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DEBBIE NORRELL

What would you do if you were on a commercial airplane and you were in your seat, the seat that you paid for, probably, some time ago, and now you are asked to give your seat up? Thanks to almost everyone having a cell phone with a camera, we know what Dr. David Dao did. He said he did not want to get off the plane. And it seems like no one else wanted to give up their seat, either. As Dao was being dragged off the United Airlines flight, did you see anyone else jump up and say, “No, let me get off, I’ll take the $800.” People protested, people took pictures and I’m sure they called their friends to tell them, “you’ll never guess what just happened on this airplane.”

There has been a lot of buzz about this story and it is surely buzzworthy. Now that the passenger has a broken nose, a concussion and major facial injuries, the public and the airline seem like they want to blame the victim. Dao’s past has been dug up and splashed across newspapers, social media and television. Now, he is the bad guy just because he was trying to get to work and by the way, his wife was with him.

It seems like the airlines (most of them) have been on a “greed gravy train” for some time now. Perhaps since 9/11, passengers have to pay for their baggage, blankets and pillows. The peanuts and pretzels have almost dried up, and, if you want to watch a movie, you have to pay for it. Does anyone remember the days when it was a pleasure to fly? Some people believe that the airlines are forced to overbook to make money. Well, you need to do your homework; most airlines are making so much money just on charging you to check one piece of luggage that there is no reason to overbook a plane. We all know how many seats are on the plane and the airline should know if there are crew members that may have to get on the plane to get to their next assignment. An airline should never have to offer money to passengers to get off the plane. Do they think that these people don’t have places to go and things to do? Who books a flight without a plan? You could be going to a wedding or a funeral, or maybe you have a connecting flight or a cruise ship to be on. You are on the plane because you had a plan and your plan does not include getting off to accommodate an airline crew member.

I really wonder how they selected that one person to pull out of their seat. Why didn’t they approach his wife or the lady that was screaming, “This is all too much?” Reportedly, Dao has not yet filed a lawsuit, but it has been reported that he has an attorney. I’m sure the airlines will want this to go away quickly. Pay attention, people, to what happens to Dao; it might be the new normal.

(Email Debbie at debbienorrell@aol.com)

 

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