I have been receiving tweets and news reports all day about the helpless man that was removed with force from an airline before its departure. The flight was overbooked and the ground staff was not successful in luring volunteers off by offering incentives of free lodging, a guaranteed seat in the next day’s departure and money towards future flight bookings of their choice.
Once all the passengers holding a boarding pass were seated, four passengers were selected randomly and ordered to leave the aircraft. One of the passengers refused to leave his seat resulting in several men of authority and of the law boarding the flight to manhandle him and, in a shameful and dastardly spectacle, drag him down the cabin aisle pulling from his arms while he cried helplessly. The passengers nearby filmed the scene with their smartphones and voices were registered denouncing the act. These internet clips have been uploaded and distributed throughout the social media for everyone to see and hear. Booing was heard when four new passengers boarded the airplane to claim the empty seats.
However, apart from the verbal commotion overheard, were the passengers preconditioned to tolerate this event given the fact that it was being conducted inside an airplane by persons of authority? Perhaps believing that this was in the best interest of everyone’s security onboard?
It is safe to assume that few people onboard if any were aware of everything that was going on. Having read some of the accounts in the press, I call this an act of violence and arbitrary abuse of authority to say the least. Overbooking has to be a bad practice. Faced with this, the incentives being offered failed to attract any volunteers to turn in their boarding passes. Then it is bad for someone having already occupied a seat inside the cabin of an airplane to be arbitrarily forced to vacate it before the flight departs. Worse is being subject to a violent vacating procedure implemented by people of authority. To top it off you later learn that the passenger that took that place was a non-ticket paying employee of the airline.
Without having been able to be aware of these facts —except witnessing how the passenger next door was being removed with force in this un explicable way— was there anyone on board that confronted those in charge to question the actions? Was everyone on board helplessly witnessing how a fellow passenger was being helplessly manhandled?
The result of an incompetent and insensitive management operating in a very sensitive security environment is that everyone suffers, albeit the one being dragged out much more than the others.