United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for "higher-priority" traveler

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/12/united-passenger-threatened-wi.html


I wonder how they are going to try to character assassinate this guy?


Not that I have flown in years and United doubly so… jeez guys way to double down.


He has a moustache in the picture. Well you know who else had a moustache…


I’m hearing the sweet sounds of their stock tanking


United appears to have a seriously warped idea of how they should run their business.


Wow! I’m actually, quite literally, flabbergasted. I just … can’t. Wow.


Here I thought this was a double post. I guess the joke’s on me. And United customers.


It boggles my mind that airlines are not legally required to fly with the people whose butts are already in their seats. They have total control of the boarding ramp, they have control over issuing boarding passes. If the boarding pass is accepted, and you make it to your seat, you should be allowed to fly. How is this not a law?

Somewhere between the first passenger boarding, and the moment when the plane pulls away, there is still sometimes a chance for the airline to make more money. Sometimes. Tough Beans, you fly with what you got: how is this not already a law?


This apparently happened some time in the (distant?) past (LA Times doesn’t say when), and the issue was that an emergency equipment change meant that the new plane didn’t have as many seats as the scheduled one. I don’t know what the best thing for an airline to do in such cases, but at least they didn’t discriminate in favor of the first class passengers over coach passengers.

Doesn’t really matter when it happened. In this particular instance, “He had to fly to Hawaii last week for a business conference.”

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Read the fine print people. Both this situation, and the United/doctor situation that started all of this, are all started because a passenger refused to go by the rules (the law actually).


I’m guessing the more important person would not be interested in sitting in coach surrounded by babies and next to the toilet.


The ‘when’ is pretty clearly laid out in the article, which is datelined yesterday:

Fearns, 59, is president of TriPacific Capital Advisors, an Irvine investment firm that handles more than half a billion dollars in real estate holdings on behalf of public pension funds. He had to fly to Hawaii last week for a business conference.


When they yank someone from a flight at the last minute, what happens to their checked-in, presumably loaded luggage?

Somewhere at the heart of this, there’s probably some management by statistics ideology/cult that crushes individual thought.



that guy selling mustache rides and then he made me leave to make room for someone more important?!? I hate that guy!

Character assassination doesn’t change the illegality of the situation and the law/rules part of what you are saying is not as firm as you think. Read the other recent post on here for a more detailed, point-by-point rebuttal, but essentially, once a passenger is seated, they are not to be removed unless they are being disruptive or not complying with the (lawful) demands of the air crew. Removing a passenger due to revenue improvement or changes to the passenger list are not lawful demands.


Some of the reports about the good Dr’s past aren’t not character defemation. It’s character definition. His conviction and the heretofore’s of it are public record, not some made up fallicies. Does it entitle United to treat him as they did absolutely not. But what his past says about his character is not on United, nor does it absolve them of their reprehensible behavior.

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The total control runs all the way through. Basically they can eject you at any time before the plane takes off, and even if you sue the laws are heavily skewed in their favor. It’s a pretty shit deal all around for the passenger.