There is a lot of hubub going on right now about United Airlines and their treatment of one of their customers. I travel almost constantly, and occasionally by air. So, I feel that I am qualified in this one rare instance to offer my thoughts on the matter.


  1. Delta sucks in the customer service department. I’d rather swim than fly transatlantic with them.
  2. United sucks worst.
  3. I will never, ever fly United. If the ticket is purchased for me by another party, I will either require that it is exchanged for a different airline, or refuse to go.

No, I am not being a primadonna in this respect. With very few exceptions, airlines in America feel that their customers are product to be ferried, rather than the source of their income. Unless you’re willing to pay double the price, for first-class, you’re just a lump of coal beside a lot of other lumps of coal. I speak to this, briefly, in Captivity of Choice:

“Those who ride in wagons generally defer to those who gallivant upon steeds.They maintain their pride with pillows and empty comforts, but in their heart they know they are nothing more than product to be ferried to a destination.” –Bergeran

#BergeranSaidItFirst should be a hashtag.


If I were the CEO of United, which I am not, I would immediately fall on my face before the American public. I would communicate that, airfare wars be damned, service was going to become the number one priority of my airline. I would note that nothing I said would erase the evils of the past, but I would earn the loyalty of the flying public back to my company. No flight would ever be over-booked again. In cases where seats are needed on full flights, I’d damn well charter a private plane for the overage–it’s not my customer’s fault, after all.

This, of course, will not happen. Blame will defer to the most expendable person, who will be fired (with a tasty severance package) and no one will face any real justice for the betrayal of a citizen’s civil rights. “Just give us your money and shut up” should be their new advertising campaign.


So, no. I will not be flying the friendly skies, ever, in the future. Screw you, United. Delta, your service sucks. From now on, either I fly British Airways, or a regional carrier, or I’ll just walk the damn distance.