Tag: United Airlines

An Eyewitness COVID Report from Florida

 

Universal mask-wearing and social distancing. And no lockdown in sight. Not being a elected public official from Texas, my spouse and enjoyed a nice trip to Florida sans doxxing and media, where we were grateful for warm weather; we’re blessed to have escaped to a decent (not spectacular) resort on short notice and traversed south via car just ahead of snow and ice storms that seem to have gripped most of the country and even parts of northern Mexico (not Cancun, apparently).

I had heard and read conflicting things about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ management of the COVID crisis – he never executed a lockdown of the state – or on citizens’ behaviors. A quick internet search is replete with endless excoriation of Florida’s handling of the virus and vaccine distribution, despite nearly 50 percent of the state’s seniors being vaccinated. I’d also heard that Floridians and especially workers were flaunting CDC safety standards, with crowded bars and limited masks. Some idiot dressed as the grim reaper has been spotted with media in tow along some of Florida’s beaches.

Were people actually wearing masks? Social distancing? Were retailers and other companies taking precautions? We know people and friends who‘ve been afflicted with COVID and lost loved ones. We grieve with them, along with 511,000 Americans who have also been lost to the China virus.

United, Obamacare and Big Coercion

 

Flying home recently on a United black-eye red-eye to Los Angeles, I couldn’t help but reflect on how the parallels between the airline industry and Big Government go a long way to justifying Americans’ contempt for both. The former has for years been shoehorning ten seats into rows which previously had only eight, which is fair enough: that’s the free market in action. But to then charge a fee for the “extra legroom” made scarce as a result? That suggests a scorn for customers normally associated with the political class for its customers.

As evidence, consider how both parties to varying degrees cater to those who receive health insurance subsidies as a result of Obamacare while largely ignoring those who have lost their health insurance as a result of Obamacare. Seen in this context, the ordeal of passing TSA inspection is a kind of boot camp to harden soldier-flyers for the real deal.

The fee-based model now favored by airlines becomes increasingly indistinguishable from a racket: “Nice carry-on you’ve got there, it’d be a shame to lose it.” Some are asking why don’t airlines simply institute a bidding system in which those passengers willing to cough up the most money can avoid an ass kicking altogether. The reason why not is simple: because government regulations place a cap on the amount of money airlines may compensate passengers booted from their flights in order to accommodate employees of the friendly skies. Gee, I wonder who came up with that idea, regulators or the airline industry? (Google “regulation capture” and see if an image of a smiling airline lobbyist waving back at you doesn’t appear on your computer screen.)

In Defense of Overbooking, and Against Cowardly CEOs

 

Today I’m going to do something I never thought I’d have to do: Defend capitalism, coach the people who benefit by it, and chastise my fellow human beings who, like me, neither make nor hope to make millions and billions. I know we were all in a state of indignation; and we’re right to be angry. But we should also think about getting good things out of our anger. So I write from a moral impulse, and I take little pleasure in it. Yes, it’s the United Airlines scandal and what it says about “how we live now.”

The righteous indignation has been somewhat derailed by the issue of overbooking. So let’s set things straight. Overbooking is a good thing, and it is all-American. It’s also corporations being money-grubbing number-crunchers, I’ll agree, but the bottom line is, you only have so many airplanes in the sky at any given moment. Americans want to move by plane and airlines should accommodate them—properly done, overbooking means more Americans get to do it at prices they’re ok with. Every plane that flies on the honor code of “one ticket sold per seat available” ruins it for a few people, because for every seat that remains empty, there is one American who is not going to have a chance to get to where he wants to get. That’s un-American, not just unscientific.

I speak in moral terms now. If American consumers’ social-media revolt against the corporations means hurting other Americans who cannot speak up, that’s crazy. Hate the corporations, by all means, and scare them into some kind of accommodation or policy change, and, above all, help out the people who actually got hurt. But enough with the moralizing about ending overbooking. That’s real opportunities for real people, even if they come by way of corporations looking for more profits.

Fly the Unfriendly Skies

 

United Airlines has a PR nightmare on its hands as a disturbing video burned up the Internet. After overbooking the flight from Chicago to Louisville, the crew chose four passengers at random to leave the flight. Passenger number three was a doctor who said he needed to treat patients in the morning, so refused to leave. The flight crew called security, which forcibly yanked him out of his seat and dragged him down the aisle.

This being 2017, several passengers recorded the whole thing on their smartphones:

A Bit of a Cyber-Coincidence?

 

CJZ15QgUwAAhRWmFirst United’s flights are halted owing to a “glitch,” and now the NYSE?

Trading in all securities were halted on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday following earlier reports of technical difficulties, although NYSE-listed issues was still trading on other exchanges.

After the halt, U.S. stocks extended their losses, but in low volumes, with the S&P 500 hitting a session low and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq both falling more than 1 percent.