How United Airlines critics are ruining air travel

People sometimes feel like they are being treated unfairly by airlines—often for good reason.  In the past, fear of being dragged off an airplane and arrested has prevented most people from taking the law into their own hands and engaging in “sit-down strikes.”

When United Airlines was heavily criticized for dragging someone off one of their airplanes, I warned that this sympathy for the “victim” would encourage more such unruly behavior.  And that is exactly what has happened:

But at one point, passengers said, he also dared the flight crew to cuff him and drag him off the plane — reminding other passengers of last month’s infamous deplaning, amid a barrage of in-plane horror stories that have plagued United and the rest of the airline industry in recent years.

But the United crew in Shanghai remained polite and patient throughout Sunday’s ordeal, said Clark Gredoña, another passenger.

“He was trying to explain to the crew and captain … because he had points, he felt he deserved an upgrade,” he said. “So this was his way of getting it.”

I wish the United Airlines crew had dragged him off the plane, so that hundreds of other passengers did not have to suffer through a 3 1/2 hour delay.  Unfortunately, United Airlines has become soft, afraid of being criticized for being a bully.

Who do I blame for this?  The commenters who criticized my earlier defense of United.

By the way, I am running out of adjectives to describe our sick, disgusting, evil President:

President Trump praised Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte for his handling of drug problems in his country, which has included the extrajudicial killings of thousands.

The Washington Post reports that Trump complimented Duterte during their phone call last month. The Post obtained a transcript of the call from a source who asked not to be identified because the transcript was labeled “confidential” by the Philippines government and is not intended to be publicized.

Trump told Duterte he was doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.”

“Many countries have the problem, we have the problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that,” Trump said, according to the Post. . . .

Trump invited Duterte to the White House after that call, reportedly without notifying or consulting the State Department or the National Security Council. . . .

Since he took office last year, Duterte has encouraged the extrajudicial killings of thousands of citizens accused of dealing or using drugs. He also compared his campaign to kill criminals to the Holocaust.

“Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now, there are 3 million drug addicts [in the Philippines] … I’d be happy to slaughter them,” he said in September.

And there are libertarians that defend Trump.  Unreal.


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51 Responses to “How United Airlines critics are ruining air travel”

  1. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    23. May 2017 at 17:28

    Like I said guys like Bob Murphy and major troll are just old fashioned conservatives. There are no libertarians. That is why the “libertarian” faction was all for Ron Paul when a social moderate like Romney ran but all lined up behind the Donald. Libertarians are and always have been against personal liberty and freedom.

  2. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. May 2017 at 17:32

    Benny, Not me!

  3. Gravatar of rtd rtd
    23. May 2017 at 18:17

    some reading you might find… interesting :)
    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/ben-bernanke/2017/05/23/some-reflections-on-japanese-monetary-policy/

  4. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    23. May 2017 at 18:42

    “a social moderate like Romney”
    -What are you smoking? Paul was infinitely more socially moderate than Mitt.

    I am coming to agree with you, Sumner, on the proper way of handling unruly passengers.

    Duterte is rapidly becoming my favorite newly elected head of state of 2016-17. My favorite head of state, period, is, of course, Putin.

  5. Gravatar of JG JG
    23. May 2017 at 18:57

    Scott , Trump is living in your brain rent free. Just evict him.

  6. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    23. May 2017 at 21:15

    Trump is a lulu.

    BTW, John Cochrane posts on property zoning, and a related 50% crimping of U.S. GDP.

    http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2017/05/yimby-papers.html

    Of passing interest perhaps….

  7. Gravatar of Brian Brian
    23. May 2017 at 22:31

    E. Harding, why do you like Putin?

  8. Gravatar of Postkey Postkey
    23. May 2017 at 23:38

    Why ‘libertarians’ {and others} defend Trump?

    “Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 16h16 hours ago
    More
    All civilized nations must join together to protect human life and the sacred right of our citizens to live in safety and in peace.”

    Unreal.

  9. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    24. May 2017 at 02:08

    Scott,
    Totally agree with you then and now on the United Airlines situation. I think we are the only two people on the planet who share this view.

  10. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    24. May 2017 at 02:41

    Benny Lava:

    Your projection is palpable. For tr millionth time, I am anti-Trump, I want the Presdiendy and the whole state apparatus to be abolished, and I am a libertarian, not a statist conservative.

    What you are doing is taking your irrational Trump derangement syndrome, and inferring that anyone who isn’t similarly afflicted, are on the opposite side of you, when in reality, “people like me” are anti-state. The thing is is that the deep state is almost all anti-Trump, so what we are attacking, the anti-liberty elephant in the room, APPEARS as apologia and defense of Trump.

    We also concerned for media brainwashed hypocrites. Like yourself and Sumner. You are falsely attributing an ideology because it is the only way you can make sense of what is happening.

    —————

    In a newly unsealed document from April 2017 shows the FISA court and the NSA’s internal watchdog found Susan Rice’s justifications for unmasking to be UNTRUE and unconstitutional. Obama really did spy illegally on Americans.

    Also in breaking news, it was just discovered last night that there are emails linking the Podesta brothers to the wife of the doctor attending Seth Rich during his last moments alive.

    These are the real news, not the fake TrumpRussia narrative designed (24 hours after Hillary lost mind you, by Podesta, the name that keeps popping up in nefarious activities) to distract and excuse.

    The CIA / MSM is trying desperately to distract the public.

    Stay tuned for more real news.

    —————-

    It is not the fault of critics of the way United Airlines treats their passengers, the fault is on United Airlines. This passenger was not a Mises.org visitor who was convinced by the writers to do what he did. He remembered what United did and responded to that and that alone.

    What Sumner is doing now is psychologically going on the offensive against and blaming his critics for violence in the world, using this as an excuse. He is losing it. And it shows.

    ———–

    Trump meeting with dictators? Sumner, US Presidents meeting with dictators has been an institution since WW2. If Trumo is so evil for doing this, where were your cries when Obama did it? When Bush did it? etc etc?

    The hypocrisy on this board, the vitriol, something weird is happening…

  11. Gravatar of Viking1 Viking1
    24. May 2017 at 06:52

    Equating the two very different situation is the kind of mindless arguments liberals make everywhere: Them problem is the polarization (because everybody should think like me!), there is to much hate (anybody who doesn’t think like me is a hater!).

    The bi cheating perv that was assaulted in Chicago did not interfere with the safe operation of the aircraft, and thus the removal was a breach of contract. The bozo in Shanghai, was preventing the seating of other passengers, and thus interfered with the operation of the aircraft, and should rightfully be removed. The problem is the nature of United employees, they have no moral agency, and the average union member intelligence, they violated the rights of the other passengers, by not asserting their rights to remove the bozo, because of fear of bad publicity, and fear of their own management.

  12. Gravatar of Viking1 Viking1
    24. May 2017 at 06:58

    Dr. Sumner is indirectly defending the “I only followed orders” defense by asserting that we should follow illegal orders from authorities.

  13. Gravatar of Viking1 Viking1
    24. May 2017 at 07:01

    Also, E Harding’s agreement should already be ample evidence that Dr. Sumner is wrong, given Harding’s track record of defending the indefensible:)

  14. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    24. May 2017 at 07:49

    I have mixed feelings on United. On the one hand, they can’t have passengers taking the plane hostage with PR threats but on the other hand, they’re the Comcast of air travel and I relish their agony. Plus, if economists can get preach fire-and-brimstone about anything, it should be about supply and demand.

    And yes, United’s troubles arose because they didn’t believe in Supply and Demand: There’s no such thing as seat shortages, only price shortages. If they really want to bump somebody and $800 wasn’t buying a seat, they needed to pay more and have since updated their policy to do so.

    The invisible hand has punished the non-believers! Hallelujah!

  15. Gravatar of Bob Murphy Bob Murphy
    24. May 2017 at 08:38

    I just hope Trump doesn’t say, “I applaud the way United handled that Asian doctor. Airlines need to get tough. It’s working for Duterte, after all.”

    Would put Scott in a really awkward position.

  16. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    24. May 2017 at 08:45

    @dtoh

    I think we are the only two people on the planet who share this view.

    Nonsense. Scott’s view regarding United is common sense. I never heard a conclusive argument from the other side. It’s like Scott says: People have become very soft and also afraid of being criticized for being a bully.

    But Scott is not consistent at all. He is criticizing people for being too tough and for being a bully all the time. It’s ironic that he is complaining about United being too soft and then just one paragraph later he begins his typical whining about figures like Duterte and Trump again. So which way is, Scott? You are not consistent.

    Side note: I don’t expect him to support Duterte. I don’t support him either. But I would expect a bit of agnosticism and modesty regarding the topic, and not this primitive black and white and good and evil thinking.

  17. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    24. May 2017 at 08:46

    @Bob
    Exactly.

  18. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    24. May 2017 at 09:22

    Christian,

    Duterte’s support of vigilante killings of drug addicts is absolutely 100% evil. There is no place for agnosticism on that issue.

  19. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    24. May 2017 at 12:24

    https://www.cato.org/blog/trumps-budget-changes-tone-infrastructure

    ————-quote————-
    It’s very welcome then that this [Trump] budget instead emphasized the need for long-term reform of how infrastructure is “regulated, funded, delivered, and maintained.” In a move that will upset the Senate Democrats, it explicitly repudiated the idea that a huge increase in federal funding is the solution. It recognizes that “underlying incentives, procedures and policies” are more important to allow infrastructure responsive to demand.

    As such, it proposes a few market friendly policies and principles to improving things. States would be responsible for more funding more of their own infrastructure, allowing tailored solutions to local needs. Air traffic control would be privatized, just as in countries such as Canada. The permitting process would be reviewed and streamlined to prevent long delays to projects, which add cost and uncertainty.

    Yes, there is still provision for an additional $200 billion of federal spending over a decade. But even on this, the budget outlines that the primary purpose of the funding will be to harness in other non-federal funds, whether private or state, to get the desired $1 trillion additional investment.
    ————-endquote———

  20. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    24. May 2017 at 12:29

    https://www.cato.org/blog/spending-cuts-president-trumps-2018-budget

    ————-quote———-
    Trump budget chief Mick Mulvaney said “This is, I think, the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes.” He’s right, and he should be commended for proposing overdue reforms for such a wide range of spending programs.

    Many members of Congress are denouncing or dismissing the proposed cuts, but they are in denial of the large reforms that will need to be made eventually because of the nonstop growth in the big entitlement programs. Social Security retirement and Medicare should be cut as well, but the Trump budget provides Congress with many good ideas to start paring back the bloated federal welfare state.

    President Obama left office having roughly doubled the gross federal debt from about $10 trillion to $20 trillion. We don’t know yet whether Trump will be any more fiscally responsible than Obama. But he does get credit for giving his budget team room to explore major downsizing options across the vast $4.1 trillion federal government.
    ————–endquote————-

  21. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    24. May 2017 at 12:33

    A third Cato scholar is also charmed;

    https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/trumps-budget-proposal-isnt-perfect-its-start

    ————quote————
    President Trump has released his proposed FY 2018 budget, and Congress has pronounced it “dead on arrival.” This yearly ritual has become such a part of Washington life that presidential budgets should probably be delivered to Capitol Hill in a crepe-draped carriage drawn by six black horses. Still, even if Trump’s budget is not going to become law, it offers an important opportunity to reshape the fiscal landscape.

    Let’s start by giving credit where credit is due: Trump’s proposal would reduce the growth in federal spending by $3.6 trillion over ten years, resulting in a balanced budget by 2027. Yes, this projection relies on unrealistic levels of economic growth and cuts that are never going to happen, but it still makes Donald Trump the only president even to aspire to balancing the budget since Bill Clinton in 2001.

    In many ways, Trump’s plan shows that, like presidents before him, he has discovered he can’t actually balance the budget simply by eliminating “waste, fraud, and abuse.” The only way to truly reduce federal spending is to reduce federal spending. And that means cutting programs that are popular, supported by powerful special interests, or both. Hence the screams of pain and outrage.

    For all its flaws, the president’s plan could prompt a sorely needed conversation about fiscal reform.
    Trump’s budget challenges the Washington notion that, once enacted, every program — no matter how unnecessary, ill conceived, or unsuccessful — is forever sacrosanct. Trump would eliminate such sacred cows as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Legal Services Corporation. He would significantly slash funding for the Departments of Commerce and Energy. And he would shift education funds to charter schools and school-choice efforts.

    It’s not just Democratic or liberal oxen that would be gored by this budget, either. Trump would also cut agricultural subsidies near and dear to the hearts of red-state congressmen, and corporate-welfare programs such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
    ———–endquote———

  22. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    24. May 2017 at 16:08

    “The Washington Post reports that Trump complimented Duterte during their phone call last month. The Post obtained a transcript of the call from a source who asked not to be identified”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    The WaPo “reports”? From “a source”?

    Fake news alert!

    Where is the PROOF Trump “complimented Duterte” for how he treats drug users?

    It’s no wonder Sumner is having meltdowns every day

  23. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    24. May 2017 at 16:20

    DNC media spin about Kim dot Com:
    “Kim is planting #SethRich evidence”
    What does it tell you?
    DNC knows there’s evidence
    DNC wants to discredit it in advance

  24. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    24. May 2017 at 16:48

    David Brock:

    https://imgur.com/sEUNSGG

  25. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    24. May 2017 at 16:51

    Take this with as much salt or as little salt as required:

    https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/recovery-opinionanalysis-on-comey-and-draining-the-swamp-a-note-on-education/

    “I have always been puzzled at why a private corporate lawyer, with no real investigative experience, and no law enforcement background, was suddenly called out of his private practice to become the head of the major investigative arm of the federal government.”

    Me too.

  26. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    24. May 2017 at 17:38

    Thanks rtd.

    dtoh, Great minds think alike.

    Christian, Sorry, I’ll try to stop “whining” about mass murderers like Hitler and Duterte. Didn’t mean to offend you.

    Patrick. Let me know when they come up with a budget that doesn’t double count trillions of dollars.

  27. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    24. May 2017 at 20:09

    Here is evidence the “Russia interference” fake news has indeed brainwashed many Democrats into believing it

    https://www.informationliberation.com/?id=56789

  28. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    24. May 2017 at 22:06

    @Christian List
    I think there is a slight difference between physically forcing compliance with a lawful order and extra-judicial murder of innocent people.

  29. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    24. May 2017 at 22:12

    Randomize,

    Don’t be a dolt. It’s not the invisible hand. It’s the visible hand of the government that sets the price for involuntary denied boarding (IDBs) and consequently a cap on VDB pricing.

  30. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    25. May 2017 at 03:14

    One big problem with airlines is that they are out of touch with American culture. United had a very stupid policy for incenting people to give up their seats. They should’ve been willing to offer higher compensation or offer people the option of paying more to guarantee they won’t get bumped in the first place. It is not right or wrong for customers to prefer to pay more for tickets with guaranteed seating. It’s just a preference and we should expect preferences like this in a wealthy country.

    There’s nothing right or wrong here. It’s all a matter of preference, though the treatment of the doctor as he was dragged off was so stupid and barbaric that the results speak for themselves.

  31. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    25. May 2017 at 04:01

    Also I still haven’t heard a good argument of why United was not legally allowed to bump the guy. Seems like it is well within the standard contract. I have yet to be presented with one piece of evidence beyond “feelings” that suggest United or any other carrier cannot remove someone from their own plane.

  32. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    25. May 2017 at 06:46

    Dtoh,

    No need to call names. We can’t all be experts on airline law…

    Incidentally, I’m okay supply-and-demand flaunting the governments rules too.

  33. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    25. May 2017 at 07:29

    ‘Patrick. Let me know when they come up with a budget that doesn’t double count trillions of dollars.’

    That sounds suspiciously like making the perfect the enemy of the good (or ‘the better’).

  34. Gravatar of Dtoh Dtoh
    25. May 2017 at 08:11

    Randomize
    You’re right. Apologies!

  35. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    25. May 2017 at 10:12

    >>Also I still haven’t heard a good argument of why United was not legally allowed to bump the guy. Seems like it is well within the standard contract.>>

    United’s contract of carriage lists the circumstances under which a passenger may be bumped. None apply to the guy. https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/contract-of-carriage.aspx

    Which clause do you believe justifies removal?

  36. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    25. May 2017 at 15:41

    Rule 21 section C. Did you even bother to read it?

  37. Gravatar of Chuck Chuck
    25. May 2017 at 16:21

    The Chinese show more mercy to foreigners than their own people. Sad. A good old-fashioned beat down was in order.

  38. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    26. May 2017 at 14:00

    One year ago, there was this:

    http://i.magaimg.net/img/mgx.jpg

    CNN is ruining the news.

  39. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    26. May 2017 at 18:13

    Bill Clinton also fired the head of the FBI, one month and one day after the Chinagate investigation commenced.

    Bill Clinton also fired the head of the FBI, one month and two days after the Whitewater investigation commenced.

    Bill Clinton also fired the head of the FBI, one month and three days after the Sexual improprieties investigation commenced.

    Bill Clinton also fired the head of the FBI, one month and four days after the Vince Foster suicide (cough cough) investigation commenced.

    **SUMNER WAS SILENT ABOUT THIS**

  40. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    26. May 2017 at 18:25

    Comey recently admitted he knew the Russian “evidence” was false, but investigated anyways. Thereby pushing the false Russia narrative!

    Will Sumner recant? Of course not! He’s a propagandist.

  41. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    26. May 2017 at 18:26

    Unconstitutional mass surveillance against Americans is now a proven fact. Obama and NSA lied to you.

    https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/icotr/51117/2016_Cert_FISC_Memo_Opin_Order_Apr_2017.pdf

  42. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    26. May 2017 at 18:28

    A Montana Republican “assaults” a reporter. A NY Democrat gets caught with kiddie porn, some as young as 6 months old.

    Which one will Sumner NOT cover?

  43. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    26. May 2017 at 18:31

    FEDERAL PROSECUTOR FOUND DEAD IN DEBBIE SCHULTZ WASSERMAN’S CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT… The same district with police reports for election voter fraud by whistleblower

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/mystery-ensues-federal-prosuctor-found-dead-florida/story?id=47652909

  44. Gravatar of Steve F Steve F
    27. May 2017 at 09:31

    Trump’s alleged comments about Duterte are “according to a transcript of the conversation made by the Philippines government”

    This libertarian does the libertarian thing by not assuming that which is claimed by a government is accurate, especially given that we live in an environment of “barium meal” leaks of fabrications.

  45. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    27. May 2017 at 10:08

    Seth Rich was the one who leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks, and he was murdered by elements in the DNC

    The Russia collusion story is a lie

  46. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    27. May 2017 at 10:10

    WaPo reports with a headline that Kushner sought “secret” back-channel with Moscow

    Then deep in the article they say it’s normal practice

    It’s psychological warfare, they know few people read the entirety of articles

  47. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    28. May 2017 at 18:43

    When United treated that passenger so rudely I warned people that this will encourage other passengers to seek some sort of retribution. And that is exactly what happened.

  48. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    28. May 2017 at 18:44

    Twitter: “When 4 people against the DNC coincidentally die in the time frame of a month, I don’t know how that isn’t a red flag to every American”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/RealJack/status/868916095121596416

  49. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    28. May 2017 at 18:49

    WIKILEAKS: NEW Forensic data analysis: #Guccifer2 was in US timezone when he faked ‘#Russian’ metadata

    https://i.redd.it/tie0blugp80z.jpg

    The Russia narrative has been demolished in many different ways.

  50. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    29. May 2017 at 02:56

    WikiLeaks says FISA Court ordered against the NSA for FIVE years of illegal spying on US citizens!

    No, this is not a “conspiracy theory”, it’s official and it’s fact:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/wikileaks/status/868862586439307265

    Brennan perjured himself on Friday.

  51. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    29. May 2017 at 03:00

    Typo,

    Brennan perjured himself as this leak showed on Friday.

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