United Airlines could not have handled the debacle of removing a passenger that was picked at random with more carelessness in order to resolve being overbooked.
They were responsible for the overbooking and needed to get their spare crew on board.
But imagine this was happening to you.
This could happen in any situation in a theatre, train, boat or plane.
Everyone plans their movements however chaotically a lifestyle the individual lives.
So being faced with the reality of being randomly asked to give up your seat what can and should be done.
Well in my opinion this should start with a clear understanding of the contract I entered into when the booking was made.
Does the booking guarantee my seat? Is there a clause that says that in the event of being overbooked, if asked to vacate my seat, I agree to do so?
The issue for most of us is indignation in that on the one hand we have plans like everyone else so why should they be disrupted and on the other we would feel insensed that a company that can fly millions of passengers does not have the ability to book the correct numbers onto its flights thus avoiding deliberate over booking.
This airline shows too that the important movement of crew clearly takes presidence over passengers bookings.
The harrowing images and video that showed a 69 year old passenger being dragged off the plane demonstrated the simple lack of people skills that would be required to acquire volunteers.
Everyone has their price .. in this case $400 and then $800 was refused by way of compensation.
No one asked what it was worth to them to voluntarily give up their seat.
The cost to the airline in this instance will most likely be millions and for what? They could simply have held an auction on board .. raising the compensation until someone agreed to give up their seat or reached the conclusion that the price to get their spare crew to their destination was too high.
The auction could have included chauffeur and limo to a five star hotel, dinner and cash. They could have offered a number of first class free flights too… and so on.
They could have offered a free family holiday, a small car, gift vouchers, etc
Everyone has their price.
So I ask again what would it take for you to give up your seat?