What is wrong with people? We have reached a tipping point with viral American Airlines video!

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Photo Credit: Surain Adyanthaya on Facebook

Can we spin the globe back and start April over? I think United Airlines and American Airlines would like to do this very much. And if possible Delta would like better weather if someone can accomplish this time travel event.

Last week I had a post questioning if laws should be in place for passenger rights. The votes and reader responses were interesting and thought provoking. But I can promise you this – we have reached a tipping point and there will be, even if just symbolic and or for better or for worse, some kind of “passenger bill of rights” that comes out of this month of travel nightmares.

The Untied event is clearly not going away. The CEO, while keeping his job, is not getting “more” – that is, becoming chairman of the board of $UAL. There is now risk that the viral video will have real impacts in Asia i.e. some will choose not to fly United over this (it is just too soon to tell if it will or not).

Delta clearly wishes they could have avoided service meltdown #3 in a year but at least have taken steps to try to “pay” customers not to end up on a video angry and upset. Wave a $10,000 voucher in anyone’s face and I doubt they would do anything but smile for the cameras!

And now we have the latest from American Airlines that JetsettersHomestead blog was the first place I learned about the video from. Ugh & sigh!

What is wrong with people?

How about we all take a really deep breath. This can not go on. It may sound hokey but how about “we give PEACE a chance?”

Yes, travel is stressful. There is little we can do to change the current airline environment. The airlines are going to keep stuffing us in tight seats (and adding more seats to jets) and charging us for everything but the air we breath. That is the reality. So it really depends on us to be calm.

Sure we can look at each of these situation one by one and point out all the failures on the airline employees or the airline rules or the airlines themselves for helping to create these tense situations but when it gets down to it we can choose to escalate or calm almost any situation.

As a frequent flyer I am more used to the stress of flying and look for solutions rather than allowing myself to get provoked. I want to get from A-B more than to “correct” any situation. I am #WINNING when I get to my destination. IMO that should be the mindset for all of us. Agree? – René


  1. This is daily life these days, entitlement of people + employees who are not given proper training or paid enough to care.

  2. More folks need to act like the FC passenger bullies need to be stood up to.

  3. When you pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a service you are entitled to receive what you paid for. You do not deserve to be assaulted. Not ok under any circumstances. We need to changes the rules. Let’s videotape the gate area and the inside of the plane. Allow passengers to take airlines to small claims court and let a disinterested third party view the tape. If the passenger is deemed to be aggrieved, refund the ticket plus $1000. If tthe airline wins, the passenger pays $1,000. After a few thousand checks, the dynamic will become more balanced and flying will still be awful but perhaps just a bit better.

  4. @DSF, The officious intermeddling passenger is as much of a bully as the FA. He may very well be charged with assault for rushing the FA threatening to knock him out. Just imagine a fistfight in that tiny space near the baby, other children who were boarding, and the passengers in first class. The guys wife was wisely trying to get him to sit down and shut up.

  5. Sounds like you’re standing up for AA?? Did you watch the video? Disgusting. It’s always the airlines fault the moment we pay for a ticket. How can you defend them? Disgraceful. At what point is it acceptable for a FA to physically contact a passenger? Right. Never. How do I unsubscribe from your newsletter.

    This really disappoints me. I’ve been reading your blog for years, when mileage runs were en vogue and it was still called Delta Points.

  6. @Jon L – Sigh – Yes I watched it, and no I was not calling out fault on any one person. I said it is up to all of us that is, those who work for an airline and those who fly an airline. Everyone must strive for deescalating any situation. Sorry to see you go.

    Also, maybe you missed this part of the post?:

    “Sure we can look at each of these situation one by one and point out all the failures on the airline employees or the airline rules or the airlines themselves for helping to create these tense situations but when it gets down to it we can choose to escalate or calm almost any situation.”

  7. I think the stress of getting flights off on time may be contributing to bad behavior on the part of some front line airline employees.

    This week I boarded a flight from SEA to MCO. The AC had just arrived from Hawaii and had been at altitude for hours causing the temperature of outer AC surfaces to fall far below the freezing point of water. Even though the air temperature at the airport was in the 40’s, the high dew point (lots of water vapor in the air) resulted in ice formation on the wings and control surfaces. The Captain did exactly the right thing and ordered that the AC be deiced.

    Because of the relatively warm air temperatures deicing crews/equipment were off line. The Captain continued to give us updates while we waited an hour for a deicing crew to be summoned. He repeatedly apologized for the delay and expressed frustration for the long wait time.

    Cudos to the Captain for putting safety above an on-time departure. He is a shining example of “Climbing Higher”.

    I think it’s time everybody just breathe. There’s always a plane going somewhere. A late departure resulting in a missed connection is not the end of the world. Regardless of the circumstances bad behavior is unacceptable.

  8. No Rene, it is 100% on the airline employees to not physically accost the PAYING customers. The paying customers that put up with the ever increasingly stressful and horrible situation brought on 100% by the greed of the airline bean counters. Why do we give airline staff so much leeway?

    When is the last time you’ve heard of a restaurant or a hotel or any service industry berating, attacking or having the local gestapo beat one of their customers?

    I had the misfortune of trying to fly through Atlanta twice during the Delta meltdown &, for good measure,? a few days after that JetBlue got me on another delay fiasco. My experience was that,?all in all, customers were incredibly understanding to the point I truly was amazed.

    By the way, I fully support that customer in first class that had the guts to get up and challenge a big, freaking bully. What if that was your daughter and your two grandkids? The plane was obviously on the ground at the gate and he did something that I hope I would have the guts to do in the future.

  9. @RoloT – Sorry? When did ever say anything even remotely like it is OK for anyone to accost anyone? As to when someone should get involved in a situation, perhaps that is a good topic for another post!

  10. I’m a lawyer. But the first thing I think about when I see these videos is someone getting ready to sue. Sad but we have turned into a country where we are all trying to monetize pain and suffering

  11. Why did you remind the airlines they are not yet charging us for the air we breathe? When the “passenger breathing fee” begins to be levied, we’ll know where they got the idea! 🙂

  12. I really think it is as simple as labeling air rage. It seems to be a lot like road rage. Something about the environment fostered by the metal tube and being packed together tightly with minimal personal space escalates the perceived offense of another person violating that little space in some way.

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