Armstrong Economics Blog/Corruption
Re-Posted Apr 15, 2017 by Martin Armstrong
The incident of beating and dragging a passenger from United Airlines so United Employees can get a seat is just an example of how abusive the entire airline industry has become. United’s own pilots have come out to object to the incident. They sent a public letter which claimed that the incident occurred on one of United’s “contracted Express carriers, separately owned and operated by Republic Airline.” As a result, all flight crew and cabin crew on Flight 3411 were not United employees, and according to the union, should not be blamed for what happened.
Furthermore, they express their belief that the incident was entirely due to the “grossly inappropriate response by the Chicago Department of Aviation,” and that all “social media” should be directed at them. The mend dragging and beating the passenger were government police officers of the Chicago Department of Aviation. This feeds directly into police brutality because some police feel they are above the law and are rarely ever prosecuted.
Nevertheless, airlines frequently change schedules, or have their flights delayed or cancelled for a number of reasons. When the airlines change plans, passengers are usually offered little (if any) compensation, but when travelers must change or cancel their own reservations, huge fees can apply. If you want to change a ticket, they demand $200.
Yet the huge consumer fraud they get away with and would be criminal in any other industry is the simple fact that often half the price of the ticket is really taxes. You forfeit the entire fare but they are then pocketing the taxes. If a story sold you something and then offered a refund at least that did not include the sale tax, that would be criminal fraud. They are charging people taxes for something they do not send to the government.
The Airline Industry has had Congress in their back pocket now for the past two decades. They live beyond the law and are protected by Congress. The attitude of the people removing this doctor beating him for refusing to “volunteer” to get off the plane is really outrageous.
Once upon a time, Airlines competed. They gave perks to win your loyalty. Now they act like a monopoly fixing prices and change fees. I bought a first class ticket to the Bahamas because international first class tickets you could always change. A storm was coming so I decided to leave early. I called American and they said oh that $200 to change. When I said this is a first class ticket, the response was basically so what. That only applies internationally. When I asked since when was Bahamas part of the USA? They said that the Caribbean does not count.
Personally, I will always fly a non-US carrier overseas. The attitude of American carriers is basically screw you, what are you going to do? Congress protects us!
Well this time, the passenger is entitle to punitive damages and everyone involved, including United Airlines, will be writing checks into the millions. Those men who beat the passenger should lose their jobs and criminally prosecuted just like anyone else.