Watch bizarre video: United Airlines employee pushes 71-year-old to floor, leaves him motionless

Originally published at:

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I’m lost, what happened there?

Why is this back in the news? This happened years ago.


There’s no clue on Boing Boing. I hope the WaPo has something, a case filed, a case decided, but I can’t click through.

Maybe posted here just to illustrate that United violence to customers is not a recent thing?


Wow this is something else, and the fact that multiple people were hovering over the guy on the floor and did nothing to help him or show concern.

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It didn’t look like they were hovering. It looked like they went back to their so-important discussion they were having before the guy interrupted them.

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It’s called the bystander effect or “diffusion of responsibility”. In crowded areas people assume that someone else will fix the problem. It happened to my 93 year old Aunt Bea several years ago in downtown Cleveland. She slipped on a patch of ice on a busy street while shopping and couldn’t get up. People just walked right past her. Finally, after about ten minutes I got tired of seeing her struggle so I put down my shopping bags and picked her up myself.


That, and honestly, what can most of us do? I wouldn’t know what to do. Though I’d probably call someone who does.

“United: Fly The Friendly Skies.”

Please note; the skies are friendly, not our gate crew, flight attendants, pilots, and other UAL employees.


I’m sure it was just one bad apple, and The Market will sort everything out.

Obviously, since the incident happened two years ago, and nothing remotely like it has happened since, every thing is just fine.


“United breaks seniors”?

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A lawsuit was filed.


Does no one actually click through and read articles anymore? From the linked Wapo piece:

United Airlines issued an apology Tuesday after a video was released of a Houston-based employee pushing a 71-year-old passenger to the floor during an argument over a ticket. The man was left lying there motionless.


Wait… so… not a word for two years until the YouTube goes viral? Sounds about right.


The employee was fired over a year ago, and charged with felony assault. I hate the airlines as much as anybody, but I don’t expect an enormous company to issue a press release apologizing every time one of their thousands of employees commits a crime.

Did you see the video? I think it was just released recently.


Robert Cialdini (author of Influence) says if you are having a heart attack or some other health emergency, people will just walk around you, even if you scream “help!” What you have to do he says, is point directly at a person and say, “You, please call an ambulance.”


Even if you don’t know first aid or know what to do in a medical emergency, just going over to the person and checking to see if they are okay is a start. I know if I saw anything like this I’d check up on the person, go over start by asking if they are okay, and then from there (if unconscious or if they approved) call 911 or other medical/emergency services (I never call the cops unless the victim authorizes it or I have absolutely no choice).

I will admit, though, that I’m unlikely to do this on the road, as I find that a very unsafe place for me. But if it’s in person I will be checking on the person if someone seems to be in distress.


Well, exactly!

“What do you want me to do? I’m not a doctor” is a weird response.

I don’t think random passersby are expected to perform medical procedures, but they can at least say, “Hey, pal. Are you all right?” and then yell for someone to call security, 911, whatever.

What a world.