Posted in Comedy, Tragedy and What the F...?

United Airlines and a Nation of Serfs

air hostess rude middle fingerLike millions of Americans, I was deeply disturbed and appalled by the way United Airlines mangled the removal of a passenger from one of their flights in order to make room for a flight crew that needed to get to Louisville. Certainly the horror of the man being physically “re-accommodated” from his seat, his head smashed into an armrest that bloodied his face, was horrifying enough. But what I found equally horrifying was the sickening realization that we are now officially a nation of serfs.

Corporate America is so huge, so vital to our economy that we are secondary citizens. Corporations are the primary citizens, and as such, they can get away with just about anything. We, on the other hand are the masses of over-marketed consumers with no rights and the guarantee of physical violence against us should we displease our corporate masters. Long gone are the days of the customer is always right. Those days only existed when smaller companies truly cared about their patrons. United CHOSE to handle this situation with violent, physical aggression. And then they doubled down and did not offer an apology. How messed up is that?

Look no further than our federal government to find the role models that underscore the state of our country. We have elected a bully whose cabinet is filled with Goldman-Sachs. Wow, an administration that is just like the United Airlines Corporation. Their motto should be, “if you don’t do what we want, if you don’t like what we do, we can hurt you.” And there it is, on the evening news, what can happen to any of us.

The CEO of United was quoted as saying “the man was belligerent when asked to leave the plane,” trying to make an excuse for the airline’s inexcusable behavior. That was a stupid and unfortunate choice of words. Belligerent means hostile, aggressive and war like. The man dragged off the plane was none of those things, as evidenced by the recordings. He was however, indignant. And who wouldn’t be? The idiots at United put everyone on the plane and then started ordering them off. Why wasn’t this handled at the gate instead of employing violence as a viable solution? This incident is the epitome of everything that is wrong with corporate America. But, I digress. As a United Airlines rep pointed out on the morning news, you and I do not have any rights when we fly any airline. Thanks for the clarification.

United Airlines is one more corporate master, not unlike our current government, which is also a corporate master. “Do what we want you to do. And if you protest, we will fuck you up.” Thanks for underscoring the truth that most of us have suspected, United: we have become a nation of serfs.


Novelist, essayist, blogger, wife, dog-mommy, dancer, dreamer, grateful.

18 thoughts on “United Airlines and a Nation of Serfs

  1. I was shaking my head too at the comment made by the CEO, poor choice of words indeed and lack of accountability for the actions of the employees especially 😡

    1. No one has reported yet who had the bright idea of calling in the police to physically remove the man. Did they think that it was going to be a reasonable looking, kind solution to the problem that they (the airline) created?

      1. Could of been handled so much better, At the LEAST compensate the doctor for the seat or offer an alternative, but to drag him across on front of everyone? seriously?? 😡

  2. Absolutely no excuse for United Airlines’ abhorrent corporate behavior. The CEO of United Airlines should be fired immediately. Blaming the victim is a classic stunt taken directly out of the ‘How To Be A Sociopath Handbook’. Also, one has to wonder which genius made the decision to get the police involved. An over-zealous flight attendant or impatient pilot becoming petty tyrants who couldn’t figure out that raising the money offering would eventually get another volunteer? What about United booking their people on a different airline to get them where they needed to go? That unfortunate doctor had every right to become indignant and resist. I hope he sues and wins big time. Though United would probably use that as an excuse to raise their rates.

    Sadly, I’m predicting our buffoon of a POTUS will come out in support of United Airlines because you know, “Corporations Are People” and that since they have a lot more money they have a lot more power to strip us of our rights and human dignity.

  3. My blood boils every time I watch that video. All the airline would have had to do was keep making the pot sweeter. Offer a free first class flight somewhere or something like that. Make it sweet enough and people would have taken the offer. Then the airline could have avoided all this, not to mention a well-deserved lawsuit which will cost more than just giving the flyers a better offer. (Or having the crew members take a different flight.)

  4. What’s even more disturbing is that there are so few choices in airlines that no matter what United does, we still have to use them. Outrageous behavior.

  5. my mom works for another airline, and she gets treated horribly at some airports MIA in particular. It is so sad I ask her all the time why don’t you say something ANYTHING… they think because they are in charge of seating that they are GODS! that they need to give the seats to their friends. It is really sad, people need to realize they are just at work they don’t own anyone or anything. So tired of corporate america.

  6. To be fair I think it has always been this way although ‘they’ were not quite so graphic with their disdain. They tested us and few fought them and so they said ‘oh okay, we have permission.’ See how the other travelers did nothing except for one woman screaming that it was unacceptable? That’s the exact compliance they have nurtured. Everybody sitting there thinking ‘As long as it’s not me’… until it is them.

    1. I wonder if other travelers did things behind the scenes, such as speaking with someone from customer service, or writing a letter. I’d like to think that I would at least do that much. Unfortunately you make a good point that many times we are relieved that we are not the ones in the cross hairs–until we are. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

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