Fecal rampage grounds international United flight

2018 seems no easier for United Airlines.

Via the WaPo:

United Airlines passengers found themselves in a fetid situation when their Chicago-to-Hong Kong flight made an unscheduled landing in Alaska after a man had smeared feces all over some of the plane’s bathrooms, airport officials said.

United Flight 895 was diverted to Anchorage on Thursday night, according to CBS affiliate KTVA, and police officials at Ted Stevens International Airport said the landing was due to a “passenger smearing feces everywhere.”

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Two of the Chicago airport cops who beat up Dr David Dao got fired for lying about it (but not for the beating)

Two of the four Chicago Department of Aviation Security officers who beat United Airlines passenger Dr David Dao until he was unconscious, concussing him, breaking his nose and then dragging him off the plane, have been fired -- but not for administering the beating. Rather, they were fired for lying about it. One of the other two officers involved has quit and the final one got a two-day paid holiday ("suspension"). Read the rest

Mom feared being beaten by United crew, so she didn't complain when her son's seat was given away

Shirley Yamauchi paid $1,000 for her 27 month old son's United flight from Houston to Boston, in part because the kid is half her size and in part because it's illegal to fly with kids on your lap once they turn two. Read the rest

The Bureaucratic Style in American prose

After Colin Dickey wrote about United CEO Oscar Munoz's nonpology for the savage beating of Dr David Dao, he was taken to task for accusing the CEO of writing in the "passive voice."

The closer Dickey looked, the more he concluded that "passive voice" is not a good characterization of the style employed by corporate America; rather, the instantly recognizable "Bureaucratic Style" "makes use of both active and passive constructions, but its purpose is uniform: to erase and efface any active agent on the part of the bureaucracy."

Dickey's essay on Bureaucratic Style is fascinating.

To begin with, the bureaucratic style works to erase cause. Here is Munoz’s description of the start of the incident: “On Sunday, April 9, after United Express Flight 3411 was fully boarded, United’s gate agents were approached by crewmembers that were told they needed to board the flight.” Setting aside the passengers for a second, in this sentence there are two named actors: the gate agents and the crewmembers. You might expect, then, that this all started when the crewmembers approached the gate agents and told them they needed to board the flight. However, a closer reading of the syntax implies this is not the case; the crewmembers themselves “were told they needed to board the flight.” Who told them? The sentence does not make this clear, even though it is this unnamed actor, presumably a supervisor, who set this entire chain of events in motion. Deliberately pushed back as far off the stage as possible, there is no one here to responsibly hold accountable for subsequent events.

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David Dao's injuries: concussion, two front teeth knocked out, broken nose

Dr David Dao's lawyers have revealed the extent of his injuries as part of his pending lawsuit: "a broken nose and concussion and lost two front teeth." Read the rest

Since we all hate United already, let's show how awful their mobile app is

If you think flying United will leave you battered and bruised, just try booking a flight on United's mobile app. Useronboard presents the horrorshow in 149 slides. This is the best takedown of corporate idiocy since 2007's Yours is a Very Bad Hotel. Read the rest

United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for "higher-priority" traveler

United Airlines is already dealing with intense public backlash after a doctor was beaten, knocked out, and dragged off one of its plane for refusing to give up a seat he'd paid paid for because United wanted his seat for one of its employees. Now, the LA Times is reporting that another man, who'd purchased a full-fare first class ticket and was sitting is his seat on a United Flight, was threatened with handcuffs if he did't give up his seat for a "higher-priority" traveler.

Snip:

[Geoff Fearns] boarded the aircraft at Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, took his seat and enjoyed a complimentary glass of orange juice while awaiting takeoff.

Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.

...

“That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute,” Fearns said. “They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me.”

“I understand you might bump people because a flight is full,” Fearns said. “But they didn’t say anything at the gate. I was already in the seat. And now they were telling me I had no choice. They said they’d put me in cuffs if they had to.”

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Oversold, understated and authoritarian: debullshitifying the reporting on United's "removal" of Dr David Dao

As the scandal over a United passenger who was beaten unconscious and dragged off a plane when he refused to give up his seat for a deadheading crewmember unspools, there's a predictable torrent of bullshit about how United was in the right because something something private property, and let us not forget the great American sport of victim-blaming. Read the rest

United Airlines sorry they forced disabled man to crawl off plane to use bathroom

A man with physical disabilities was forced to crawled off a plane at Reagan National Airport in Arlington VA, when United Airlines failed to provide him with help disembarking.

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United website breach let fliers see each others' private data

Alice Taylor could have requested a very expensive upgrade on your behalf. The airline isn't saying why.

United nearly kills shipped dog, refuses to pay vet bills without NDA

NBC News.

Janet Sinclair and her dog "Sedona"

When Janet Sinclair shipped her greyhound from San Diego to Boston with United Airlines' PetSafe program, she was horrified to discover her dog nearly dead on arrival, covered in feces and blood, with blood in its stool and urine. The dog had been exposed to punishing heat, its cage had been kicked across United's shipping facilities by their handlers. The vet bill was $2700, and the vet confirmed that the dog's injuries were the result of heat stroke and rough treatment.

United agreed to pay the vet bill, but only if Sinclair would sign a nondisclosure agreement promising not to tell anyone about their monumental screw-up. Instead, Sinclair went public. The ensuing media attention revealed hundreds of other people whose pets were injured and killed by United. Read the rest