Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fly The Unfriendly Skies

An overbooked United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville meant that the airline had to ask at least four passengers to give up their seats in order to make room for crew members.
Except that the crew didn't ask anyone - they told people to deplane.
Well, that's the price you pay when you buy one of the last four tickets that should never have been sold.
Except that the passengers who were told to leave were chosen at random, not told to leave based on any time-of-purchase stamp on their tickets.  I haven't flown in eighteen years, so I don't even remember if there is such a thing on an airline ticket - oops, boarding pass.     
So what happens when a passenger who paid for his ticket and followed all the rules is told to get off the plane to correct a mistake that wasn't his own and refuses to to do so?  United gets a bunch of guys to bodily eject him from the plane and almost literally throw them out.
So much for the customer always being right. :-O
Gee, Louisville is only three hundred miles from Chicago, why didn't the poor guy just take the train?
Oh, that's right - he couldn't!
Louisville, as the Amtrak route map excerpt shows below, has no Amtrak service.  (Note also that the map doesn't even bother to show Louisville.)  In fact, apart from Fulton, a small town near the Mississippi River and along the border with Tennessee, and Ashland, the whole state of Kentucky has no Amtrak service!
And as I recall, in 2011, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee at the time, Republican Hal Rogers, refused the Obama administration's request for Amtrak funding, and he was from . . . Kentucky.  
Is there any good news in the United story?  Yes - airline passengers are boycotting United, and its stock is in the toilet.
One more thing: Go Greyhound. 

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