot’s errors caused the crash, Navy officials said Thursday.

Marine Captain Jeffrey Kuss, 32, attempted to eject but did not do so in time, the report said. The mistake killed a well-respected pilot. Partial cloud cover and possible fatigue on Kuss’s part were listed as contributing factors.

Investigators noted that Kuss did not sign a required ‘‘A-sheet’’ to formally accept his aircraft that day, turn on his transponder in the plane, or turn off the afterburner despite saying over the radio he would do so, according to Navy documents....



Some fly with the angels:

US investigating plane crash in suburban Phoenix home

Conn. plane crash was a suicide try by student, US official says

I'd say a bus was better but....

"Driver, 2 players, child die in N.C. bus crash" Associated Press  September 18, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The bus driver, two football players, and a 10-year-old child were identified as the four victims killed after a bus carrying a South Carolina junior college football team to its first game ever crashed on a North Carolina highway, State Police said.

The wreck involved the football team from Ramah Jucco Academy traveling to Raeford, N.C., to play University of God’s Chosen. Troopers say most of the players on the team came from Clinton College in Rock Hill. The Ramah Academy team held open tryouts around Rock Hill in the spring and summer.

Coach Derrick Crawford said on his Facebook page this was Ramah Academy’s first game ever and invited fans to come out and wish the team luck before they left Saturday morning....


Have you had your car inspected lately?

UPDATE: United CEO apologizes for treatment of passenger dragged off plane


United CEO apologizes for treatment of passenger dragged off plane

Want to boycott United? Good luck with that.

At least my ears popped.

Also see: 

United to change its policy on police

It turns out airlines are actually doing better — and getting bumped is rare

Delta OKs offers of up to $9,950 to flyers who give up seats

"Seven people were killed over the weekend in small-plane crashes in Illinois and Texas, authorities said...."

United won’t fire anyone for fracas with flyer

Hope you don't need your passport.

"The Apache is the US Army’s premier helicopter gunship and is designed to support ground troops with an array of weapons, including a 30mm cannon and Hellfire missiles.... Two dead in Army helicopter gunship crash in Texas"

Crashed in South Korea, too. 

What kind of war junk are they producing these days?