Tuesday, July 18, 2017

In What Other Industry Would We Tolerate This?

Back in the days before radio, the captain of a ship, while not God, what pretty much His representative here on Earth.  Someone had to make the decisions.  And while the captain is still the boss, and certainly is responsible for safety on a ship, I can't see that his word should be law in every instance.  This is just as true for airline captains.

In emergency situations, you should follow crew instructions--they're best trained to handle such emergencies.  But in every single instance?  We have to follow every instruction someone gives because they work for a business?  In what other industry would we tolerate that?

And in what other industry would we allow employees to treat customers this way, and with complete and total impunity?
Ann Coulter vs. Delta Air Lines is the latest battle over airline customer service to play out on social media.

The conservative pundit began to fire off angry tweets about the carrier this past weekend after she was asked to move from a pre-selected seat with extra leg room on a Delta flight from New York to West Palm Beach, Florida. Delta (DAL) said Sunday it would refund Coulter $30 for the preferred seat she purchased, but criticized her "derogatory and slanderous comments" as "unnecessary and unacceptable."

So, can an airline really just move you out of a seat that you booked and paid for?

Long story short: They sure can.
Contracts of carriage are so biased towards airlines; if they made more use of the power they're granted, people might just rebel enough to get the rules changed.  Maybe.  But why are they given such overarching power anyway?  They're given this power by government--why do we allow it?


Anonymous said...

Yes, the airlines abused their power in this case. But I do think that, at least while in the air, the captain and flight attendants should have absolute authority, and disobeying them should result in arrest. Unlike on land, you cannot call for support if something goes wrong while you are flying. The stakes are also higher, because a distracted pilot could crash the plane. Recently, a passenger attempted to pull open the emergency exit doors midair. The doors didn't open because they were flying at a high altitude, but had they been flying lower, they could have opened. People need to know that disobeying the instructions of the captain and/or flight attendant carries severe penalties, or you could end up in deadly situations.

Anonymous said...

One of the many gifts of Reagan-era deregulation. You should be cheering.

Hey—I missed your previous posts raging against the poor treatment of passengers ladled out by United, etc.. Did this one give you pause merely because you follow Ann Coulter on Twitter? Business bullying customers is all good until it happens to a conservative?

Darren said...

Flight crews didn't have such authority before "Reagan-era deregulation"? Uh huh.

No, you didn't miss my previous posts about United. I don't think I wrote any. Saw no need to, they were getting *plenty* of coverage without my help. And no, I don't follow Coulter on Twitter. I don't even go on Twitter unless someone sends me something directly. No, bullying customers isn't "all good" until it happens to a conservative--do you know if the doctor in the United videos was liberal or conservative? I don't.

Nice attempts at digs, troll.