United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said the passenger seen in a viral video who was dragged, bloodied off his company’s plane had “defied” security officers and had become “disruptive and belligerent.” This has cause some lawmakers to call for an investigation into the incident.
Munoz defended the airline’s heavy-handed actions in forcibly removing a passenger from a Chicago flight bound for Louisville because they had over-booked and needed to move employees from one airport to another. Their policy is to boot paying customers to shuttle employees.
It goes without saying that the airline industry in the United States leaves a lot to be desired. From insane ticket costs to extra charges for just about everything that used to be complimentary just a decade ago, to travel date restrictions requiring people to stay longer at their destinations than they need to constant delays and refusal of disembarkation during prolonged delays, there is no question that the industry needs desperately to be retooled.
Add to this the fact that in many cases it costs more to fly 250 miles than it does coast-to-coast and/or overseas and the airlines themselves are making it harder for Americans to travel - to freely travel - then just a few years ago.
As for the cost of air travel, one can safely say that the over-regulation of the industry contributes. An examination of government fees from local to federal shows how the airline passenger is gouged by the government for the "privilege" of air travel. And now they want to "investigate" the United incident, which promises another round of government mandates on the airlines.
The private sector can handle the incredibly bone-headed move by United. As of today, I don't know of anyone who will choose to fly United willingly until something is done to rectify what happened to that paying passenger. The government should butt out unless it is called upon to act in a judicial capacity via a lawsuit.