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Author Topic: Why Did I Ever Take This Job.....
Gilbert B Norman
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.....and at $1.00 a year to boot!!!

I don't think Mr. Moorman is exactly looking too comfortable facing the hostile NY media, especially since it appears that "deferred maintenance" was the cause for both of the Penn Station derailments occurring this month:

http://nytimes.com/2017/04/06/nyregion/penn-station-train-service.html

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yukon11
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Mr. Moorman's take:

https://is.gd/0BvYv1

Well, a lack of capacity is an important isssue. However, as per Mr. Norman's post, "deferred maintenance" begs the question, why?

A number of years ago, while riding the Calif. Zephyr, we hit a section of rough track. I saw and heard the conductor shake his head and comment on why nobody was doing anything about the needed track repair.

Richard

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MargaretSPfan
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The following is just a guess, but I think Mr. Moorman may have taken the job as temporary CEO of Amtrak because he may not have liked going from being on the Board of Directors of a multi-billion-dollar corporation and having a huge amount of power over others to having no power at all -- literally overnight. I may be wrong about this, but it is the only reason I can figure out for why he would choose to be just a short-term CEO of Amtrak, where whatever good he may do can easily be negated by his successor. He will not be CEO long enough to make any lasting changes for good to Amtrak's culture and practices. And he hs no power at all over how much money Amtrak gets each year.
And all that is sad......

The huge lack of funding for Amtrak is just one example of the wretched priorities in this society. Funding for human needs is not viewed as essential by the ones who control where the money goes -- only their own bank accounts and power over others are important to them. And war -- and the obscene profits those few people make from war -- are always given a high priority. Until these horrid priorities change to decent and humane and sensible priorities in our society, Amtrak will never get more than a pittance -- and neither will any other programs that people really need.

The only way Amtrak will ever get properly funded is for its subsidy to be part of that for the Defense Dept.

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Gilbert B Norman
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It only gets worse - FRONT PAGE (and above the fold):

New York Times

Fair Use:
  • Commuters from the East End of Long Island to the western edge of New Jersey suffered a transportation meltdown and four days of upheaval last week — all because of the faulty maintenance of a federal railroad they may never ride.

    Amtrak accepted blame for the minor train derailment that forced cancellations and disrupted tens of thousands of commuters last week. That admission only exacerbated the frustration of the slogging hordes, reminding them just how deeply the New York City area depends on a network of transit agencies that do not always work as a team.

    The disruption highlighted an entrenched problem in the New York metropolitan area: The task of moving people around the most congested corner of the United States is divided among several autonomous agencies, each with its own priorities — and interests that often clash.

    As a result, in a region where the highways, bridges, tunnels, trains and subways are packed, even a minor accident like the one at Penn Station can reverberate far and wide — in this case, all the way to Washington.

    Once a jewel of the nation’s transportation network, Penn Station, North America’s busiest rail terminal, is now the overburdened nexus of two of the country’s biggest commuter railroads and its only viable intercity train service. Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road combine to push and pull half a million people through the station’s aging infrastructure every weekday.

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George Harris
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quote:
Commuters from the East End of Long Island to the western edge of New Jersey suffered a transportation meltdown and four days of upheaval last week — all because of the faulty maintenance of a federal railroad they may never ride.
Blah, blah, blah.
If a problem of equivalent magnitude had occurred in Chicago or elsewhere, it would have not gone beyond a couple paragraphs of local news. Hyperbole as well. Yes, overburdened, but primarily because it is underfunded, and probably any and all work constrained by archaic work rules and practices. Why is it underfunded? Primarily because what happens to be one of the highest taxed areas of the country refuses to kick in sufficient money for maintenance. Why? Primarily because adequate maintenance is invisible. Pretty new projects that some self important politician can get his name on are visible. Therefore they get the bucks. This little "aging infrastructure" phrase also burns me. Of course it is aging. From the day it went into service it begins aging. Maintain it properly and it will last a long time. There are major railroad bridges that are over 100 years old that are still performing their job. Why? Because there is no political capital to be gained within a railroad company by allowing a major structure to fail. Instead, there would be a search for new management and engineering staff.

These New Yorkers need to get over themselves and fix their own stuff instead of crying poor me.

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Gilbert B Norman
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While Mr. Moorman is too much a gentleman with a challege to confront, I'll bet there are a few who would hold to this ditty:

https://youtu.be/EPrSVkTRb24

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yukon11
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
While Mr. Moorman is too much a gentleman with a challege to confront, I'll bet there are a few who would hold to this ditty:

https://youtu.be/EPrSVkTRb24
[/QUOT

*******************************************
Well, if they don't find a way to deal with unrelenting track condition problems, maybe some will say "take this train and shove it!"

Or, maybe (with recent news) they might say "take this United plane and shove it"

Seriously, was the United passenger belligerent on or before getting on the plane? (I haven't seen a reference to this, so I don't know). I think most airlines will not tolerate belligerent passengers, while in the airport on or the plane, and I quite agree with that no tolerance policy.

However, if not the case, I have never liked airline overbooking policies. I think, if they have to deny a booked passenger a seat, most airlines will offer a cash refund (possibly as high a $800 or more) and a free motel room, overnight. It would seem to me, is some instances, an empty seat, if they didn't overbook, might be cheaper to the airline in the long run then a refund reward and motel room.

Richard

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PullmanCo
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The issue was not an overbook. There were just enough seats for the butts who paid.

The issue was United had a blown crew in Louisville. They had to get one there for the first flight out Monday morning. The only way to do it was to deadhead a Chicago crew to Louisville.

Soooo... instead of denying boarding, they put the pax on, then demanded four of them exit. The fourth, a doc, had work Monday, and protested his exit the old fashioned way.

But remember ... United Breaks Guitars...

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Gilbert B Norman
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So long as we are addressing the United incident here, as distinct from Open Discussion, it should be noted that the actual airline was a United Express partner, Republic Airways Holdings, Inc.

However, regardless of the lack of tact with which this "mouthy" passenger was handled, the aircraft he reboarded without any authority was liveried in United colors.

My experience at ORD and elsewhere is that these regional airlines use outside contractors for their ground services. One can only hope that the "police officers" who removed the passenger were actually sworn peace officers and not "rent a cops". O'Hare is patrolled by the Chicago Police, so I have to wonder what jurisdiction these ostensible "officers" hold.

While the fact remains that regardless of the "whose", this passenger refused to comply with instructions of the Flight Crew and was dealt with accordingly. Nevertheless, the PR damage has been done to a party not directly responsible for the incident.

With hindsight, why didn't they just ring up an air taxi?

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George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
So long as we are addressing the United incident here, as distinct from Open Discussion, it should be noted that the actual airline was a United Express partner, Republic Airways Holdings, Inc.

Yeah, however it is still United's fault that it happened and very obviously their completely tone deaf response, which has been made much worse by whoever decided to see what dirt they could dig up on the passenger.

For equivalence, if you are a construction contractor, if one of your subs screws up, the owner is going after YOU, and it is your problem to try to get whatever out of the sub. As far as the customer is concerned, this sub is invisible as an airline. They are buying a ticket on United, and if United decides to have someone else operate the plane, whether one off or as normal practice, guess what: Your ticket still says United.

The only way I could see them doing it worse is if they had shot the man.

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George Harris
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Another thought while on the subject: The man was 69 years old and Vietnamese. That means he most likely grew up and may even have spent some of his early adult years in Vietnam. At that time the country was in turmoil, and even more so under the early years of subjugation by the north Vietnamese, and all authority was feared because they were terrorizing the population. It could well be that when he saw the police uniforms coming for him he went into a flashback of terror.

The way this was handled should only be anticipated as occuring in a police state dictatorship.

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MargaretSPfan
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Re: the disgusting way United Airlines treated that passen ger:
This has ABSOLUTELY *NOTHING* to do with his race or age or gender, nor should it.

WHY is violence towards others accepted by too many people -- even here on this forum? That man PAID for his seat, and the over-booking was TOTALLY the fault of United Airlines, no matter who they had sub-contracted to. UAL should have just chartered a small plane to get those 4 crew members to their next assignment, and this would not have happened. Or they could have offered a lot more money to passengers to get them to get off the plane, but they were apparently too cheap to do that.


This horrid event has gone viral and worldwide, and United now has destroyed what was left of their good reputation. Several branding experts have said that united "committed brand genocide" -- really brand suicide -- by how they handled this event. And their stock was down 2.5% -- which the top execs deserve -- though not the small investors who depend on dividends for some of their essential expenses.

I am beyond disgusted that we, as a society, accept violencve towards others as an acceptable way of delaing with problems. I hope that man gets a jury trial and takes United to the cleaners.

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palmland
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And United's CEO is Oscar Munoz who was at CSX for 12 years and for a short time was CEO before he moved on. Glad he did so.
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George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by MargaretSPfan:
Re: the disgusting way United Airlines treated that passenger:
This has ABSOLUTELY *NOTHING* to do with his race or age or gender, nor should it.

Margaret: Don't know whether what I said is behind this, but the reason I said what I did is that I have this suspicion that they picked a relatively small older man because they felt he would go along meekly and not cause any difficulties. That he was Asian was incidental in their thoughts. They also likely thought that any bad press or negative reaction would be worse if they picked a woman so they went for the man. If they had made their choices based on the perception of the person most likely to be able to deal with the issue, they would have gone for the 35 to 60 businessman type.
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MargaretSPfan
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George Harris --
Thank you very much for the clarification. Now I understand why you said what you did. That makes sense -- just like all bullies, they picked on someone who they thought was not likely to be able to fight back successfully

THANK you VERY much for saying what you did above -- "The way this was handled should only be anticipated as occuring in a police state dictatorship." AMEN!! (We seem to be in a police-state right now, but that is for the "Open Discussion" forum. Which very few ever read or post on -- which is a shame.)

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George Harris
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Margaret: My level of disgust over the way this whole situation has been handled, not just the original event, but almost all parts of the aftermath as well keeps getting deeper. I could say more, including some specifics about the follow ons but better stop.
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Gilbert B Norman
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I still hold that the wrong party is being vilified over this incident. The passenger's contract of carriage was with Republic Airways Holdings, Inc, and not United Continental Holdings, Inc.

But so long as the industry has adopted this practice of allowing these small airlines, aka puddle jumpers, to livery their aircraft in that of their "mainline" partner, to have their employees and contractors masquerade as those of same, and to essentially have the partner's identity, the mainline partner will take the fall.

It's wrong for this to prevail, but the bigger you are, there is more space for the slings, arrows, and lawsuits to hit.

Possibly, the mainline carriers will have to rethink this existing business plan and require these puddle jumpers to establish their own identities, starting of course with livering their aircraft in their own colors. This was once the practice and would again make the fall guy the right guy.

disclaimer: author does not hold any position UAL, however what flying he does is mostly on United. Also, author has several special friends employed by this carrier, and has had several strong client relationships with others.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Reuters reports that members of the legal community believe the removed passenger has a weak case against United Airlines, but fear that the "court of public opinion' will prevail:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ual-passenger-idUSKBN17F1WT

  • Kenneth Quinn, a partner at the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in Washington who represents airlines, disputed that Dao had a case.

    Quinn said that under the passenger contract, removing Dao from the plane while it was still at the gate was no different from denying him boarding. And once Dao refused to leave, Quinn said, the airline had a reason to use force.

    But Quinn said that even without a strong case, Dao would probably walk away with a hefty settlement.

    “I think United is likely to be found on legally solid ground, but has already lost in the court of public opinion, and will pay dearly for it,” Quinn said.

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George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
Quinn said that under the passenger contract, removing Dao from the plane while it was still at the gate was no different from denying him boarding. And once Dao refused to leave, Quinn said, the airline had a reason to use force.

I doubt it. Sounds like the posturing of the corporate shill. However he is being realistic in saying that UA has already lost in the court of public opinion. Anything less that abject groveling by the company and seeing the heads on platters of all responsible parties could well result in a Pyrrhic victory. Even if UA does come out, it could well result in it being worse for the corporation than if they just quietly wrote very large checks to all affected, and I mean checks, not travel vouchers.

Regardless of outcome, I certainly intend to stay away from UA henceforth.

Maybe throwing this subcontract carrier under the bus could be a worthwhile action on the part of UA, but still it is UA's name that is responsible in the public mind.

Whether done by UA or an inquisitive reporter (if there still is such a thing) digging up the past dirt on the good doctor worked against UA. It came across much like a rapist using as a defense,"She wore a tight skirt one day in the previous week." It only makes me want to hit them harder.

And, oh yeah: "Use of force" HOGWASH. Force that leaves a 69 year old man bloody, who given ethenticity was probably no more than about 5'-6" and 125 pounds could hardly be considered reasonable force.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Harris et al

I'm off to Atlanta in 8 days (Sat Apr 22) and flying United (real United down, Express Jet back)

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palmland
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Good luck in Atlanta! Just returned from a visit to our son who lives about 45 min north of downtown. Our other son and family were visiting so we all went downtown to see the zoo and CNN center. Trip was absolutely horrible and took almost 2 hours. Most of I-85 traffic is diverted onto I-285 that's already a parking lot. Current estimate of missing I-85 bridge being restored is June 15. May move up some as Atlanta just offered contractor a $3.5 M bonus to finish early. But you should be ok if you can stick to MARTA from airport to downtown. They've seen a 25% increase in ridership.
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Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Harris, the I-85 matter is a reason why the "buggy's in the barn" this trip.

I'll use MARTA from Hartsfield to the hotel North of the Perimeter (that's Atlantanese for I-285) in Dunwoody (Crowne Plaza). I know my Saturday friends have no intention of venturing South of 285. My Sunday friends live in Buckhead, but they have offered to come to the hotel and take me back from wherever they have chosen to go for Dinner.

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MargaretSPfan
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Mr. Norman ---
I am sure you would be singing a very different tune had YOU been the passenger subjected to this horrid act of violence.

Are all orders given by airline employees supposed to be meekly obeyed, no matter how ridiculous and illegal they are? To use an example given on another forum: if a cabin crew member ordered a passenger to strip naked and dance down the plane;'s aisle in front of a full load of passengers, should that order be obeyed? The orders given MUST be LAWFUL. And the order to that poor man to get up and leave was not lawful -- he had paid for his passage, and was seated. The airline's need to get 4 of its crewpeople somewhere was not that man's problem -- it was the airline's problem, and they had a responsibility to solve it without bothering their passengers. They could easily have driven those 4 crewpeople where they needed to go, or even cold have gotten a biz jet to take them there, and neither would have cost them anywhere nearly as much as the inevitable lawsuit will cost them -- not to mention the losses in the value of their stock, and the lost business from people who will never fly on United again.

If United had tried to hurt themselves badly, they could not have done a better job than they did by the horrible way they handled this situation.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Margaret, all you need is be a veteran of the military with maybe three hours of service to know "do it now, beef later".

I of course see your point about a lawful order, but this order to leave the aircraft WAS a lawful order.

Legally, Republic Airways was within the contractual agreement to have the passenger removed. It is a very safe assumption the passenger "mouthed off", and the police were called. The officers (who might or might not be sworn - I always thought O'Hare was patrolled by Chicago Police, but these "officers" we're with a different LEA; possibly "rent a cops") are likely guilty of "excessive use".

But United Airlines, in that they are visible worldwide and the industry practice of having these little puddle jumping airlines masquerade as a "major", will take the hit in the court of public opinion.

Plaintiff attorneys, find Margaret to be a juror; Defense find GBN.

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George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
Margaret, all you need is be a veteran of the military with maybe three hours of service to know "do it now, beef later".

Depends, Mr. Norman, just depends. In my time in Nam, with a month to go I did (as a 1LT) give my BN CO a straight up no because I felt following his order gave me a good chance of getting one of my men killed, and in my mind neither getting the progress he wanted on the sewer line we were putting nor avoiding the likelihood of an Article 15 for myself were worth that risk. As anticipated I was relieved of my command and given the worst possible duties he could imagine. (When the drill sergeant you have in basic tells you he will not kill you because he does not want to do the paperwork he is not joking.) In none of the ones on fatalities did I have a conclusion that he liked. No, I did not get the Article 15 because he had just gotten another LT in our BN an Article 15, and to have two officers receiving Article 15's in a relatively short period of time would look bad for him. He just wrote up a very bad OER, but since my active duty was ending within a couple months, no big deal.

Saying all that to say if you do not have the guts and backbone to disobey an order where the outcome is dangerous, illegal or both, you have no business in any position where you could be asked to perform such acts. My sympathy for all directly involved in the acts under discussion is zero. There are worse things than losing you job because you refused to simply follow orders into doing something obviously wrong. If in a position to do so, I would far rather hire someone who lost his job by doing something that showed backbone and compassion than someone who blindly just followed orders.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Well Mr. Harris, with all due respect due a Commissioned Officer from an EM, I have to say, based on your relating the incident back in Nam, that you do not appear to be "real RA material", and it probably was best you got out.

I gave quite thought to "staying in", but I really did not have a path to get a Commission.

Within the incident we are addressing, did the passenger mouth off? Almost certain he did. Did these "cops" use excessive force? Obviously.

But I still hold that the sin was allowing a puddle jumper airline to masquerade as if they were the major airline (United) that is going to take a "big time" fall over this incident.

I have to wonder if the jurors paneled to hear this case are aware of what a "wet lease" is and what it is not. This was an independent holding a contract to masquerade as another. This was not a "wet lease" where any tort would fall on the lessor.

Now what I think the industry need address is the wisdom of this masquerade and direct these carriers operate under their own identity. They did once upon a time; anyone remember Allegheny, Ozark, Central, Southern, North Central, Piedmont and about seven others? They leased gate space with the majors and coordinated their schules. But they were independent airlines with their own marketplace identity. It would be much more difficult to have their torts flow back to a major; this is where the puddle jumper carriers ought to be directed to go.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Here is more about Chicago Department of Aviation Police:

Chicago Tribune

This "Q & A" article suggest that these "cops" may not be sworn peace officers. They just might be nothing more than "bouncers".

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Ocala Mike
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Other airline names from my past - where did they all go?

Eastern
TWA
Colonial
Capitol
Northeast
Mohawk
Southern
National
Pan Am

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palmland
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Mike, my favorite was Ozark. It served middle Tennessee and was my first airplane ride- on a DC-3.
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yukon11
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It looks like Ozark Airlines had a nice variety of routes in the Midwest:

https://is.gd/tMUgvz

I didn't know they went out to Las Vegas and San Diego. I wonder if they would still be around if they weren't gobbled up by TWA.

Richard

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Gilbert B Norman
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We should note that at least one of these puddle jumping airlines has aircraft in their own livery:

https://goo.gl/images/9nolhx

This way if a tort is committed by an employee of one, the major will be less associated with such.

I don't fly that often; next Saturday will be my first flight since last August. This is probably a strong factor why I stick with United because I know my way around their ORD Terminal 1. The puddle jumpers are clustered around the ends of the B Concourse. It was only recently that the gates were equipped with Jetways. But the area has always seemed quite disorganized and a "nobody knows nothing" attitude prevails. I can recall a few years ago going to RIC; the flight was badly delayed with mechanics swarming over the aircraft (learned it was a NAVAID) that the Captain said "ladies and gentlemen, this aircraft is safe; I would not be flying it if it weren't".

Aside from two hours late, the flight was without further incident.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Here's more from the Chicago Tribune strongly suggesting that those goons are not sworn peace officers. They reportedly have had police training, but then same can be said of many a "rent a cop".

If the passenger, possibly for all I know, a one-time Saigon Cao Boi but I'm sure had a "mouth", refused to leave the aircraft by Republic Airways representatives, those "officers" could have ensured that he did not try and sneak off and disappear. They were empowered to board the aircraft to ensure he was calm until the Chicago Police got there and placed him under arrest.

Every time I learn more about the incident, I further hold to my belief that the wrong party has been "indicted, tried, and convicted" in the court of public opinion.

Somehow, I think now that flying has become mass transportation, there need be more awareness that occasional passengers such as quite likely Dr. Dao and I know myself are "tensed" by the surroundings; security, long walks, and the prevalent confusion of especially within the puddle jumper's arrival and departure area.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Another United incident has occurred this past Saturday.

The gist is a couple were booked in Economy, but chose to sit in EconoPlus. Attendant asked them to move, they complied but still authorities removed them from the flight and to which they further complied.

I don't think the air transport industry needs two such incidents in.one week - especially United Airlines.

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MargaretSPfan
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According to what I read in the news, the seats the couple were assigned to were occupied by a sleeping man who had stretched out on them, and, as the plane was lightly loaded, they decided to sit somewhere else, not wanting to have to deal with the sleeping man themselves.

Our society has gone nuts! Almost every day we read of yet another incident during which authorities have overreacted and used force or violence to "solve" problems with ordinary people when such force or violence wzs not needed.

Yes, this is an appropriate forum to discus further incidents like this, but what is really sad is that this forum is always at the bottom of the list of forums, and therefore posts here will be read by very few people. Oh, well..... This may be because TrainWeb wants such potentially inflammatory topics as this one to have low visibility, so as to keep the discussions on their forums less hot.

Sigh.....

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George Harris
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If the article is correct the airline was somewhere between rule obsessive and simply ridiculous for this occasion. However, not sure how much to believe given that the media article content about most events that I had any first hand knowledge about bore very little resemblance to what I witnessed.

I have on more than one occasion occupied a seat other than that on the ticket without any issue, but then it was done with the knowledge of all involved, with the exception of a couple of middle to side or side to middle moves.

Margaret, just remember incidents where issues were resolved without significant uproar don't make the news. These may be 100 to 1 or 1000 to 1 ratio to the violent ones and we would never know it.

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MargaretSPfan
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quote:
Originally posted by George Harris:
If the article is correct the airline was somewhere between rule obsessive and simply ridiculous for this occasion. However, not sure how much to believe given that the media article content about most events that I had any first hand knowledge about bore very little resemblance to what I witnessed.

I have on more than one occasion occupied a seat other than that on the ticket without any issue, but then it was done with the knowledge of all involved, with the exception of a couple of middle to side or side to middle moves.

Margaret, just remember incidents where issues were resolved without significant uproar don't make the news. These may be 100 to 1 or 1000 to 1 ratio to the violent ones and we would never know it.

George --
Thank you for the reminder about both the poor job the media does in reporting what really goes on, and the fact that when things go well, there is nothing to report.

Should have researched this further before I posted.

It is very hard to know what is really going on without some reliable evidence -- such as cell-phone videos of events from multiple people. Nonetheless, from everything that has been reliable reported, we are living in a climate of fear and suspicion in this country, and this just make it very hard to relax and enjoy life.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Anyone care to see this physician?

Heavy.com

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George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
Anyone care to see this physician?

Heavy.com

I still say throwing mud at the good doctor as part of an excuse for what was done is the equivalent of a rapist using as part of his defense, "She wore a really tight skirt one day last week." when the reality was 1. he did not know at the time of the rape, and 2. it did not change the nature of his crime and would not regardless of what she had done the previous week or previous 5 minutes. At the time the airport police assaulted the doctor they had no idea who he was or anything about his history. All they saw was a relatively small elderly man they thought could be a pushover for threatening and bullying.
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MargaretSPfan
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Mr. Normal --
There is no justification for anyone to beat up anyone else, no matter how nasty and bad the person is. Violence is never a solution to anything, and it is very sad that many people still feel that it is. Using violence is not a good way to make our society a truly decent one.

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Margaret, I wholly agree.

Those goons were not sworn peace officers and their powers were only to detain until the Chicago Police arrived at the scene (which they did as one of the videos shows).

That Dr. Dao has been something less than a "good doctor" is also irrelevant. He was a passenger who refused to comply with instructions from the flight crew, and not helping the cause, was that he had a "mouth".

Going on a flight is a "mite bit different" nowadays than when you or I first did so.

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