Disclaimer

The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Monday, April 10, 2017

United bump video => boycott United partners

Many news sites are saying things like:
United Airlines had a right to remove that flier. But should it have?
To the pedants among us this is not so obvious. As I am sure that the victim's lawyers will argue.
This is one lawsuit that I might like to pay a share in. Per the editor of Air Transport World (part of the Aviation Week Network, i.e. a pro-industry journalist):
United bumped passenger video damages all airlines | ATW Editor's Blog: "No explanation has been given as to why United gate agents allowed all people to board before they required seats to be given up involuntarily. Or why the airline was relying on a customer give-up situation to get its employees to their workplace."
 As Derek Thompson in The Atlantic says

Rule 25 Denied Boarding Compensation ... "which, notably, says nothing about forcibly removing passengers afterthey have boarded the plane to make room for United workers)":
Boarding Priorities - If a flight is Oversold, no one may be denied boarding against his/her will until UA or other carrier personnel first ask for volunteers who will give up their reservations willingly in exchange for compensation as determined by UA. If there are not enough volunteers, other Passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily in accordance with UA’s boarding priority.

  • The victim was not denied boarding. He was removed after boarding, after already being settled in his seat. 
    • Of course, there may be legal precedent  saying that the plain and obvious meaning of "denied boarding" does not apply. Such precedent should be overturned.
  • The flight was not oversold - the victim was removed to provide seats for United employees, not paying customers. 
    • From a utilitarian point of view more people may have been hurt by a flight crew arriving late than removing one passenger.
    • Not just utilitarian, but also undoubtedly profit oriented.
 Moreover, the humanity: the victim was separated him from his travelling companion, apparently his wife, who can be seen running after the airport police dragging the victim.

I applaud consumers calling for a boycott of United. Especially since this appears to be part of a pattern, ranging from barring two girls for wearing leggings, and others on Gizmodo's boycott call.

I applaud consumers calling for a boycott of United. Unfortunately, that does not apply to me, since I have been boycotting United for years already. But something I and others like me can do is

Boycott United's airline partners - including the so-called Star Alliance and others
These include - airlines that I or my family might fly on occasion:
  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Canada
  • Air New Zealand
  • Lufthansa
  • SAS Scandinavian Airlines
  • Swiss International Airlines
The passenger who was forcibly evicted was a 69-year-old Asian male, reportedly a doctor flying with his wife.  The bump selection was probably not racist, although the manner of the victim's removal may well have been. Contacting the following Asian carriers may be especially appropriate:
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • ANA All Nippon Airlines
  • Asiana
  • EVA Airlines
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Thai Airways
Don't silently boycott.  Write to these airlines telling them what you are doing.