April 10th, 2017

United: in a culture dominated by social media…

…an airline can’t get off scot-free with this sort of heavy-handed action, which dominated the public chatter today.

United Airlines and many other airlines overbook for perfectly understandable economic reasons. It doesn’t usually cause problems, because they also offer economic incentives—for those passengers who aren’t in such an enormous hurry to get where they’re going—to change their flight. But sometimes it doesn’t work that way, and if an airline is going to drag a passenger off a flight, that airline is going to pay the price in PR, which translates to money in the end.

So the airline should have been smarter, and paid the price instead up-front:

United has confirmed that they overbooked the flight and dragged a passenger off when they didn’t get enough volunteers. United had previously offered money — up to $800 — for passengers to voluntarily get off the flight. The passengers who needed to be seated were United employees who needed to get to another destination in order to work a flight there, apparently. But when $800 wasn’t enough to get volunteers, they used a computer model to randomly select people for removal. A man seated on his flight with a ticket he paid for was then removed forcibly. Now they’re facing a social media backlash as a result…

United should have simply started offering more money. If $800 wasn’t enough, what about $1,000? If $1,000 wasn’t enough, how about $1,200? They were receiving real-time information about price setting and they weren’t responsive to it. Every passenger has a price point at which he or she is willing to disembark a given plane. For some passengers, they need to get to a funeral and the price will be high. For others, they might not even want to be making the trip and can be bought for much cheaper. United needed to find the passenger with the lowest price point. The way to do that would have been to make incremental offers until they found it. Now they’ll suffer much more through negative public relations and earned bad media. A bit of knowledge of economics might have helped them.

Oh, I think United understands economics well enough (although whoever made this particular decision might not have understood it). After all, economics is what dictates the general policy of overbooking and of compensation for those willing to change. What United doesn’t seem to understand is how much good PR is worth, and the power and ubiquity of social media.

75 Responses to “United: in a culture dominated by social media…”

  1. Yancey Ward Says:

    Someone at United made a catastrophically bad decision, but I would be willing to bet that someone was following rigid rules issued from higher up.

    All that written, however, the passenger himself comes in for blame as well- tact and simply self-respect would have prevented me from making such a scene like that, even if I didn’t want to deplane (I would have taken the money and the hotel in an instant).

  2. DNW Says:

    I’ve been on enough planes with emotionally uninhibited uncooperative passengers before.

    No sympathy for some whining entitled male who creates a public ruckus on an airplane.

    Throw his ass out onto the runway head first …

  3. Llwddythlw Says:

    Yes, this is the sort of problem that Michael Sandel addressed in “What Money Can’t Buy”.

  4. DNW Says:

    Imagine you are on a plane with a sniveler like that in an emergency. Say one engine fails and you start spiraling down to make an emergency landing; or the plane is struck by lightening over a lake …

    And you have to share the possible last moments of your life stuck in a space with emotionalist crap like him …

    Been there, done that. No sympathy, again.

    Good for United.

  5. Lurch Says:

    I do miss Continental.

  6. Brian Swisher Says:

    Will bad PR make that much of a difference for them? Given the hub-and-spoke construction of airline routes these days, for certain routes and destinations you are pretty much stuck with a particular airline.

  7. William Teach Says:

    The interesting thing here is that all reports seem to go with the over-booking meme, but, it is really about the plane being full and United wanted to get 4-5 of its employees on board.

    Their PR people and lawyers must have started drinking heavily yesterday.

  8. parker Says:

    Hmmm, I buy a ticket, I show up early to get through security and find my gate, I sit patiently waiting to board, I board when I am allowed to board, I sit in my assigned seat for 20 minutes as the plane waits for permission to depart, and then because the airline wants to put an employee on my flight and decides I have to give my seat I am supposed to be happy? What if I disagree because I am flying to quickly reach a dying relative or friend? But no, the employee needs to be where I am going, and that is more important than my desire to spend precious time with a dying relative or friend.

    If I refuse to give up my seat for the convenience of an airline employee cops come to take me off the plane. Wow, great way to encourage me to patronize your airline ever again. What it does is encourage me to lawyer up and sue you for emotional distress because my dying relative or friend expired before I could get another flight to reach my loved one one last time.

  9. fiona Says:

    Consider the situation in New York this weekend. We had a Friday afternoon flight to Miami, along with a couple of hundred other people. The flight was delayed because the plane was late coming in, then delayed again because there was no pilot. During the delay, it became apparent that the plane was overbooked and offers were made, beginning with travel vouchers and flights on (already overbooked) flights the next day. When there were no takers, the offers reached $1300 in gift cards and substitute flights. Many of the passengers were going to Miami to catch cruise ships, attend weddings, etc. others had connecting flights, etc. In the event, when no pilot showed up after 4 hours, the airline cancelled the flight due to “weather”. Standing in the 3hour line we listened to other peoples’ stories. We were in transit from Europe; like everyone else we were offered flights on TUESDAY, since every Delta flight out of NY City was overbooked until then. MOst people tried rental cars, other cities, etc. Not available, Delta was unwilling to book on other airlines. We took a hotel and chance to fly out the following morning – bad move, we were standby on the morning flight. Same procedure – up to $1300 per seat, chance to fly out next day,not enough takers, no standbys were seated. GOt hotel room and seats on Sunday late night plane, arrived at the airport to find that 4 pm plane had been cancelled, angry passengers everywhere. By the way, our tickets were booked by our cruise line and I think that many of the others were too.

  10. Kae Arby Says:

    From Courier-Journal.com

    The man was able to get back on the plane after initially being taken off – his face was bloody and he seemed disoriented, Bridges said, and he ran to the back of the plane. Passengers asked to get off the plane as a medical crew came on to deal with the passenger, she said, and passengers were then told to go back to the gate so that officials could “tidy up” the plane before taking off.

    Let’s see, you forcibly remove a man from a plane, apparently beat the crap out of the guy (whether this was an actual assault, accident or self inflicted, I do not know) and then let the man back on the plane, bloodied up, for all of the passengers to see. Talk about jackbooted amateurs.

    I will also note that the man claimed to be a doctor and needed to be at his destination to see a patient in the morning.

    KRB

  11. Liz Says:

    At a point in time, it became easier to just drive to my destination.

    I considered the time to get to the airport, the time flying, the time to get to the destination and costs associated with the travel (taxis, car rentals, parking fees, etc)as well as time spent . Oh, add an amount for the stress involved with traveling, the possible delays and all that other stuff.

    I repeat, for most travel, it is easier and cheaper to drive.

  12. Liz Says:

    The cost of this episode is such that it would have been more efficient for the airline to hire a private jet to get the 4 staff to their final destination.

    I am actually surprised that an airline doesn’t have small jets to transport crew around. Far cheaper than the bad press that they are now getting!

  13. J.J. Says:

    Overbooking has long been one of my primary complaints about the airline industry. (And I am a retired airline pilot.) It may make sense in times when demand is off and you know there will probably be a few empty seats. There are times when demand is lower. (Spring break and Easter is not one of those times.) Only during low demand times should overbooking be allowed. While I’m against over regulation, it seems to me the airline managements need some regulation if they won’t use common sense.

    Years ago, before deregulation, the airlines did not overbook, but offered standby fares that were about half off. People who flew standby were willing and able to wait for the next plane. That way people who absolutely needed to fly had a guaranteed seat. Worked quite well during peak demand times. Might be time to look at that kind of thing again.

  14. AesopFan Says:

    William Teach Says:
    April 10th, 2017 at 3:31 pm
    The interesting thing here is that all reports seem to go with the over-booking meme, but, it is really about the plane being full and United wanted to get 4-5 of its employees on board.

    Their PR people and lawyers must have started drinking heavily yesterday.
    * * *
    Since the airlines know their schedules in advance, or should, why didn’t they get their employees on board FIRST, and then offer incentives until enough people took them.
    And Liz is very right, both times.

    If I can’t fly Southwest, I won’t fly at all.

    DNW makes an awful lot of assumptions about the guy who had a legitimate complaint.

  15. AesopFan Says:

    Anybody remember the “flying imams” who got a boatload of money after being removed (as a group) for frightening the passengers and crew with their antics?

    This guy has a much better case for redress.

  16. Yankee Says:

    I watched the video, and my first reaction was to laugh. I thought it was funny. What does it say about your intelligence, self-control, discipline, and maturity if you end up getting your face bloodied and then dragged off an airplane? And then you come back onto the plane a second time! Some “doctor” that guy is (allegedly)!

    Even if it’s not fair to some particular individual, it is essential to have the authority to kick someone off the airplane if you need to. The same thing applies to any other place, like a store, restaurant, bar, or hotel. Otherwise, you end up with chaos.

    And remember, everyone on that plane knew it was overbooked, and knew that someone had to get off, and knew that no one was coming up to volunteer. That plane has to be able to take off at some point, and the airline’s employees need to be in place to make the whole system work. It is a certainty that the guy was asked multiple times by many people to get off the plane, and he still refused.

    Compared to the hard work, travails, and sufferings that my pioneer ancestors had to go through to cross the country, a minor delay at an airport is nothing.

  17. Liz Says:

    At a certain point in time in my life, I decided that the hassle was not worth being at a place at a certain point in time.

    I traveled early & later – if I wanted to see my mother for Thanksgiving, I got her into town on the Monday before and sent her back home Tuesday or Wednesday after the holiday. Same with other holidays. Or vice versa….

    We had a longer visit which was less stressful. I told Mom that we could enjoy the longer time and there were some families that had tighter time constraints. She agreed.

    After a while, she enjoyed the road trips that we had… less hassle. And I can remember all of them, they were great! A single photo or idea brings back wonderful memories – far better than getting to a city ASAP.

  18. charles Says:

    Years ago, when making a flight home for a funeral I was on an overbooked flight.

    They first made an announcement that they would like to offer a free hotel stay and a guaranteed seat the next day.

    No takers, so they upped it by offering money as well.

    Still no takers, so, they upped it with more money. Some takers, but not enough.

    So, then they started to “randomly” pull passengers.

    This was all BEFORE anyone boarded. BEFORE! not after.

    What idiots those gate employees were in this case at United. How stupid can they be to board the plane and THEN ask people to get off?! I’d be pissed too and refuse to get off.

    FYI, I was one of the “randomly” pulled passengers; but, when I explained that I was flying home for a funeral, they let me stay.

    The other thing that these United employees do not understand – and it is a mistake I see a lot of companies make nowadays – is the ever present cell phone video. It is one thing to have people talk about you; but, all together a different thing to have folks SHOW what idiots you are.

  19. John Guilfoyle Says:

    “It doesn’t usually cause problems, because they also offer economic incentives—for those passengers who aren’t in such an enormous hurry to get where they’re going—to change their flight.”

    Rubbish. It always causes a problem, especially for those of us who travel with small children who discover to our dismay that our seat assignments on “overbooked” flights scatter me, my wife & 3 minor daughters across multiple aisles not in any proximity to each other. Add to that the indignity of TSA wanting to naked body scan my children…and pat us all down to no notable security benefit.

    And no airline will offer me an economic incentive large enough induce me to screw up my limited vacation travel time & plans for their benefit. Is there a $$ figure they could offer or a “sweetener” they could propose? Sure…but they won’t go that high.

    3 hours or less – I drive. Even a 1-hour flight requires more than 3 hours of “travel time” so I’m with Liz. And I hope DNW gets seated next to a crying baby on his next 5 flights.

  20. Julia Says:

    I travel nearly every week. People get overbooked, and while they should have done it before people boarded, they didn’t. It is against the law to not comply with a crew member’s instructions. This is repeated on every flight.
    I have as much sympathy for this guy as I do a guy who resists arrest or disobeys at a traffic stop. They tell you to get off the plane, you get off. You can discuss (or argue), but your rights are limited.

  21. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Badly handled + understandably irate but idiot passenger = hugely negative PR + lucrative lawsuit. United raises prices to compensate. Drives even more consumers away. ‘No cure for stupid’ meme is not limited to just individuals.

  22. Yankee Says:

    What some may not know is that over the last few days, there have been a very high number of delays and cancellations, starting with Delta and its Atlanta hub, mainly due to bad weather. This has a cascading effect, where alternative flights and routes fill up quickly (not to mention local hotels, for those stranded).

    I also find it interesting to note the reactions of the other passengers. From the video, it’s like they have no experience of real force or violence. What did they expect would happen when someone is asked to leave the plane, yet refuses to do so? And has anyone besides me had to throw people out of some establishment?

  23. parker Says:

    WTF does it matter what is the reason said passenger who bought a ticket, followed all the procedures, and was allowed to board resists giving up his seat? He paid for his ticket in advance and followed the rules and is some how immature yada yada because he expected the airline to honor his purchase and live up to their end of the transaction?

    So if I go to the grocery in the next ten minutes to buy cream for my morning coffee, pick the last carton of cream from the cooler, go through the checkout line with my legally purchased carton of cream and then the grocery employees accost me as I am getting into my car and take away my legally purchased cream after they rough me up because one of them wants the last carton of cream for their morning coffee, and this is okay?

    Those of you who make excuses for the behavior of United Airlines and its employees are more than just a bit f3£ked up in your ‘thought ‘process. A purchase of a product is a legal bargain. When one party agrees to the transaction and then does not live up to their side of the bargain it is at fault, not the party who lived up to their side of the transaction. Perhaps UL should have offered $100,000 to this passenger; but in the scenario I mentioned above, UL could offer me $1,000,000 to give up my seat and I would refuse the offer.

  24. parker Says:

    Yankee,

    This situation under discussion does not invovle flight delays due to bad weather causing a “cascading effect”. It invovles UL booking seats on a flight and then, through UL’s mismanagement of shuttling its employees, forcing a passenger out of a seat that he purchased. I hope this abused passenger takes UL through the legal process to cough up many millions in compensation for their, not his, fuck up.

    You may have had to ‘throw’ someone out of an establishment, but that is in no way equivalent to the event under discussion. I bow down to your ability to ‘throw’ someone out of whatever establishment somewhere on the planet, but it has no relationship to this incident.

  25. parker Says:

    GB,

    I find it interesting that you view the paasenger as an idiot. He entered into a transaction with UL. He paid in advance, followed all the procedures to board the flight; and then UL through its apparent inability to get their employees where needed in a timely fashion, found it necessary to throw (ask Yankee, he/she is the expert on throwing) this passenger off a flight he purchased. Can’t honor a purchase you made? Well, you had better offer a big bucks excuse to apologize for failing to meet your end of the bargain. In certain circumstances I demand 7 figures compensation or even 8 figures.

    When I tell someone, no paper work involved, that I will do what I said I will do, I fucking well do it, because my word is my bond. But perhaps out in flyover country we live under a different sky.

  26. J.J. Says:

    Julia: ” They tell you to get off the plane, you get off. You can discuss (or argue), but your rights are limited.”

    You are correct. The law is that you have to comply with orders or commands from crew members. This passenger may sue, but may not have a legal leg to stand on, which is unfortunate. The Feds have made it that way because they don’t want people ignoring crew members when they are enclosed in an aluminum tube while roaring through the frigid skies at just under the speed of sound. Even though the airplane was still at the gate, the crew and passenger reps have the legal authority.

    I saw a segment on Foxnews tonight where a representative of the Airline Passenger’s Rights Association explained that, if you read the fine print on your ticket closely, you will finds out you have given up many of your rights when you bought the ticket.

    That said, UAL has given themselves a big PR black eye. Upping the ante to $1350 (supposedly the max that is normal on domestic flights), or whatever it took, would cost much less than the bad PR this incident has created.

    The airlines are, IMHO, mostly poorly managed. Everything about the flying experience has gotten worse over the last 25 years (since I retired 🙂 ) because they can get away with it. People need to fly and most airlines are about the same so the passengers have put up with it.

  27. The Other Chuck Says:

    J.J. has the solution to overbooking by suggesting they go back to stand by at half price. It is so unpleasant to travel by air that I stopped, along with who knows how many others. It’s like the passengers don’t count anymore. Reduced service, delayed or cancelled flights, cramped seating, and the often nightmare of TSA goons groping you, make for very unhappy travelers. For me the best part of driving is being able to take along my Jack Russell Terrier, who is anything but a flamenco dancer. More like a food tester/alarm clock/bodyguard (he thinks!)

  28. parker Says:

    J. J.,

    Okay, the feds have ruled, I get it. However there is a BIGLEY difference, especially in this specific incident. If those on the right excuse the over this over the top reaction of UL in this particular case, you might as well kiss the hard left and hop into bed together. French kissing.. Chaude. et sexy.

  29. neo-neocon Says:

    John Guilfoyle:

    I’ve been on plenty of flights where they ask for volunteers to switch, and I’ve never seen a problem with it because there have always been people eager to get the bonus for voluntarily doing it.

    And your problem of having your seats separated isn’t from overbooking—unless you believe it’s “overbooking” to fill every single seat. Ordinarily you get the seat assignments when you buy your ticket, and the sooner you get the tickets the more chance you have to all sit together. It’s not overbooking if every person has a seat. Are you saying that you signed up for seats together, and they switched your seats at the last minute? Again, I don’t see how that could be because of overbooking, if every passenger has a seat.

  30. T Says:

    “” . . . a representative of the Airline Passenger’s Rights Association explained that, if you read the fine print on your ticket closely, you will finds out you have given up many of your rights when you bought the ticket.” [J.J. @ 11:36]

    But one does not get to read the disclaimer until after one pays for the ticket; you must buy the ticket to see what’s in it. Pelosi Air?

  31. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Neo – All I know is what I am told when I get to the gate. In my connecting from international to domestic flights & then again at domestic terminals…I get to the gate & lo & behold we are like chaff in a whirlwind & the excuse in every single instance…We are overbooked & you get what’s available. And I was told on at least 2 occasions “Just ask someone on the plane to swap seats with you”

    I know what is “supposed to happen” and I know what we have had happen…and the gate agent always says “overbooking causes more problems than we can solve here at the gate.” My experience may be limited to me, but I’ve seen more than my fair share of folks in line with me having far worse troubles than I & the answer from behind the counter…”overbooking”

  32. Manju Says:

    I don’t see any evidence that the flight was overbooked…ie more confirmed ticketholders than seats.

    Looks like the flight was perfectly booked…no open seats. The issue was that UA wanted to put their own employees in seats occupied by ticketholders, not that ticketholders didn’t have any available seats.

    I guess it comes down to UA’s property rights vs the Doctor’s contractual right to a seat. Any language in the contract pertaining to overbooking strikes me as irrelevant.

  33. Yankee Says:

    Again, I had to deal first-hand with the effects of the shutdown in Atlanta over the last few days, even though I was faraway in Maine. There was a local spike in hotel occupancy because of all those cancelled flights. Many business travelers were stranded, as were a number of airline personnel. Some people were taking flights to Detroit, as a roundabout way of getting to their final destination. Others were getting on the 3:00 AM bus to Boston, as that airport offered more flights out than the Portland one.

    So when I heard the news about that guy on the United flight, it was immediately obvious why all of that happened. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s not an evil corporation, and it’s not mismanagement. It’s just ordinary people trying to do their best to deal with a difficult situation. Everyone over the last few days would have been delayed for one reason or another, and the airline still has to get its personnel in place, to prevent other delays.

    In an imperfect world, a little cooperation is in order. Sometimes life is not fair. Sometimes you will be asked to get off a plane, even though you have paid for your ticket, and even though you might already be seated. You will still be able to get another flight, just a little later. It’s just something you have to be able to deal with.

    Learn from that video (and watch all of it, including the part where that “doctor” somehow got back on the plane, saying “I have to get home” and then repeating “Just kill me”.) Don’t do what that guy did. And don’t forget that there would have been a very long time before the police showed up where he was asked nicely to leave, and yet still refused to.

  34. DNW Says:

    “DNW makes an awful lot of assumptions about the guy who had a legitimate complaint.”

    Fair enough, but:

    It is not the abstract legitimacy of his complaint, or rather his frustration that I am reacting to.

    Overbooking is a problem. People missing connections is a problem. Flying through the stratosphere jammed in a third-world sardine can with a bunch of dis-inhibited neurotics, is a problem.

    Maybe fares are too low. Maybe people are too entitled. Maybe the mentally ill should get out and walk; or maybe they should have government funded magic carpets to ferry them around. Or maybe there is another problem entirely with the airlines that I am not seeing.

    But what I was seeing is a grown man, in public, acting emotionally and in the most contemptible and dishonorable manner that one can almost – if not quite – imagine.

    It was his dishonorable cry-baby whining. What kind of man does that? What kind of woman would do that, for that matter?

  35. Lurch Says:

    DNW is right in that the passenger acted poorly. My guess is he is emotionally unstable. Doubt this guy is a physician. Wouldn’t want him as my physician if he is one!

    everyone is right too about United. Terrible airline. Very poor customer service. I’ll never forgive them for two things:

    1) years ago they THREW AWAY all my frequent flyer miles. I wasn’t frequent enough for them, I suppose.

    2) they took over and destroyed my favorite airline (Continental). I miss that airline a lot.

  36. Sarah Rolph Says:

    I find it sickening that people are defending the use of physical force against a paying customer who didn’t understand why he should give up his seat. I don’t care how badly he behaved, there is no excuse for using violence. I’m shocked that it happened and astonished it’s being defended.

  37. DNW Says:

    Sarah Rolph Says:
    April 11th, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I find it sickening that people are defending the use of physical force against a paying customer who didn’t understand why he should give up his seat. I don’t care how badly he behaved, there is no excuse for using violence. I’m shocked that it happened and astonished it’s being defended.

    If he had acted like a man, like someone with some dignity, with some respect for himself and others, instead of a petulant and suicidal cry-baby, force would probably have been unnecessary to remove him from the seat.

  38. DNW Says:

    I am amazed at the complete lack of concern on the part of sympathizers, over this “man’s” complete lack of moral virtue and personal dignity.

    His sniveling, alternately narcissistic and suicidal outbursts are what one would expect from a spoiled and entitled child or some lousy male borderline personality case.

    No sympathy …

  39. Big Maq Says:

    “I’ve been on enough planes with emotionally uninhibited uncooperative passengers before.

    No sympathy for some whining entitled male who creates a public ruckus on an airplane.

    Throw his ass out onto the runway head first …” – DMV

    Something tells me, from prior posts, you would hardly quietly comply if you thought you were on the wrong end of a perceived unfairness.

    Also, obviously never had to deal much with service to the public (or did so at the local Dept of Motor Vehicles).

    No soup for you!

    Rather profoundly revealing in many ways.
    .

    Parker has it absolutely right, regardless of the passenger’s reaction (“dishonorable … cry-baby whining”), they are a paying customer and did nothing wrong whatsoever to begin with.

    BTW, that customer DID volunteer at $400, until they found out it would be ~2:30 pm the NEXT day that they would be “accommodated” – according to one of the other passengers interviewed on the news.

    Was this (earlier volunteering) a factor in the “random” selection? Who knows? (How random is their “random” process, anyway? – e.g. doubt frequent fliers were on it).

    Having a “right” (legal) to do something doesn’t mean it is the “right” (good) thing to do, nor to do so in any way they wish, d*mn all the other consequences.
    .

    Neo hit the nail on the head on the value of PR, ESCPECIALLY, in this social media driven world.

    This will cost them much more than the not-all-that-generous top end amounts they offered the passengers.

    Though, in the scheme of things, without much competition, it will probably be a blip to them, unless this has legs.
    .

    Sadly, this could have been just about any other airline.

    There are many very good employees, but there are enough that take a “we vs they” battle attitude (usually once problems arise – but, surprisingly often, not always!). Undoubtedly, it is because of all the “emotionally, uninhibited, uncooperative passengers” they run into daily.

    I know this very well, having flown practically every week since the 90s. Won’t bore folks with the many, many examples of poor service I have run into, most often because of a similar attitude.

    AND, have seen my share of terrible passengers too, so understand full well what these folks face daily.
    .

    For United, this might be an embedded cultural thing, given the CEO’s response:

    “I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers”

    A complete non-recognition of just what happened!

    Maybe it is an industry thing… I noticed that Delta was still clearing their backlog of stranded passengers on Monday, four days after the weather disruption. IIRC, used to be that airlines’d book you on a competitor’s flight, if they couldn’t accommodate you in a reasonable time. Seems like that is no longer the case.

    JJ seems to know from the inside:

    “The airlines are, IMHO, mostly poorly managed. Everything about the flying experience has gotten worse over the last 25 years (since I retired 🙂 ) because they can get away with it. As can the local DMV.
    .

    This particular incident didn’t need to be:

    They could have continued upping the offer, as many have suggested.

    Or, picked someone else. (Did they bother to ask this passenger his reason for objecting, and if so, did they check it out?)

    Or, they could have unloaded the entire airplane and call up passengers by name to board. Longer process, but would have avoided this fiasco. Wouldn’t have avoided the frustrations in the passengers picked.

    2:30 pm the next day? If correct, couldn’t they just pay for a competitor’s flight that would land the passengers the closest possible to their original plan?
    .

    “This guy has a much better case for redress.” – Aesopfan

    Well, yes, he certainly SEEMS to have a reasonable case for undue and unnecessary trauma, especially when there ARE alternatives means of dealing with the situation.

    Doubt they bothered to ask him his situation – IF he is a doctor, with patients to see the next day, seems reasonable enough to leave him be, after all, he was willing to volunteer until he found out how late he actually would be. Say, versus a retiree who would miss a vacation day (just to compare to an example).

  40. DNW Says:

    Lurch Says:
    April 11th, 2017 at 10:05 am

    DNW is right in that the passenger acted poorly. My guess is he is emotionally unstable. Doubt this guy is a physician. Wouldn’t want him as my physician if he is one!”

    He acted like a whining sack of …

    Men, and women both, have climbed the gallows, victims of the rankest injustice, with more human dignity and honor intact than this piece-of-work exhibited over a seat on an airliner.

    Was it unfair? Shrug … maybe. Bad policy? Maybe. Any excuse for his behavior? None.

  41. Big Maq Says:

    “I am amazed at the complete lack of concern on the part of sympathizers, over this “man’s” complete lack of moral virtue and personal dignity. – DMV

    Says one who seems to have little issue with trump.

    Like I said elsewhere, profoundly revealing.

  42. DNW Says:

    ““I’ve been on enough planes with emotionally uninhibited uncooperative passengers before.

    No sympathy for some whining entitled male who creates a public ruckus on an airplane.

    Throw his ass out onto the runway head first …” – DMV

    Something tells me, from prior posts, you would hardly quietly comply if you thought you were on the wrong end of a perceived unfairness.

    There are two primary issues here.

    1. The kind of “unfairness”: He did not own the seat. His selection for removal was random. His rights are described on his ticket. What is actually ‘unfair’ about this, remains somewhat murky it seems. Perhaps there is some cosmic issue of corporate loving kindness in play that I did not notice.

    2. It is his contemptible response that is my beef with him. If he thinks he has a legal leg to stand on with regard to seat ownership, let him take it to court.

    Now as for the matter of my likely suspect quietude or complaisance over a moral or physical trespass.

    If, you are referring to my possible mention of a certain matter of neighbors asserting a right of adverse possession over some acreage, well, I did not fall to the ground screaming.

    I went into the woods (armed, but for reasons of bear not men) and tore down their wire and signs, and put up a fence. Then we went to court when they sued; and their case was dismissed with prejudice.

    And they, having lost 30 acres they had hoped to gain, acted with more aplomb than this clown on the plane.

    Also, obviously never had to deal much with service to the public (or did so at the local Dept of Motor Vehicles).

    No soup for you!

    Maybe no soup, but a license nonetheless.

    Yes, I have been there. We all have since 9/11 made drivers licenses into coded IDs that must be renewed in person. It’s as you imply, a zoo, of baggy pants, of hunched shoulders, of straggly hair slouches leaning for support on every exposed horizontal surface above knee high.

    I survived it and got my license renewed. Shrug.

    Rather profoundly revealing in many ways.”

    Face it. The guy is a cry-baby with no sense of shame or dignity.

    That is my issue with him.

    He can sue the airline for millions for all I care. Though if I were the jury, he would not get it.

  43. Roy Says:

    Several points:

    First, the passenger in this case did indeed behave badly. However, the man was at the tail end of a very long international flight itinerary. To get that close to your destination only to be told you must deplane? Yeah, I would have been pissed as well. I may have even argued with the crew a bit. But, I would have left the plane long before it ever got to the point of me being forcibly removed.

    Second, I have been in a similar situation myself. (I live in Louisville, and I have had to connect via O’Hare.) United is run by idiots. I have to fly to Europe on occasion and my last trip I had to fly from Louisville to Chicago to Frankfurt Germany via United, and thence to Nuremberg and points further on via Lufthansa. In every single case I have had to do that, United has screwed the pooch causing delays and missed connections. Lufthansa? You can almost set your watch by them. (…not always, but much, much better than UAL.) My last trip to Germany, on the return leg, I got all the way to Chicago only to have United cancel the Chicago to Louisville flight at the last minute (11:30 PM) because they were missing one crew member. (I flew home on American the next day.) If I can help it, I no longer fly United, nor do I connect via O’Hare. Sometimes I can’t help it and it’s *always* an ordeal.

    Airline travel in general has gotten very bad. The airlines, in their quest to cut costs has reduced the seat pitch to a point where the average adult male can barely fit into the space. It is torture even on the shortest flights. I am 6’2″ tall and my thigh bone is longer than the distance between my seat back and the back of the seat in front of me. I have to sit at an angle the entire trip. I always try to get an emergency exit row if I can, but mostly, I try not to fly if it can be avoided. (I turned down a promotion at work because it would have required me to fly a lot more.)

    It’s about 300 miles between Chicago and Louisville. That’s about 6 hours drive time depending on time of day and traffic in Chicago and Indianapolis. Nowadays, my rule is that if I can drive it within 12 hours, I always drive rather than fly. Indeed, even if it’s more than a day, and I have the time, I would rather drive it than fly it. It has gotten that bad.

    If I had to catch a cruise ship in, say, Miami Florida, I would definitely drive to Miami rather than fly. Flying is just too uncomfortable but more importantly, too unreliable to take the chance of missing the boat.

  44. DNW Says:

    Now isn’t this precious …

    “United overbooking story tops Chinese social media on evicted passenger’s claim he was singled out for ethnicity …”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/11/united-overbooking-story-tops-chinese-social-media-on-evicted-passengers-claim-he-was-singled-out-for-ethnicity.html

  45. T Says:

    “His sniveling, alternately narcissistic and suicidal outbursts are what one would expect from a spoiled and entitled child or some lousy male borderline personality case.” [DNW@10:51]

    But remember this passenger wasn’t asked to leave the plane because of his poor behavior, his poor behavior resulted from the airline asking him to relinquish his contractual right to a seat to which he was already assigned and in which he was already sitting. Would it have been gracious of him to do so? Yes. Did he have an obligation to do so? I think not (but I am not an attorney).

    Furthermore, had he acquiesced and voluntarily walked off of the plane would he not have hurt his own chances to sue in the aftermath because he was being polite and cooperative? At the very least, cooperation put him at the airlines mercy; they could offer him as little as the chose to as comnpensation for his inconvenience. Now, he has the right to see them in court with clear evidence that he was involuntarily denied a seat that he had paid for.

    In fact, i ask if this is not even a Fourth Amendment violation (unreasonable seizure of his very person).

  46. DNW Says:

    “It’s about 300 miles between Chicago and Louisville. That’s about 6 hours drive time depending on time of day and traffic in Chicago and Indianapolis.”

    If you don’t have a flunky dropping you off at the airport and chauffeuring you around when you arrive, you might as well drive yourself.

    Det to Chi is a 4.5 to 6 hour drive.

    Or a 40 some minutes flight time /or hour and a half gate to gate trip. Except that is for the additional travel time to the airport, the 90 minutes allowance for early arrival, boarding, deplaning, luggage pickup, exit to cabs … travel to hotel.

    You can be in Kalamazoo before the plane passes overhead.

  47. DNW Says:

    T Says:
    April 11th, 2017 at 11:53 am

    “His sniveling, alternately narcissistic and suicidal outbursts are what one would expect from a spoiled and entitled child or some lousy male borderline personality case.” [DNW@10:51]

    But remember this passenger wasn’t asked to leave the plane because of his poor behavior, his poor behavior resulted from the airline asking him to relinquish his contractual right to a seat to which he was already assigned and in which he was already sitting. Would it have been gracious of him to do so? Yes. Did he have an obligation to do so? I think not (but I am not an attorney).”

    I think one should look at the terms and conditions of the contract he consented to in order to answer that question.

    No transportation company could possibly operate, much less operate with the safety of its crews and passengers in mind, if the conditions you suggest as obtaining were recognized.

  48. Ray Says:

    Remember those advertisements?
    “Fly the friendly sky’s of United?
    Anybody that flies knows you risk being bumped. Flying has become so unpleasant that I normally avoid it. Last fall I drove 2000 miles to visit my sister because I didn’t want to fly.

  49. Big Maq Says:

    “It is his contemptible response that is my beef with him.” – DMV

    The passenger is an even less sympathetic character than you thought…

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2017/04/11/david-dao-passenger-removed-united-flight-doctor-troubled-past/100318320/?hootPostID=d36ec6c0be57d7c0080839c4936d4285

    Being unsympathetic and reacting poorly, but not violently, hardly justifies how this guy was treated. Period.

    If he were a rather violent man, imagine how this could have escalated. Not sure that the staff who removed him forcibly knew all this before taking action.

    I sure wouldn’t want to be in the seat immediately in front, if he were.

    Very poor judgement.
    .

    Legally, the airline had the “right”, but it was not the “right” way to handle this. Or, IOW, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should (do it any way you want).

    Very poor judgement.
    .

    All this on the principle that the man showed “no shame nor dignity”?

    Crap. If that was a standard to abide by, that justifies these things, it must make you wretch with trump as POTUS, lacking both those qualities of character!

  50. J.J. Says:

    Manju: “I don’t see any evidence that the flight was overbooked…ie more confirmed ticketholders than seats.”

    Manju, you don’t know how many people were denied boarding. At this time of year (Spring break and Easter) most flights (especially at certain departure times) are overbooked and there are denied boardings.

    I never let the cruise company book my flight to start a cruise. The one time I did we ended up being two days late. Fortunately the ship was not too far away and we were able to catch it in another port. We always leave two days early for a cruise. If all goes as planned we get two days to explore the departure city. If not, we have a cushion to make the departure sailing.

    After I retired, we used to fly a lot. Many times a year up until 9/11. After 9/11 we quickly realized that the TSA and airlines were using airline employees traveling space available to meet their quotas of intrusive searches. We were singled out at every airport for having our bags opened and inspected as well as being patted down. We could not complain – we were traveling at the pleasure of the airline. That got old in a hurry. Eventually they quit doing that, but the TSA procedures, which are mostly theater, have just become such a hassle and the airplanes are so full, we gave up space available travel five years ago. Now we don’t fly unless there is no other option and we book paid seats well in advance, select our seats, and show up early at the airport. Since we have become paying customers we have never been denied boarding. (When traveling space available it was not unusual to be on the airplane and have to get off because paying customers showed up at the last minute or to be left standing at the gate as the airplane departed.)

    I feel for the road warriors who have to fly constantly. Most are very efficient about the way they handle all the airport hassle. Still, their stress levels are much higher than for people who don’t have to fly.

    It’s too bad that something which has become a necessity for so many (When I started in the business only about 25% of Americans had flown commercially. It’s much higher now.) has become so unpleasant. I used to take great pride and pleasure in delivering businessmen, families, tourists, and others to their destinations with a smile on their faces. I used to stand at the cockpit door to say goodbye and could see whether the passengers had had a good flight. Back in the day, most were happy. These days, not so much.

  51. Cornhead Says:

    Lots of good comments.

    1. People hate everything about flying today.

    2. UBL and the subsequent response of TSA has created a mess. We are still paying for 9-11.

    3. Antitrust division of DOJ approved all of these mergers. Continental, Northwest, etc now gone.

    4. Guy is a doctor but lost his license for a while and is a convicted felon.

    5. World is going nuts over this.

  52. DNW Says:

    This poor poor innocent citizen of China

    https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/04/11/united-airlines-doctors-dark-past/22035353/

  53. DNW Says:

    Oops …

    Looks like the information gathering elves were busy while I was away and got ahead of me.

    Acknowledgement to Cornhead and Maq

  54. Rufus Firefly Says:

    I am gobsmacked at those of you on this thread who are defending the airline’s behavior in this instance.

    No other passenger has come forward and criticized the ousted passenger for being unruly. If he was a jerk, it’s likely we’d have heard that by now. As someone else here has already cited, it was United’s incomprehensibly poor handling of the situation that caused his duress. It’s entirely possible the guy didn’t completely understand what was happening. He’s 69 and English is not his first language.

    Should he have complied? Maybe. I’m almost certain I would have, but I’m also certain many English speaking native Americans would not. United were fools not to anticipate the possibility of non-compliance and mitigate it better prior to announcing the lottery “winners.” And, it seems very likely this particular guy did not understood what was going on.

    But yes, by all means, smack his head against an armrest until he bleeds. He must be made to understand the power of the state and its laws, no matter how insignificant his crime. Ecce homo.

  55. Big Maq Says:

    @T – I’m no legal expert, but his case may rest less on the t’s & c’s, and more on how he was “re-accommodated”.

    You are right that putting up a “fuss” might well entice the airline to offer more.

    Without knowing more details, on surface, it doesn’t seem that they, nor the passenger, engaged in any “negotiation” to see if something could be worked out.

    And, yes, the passenger’s (after the fact) behavior probably contributed to the confrontation.

    BUT, this should not be a new and unforeseen scenario for the airline staff.

    The airline seemed to want to exert their “rights”, come what may, and not to have to offer much more than they were “legally” required, if that much – assuming the current reportings of $1000.

  56. Dave Says:

    United handled it perfectly, stop virtue signaling by being supportive of this little child in a grown up’s body, how about the other passengers on the plane, they need to go home too. This man was holding up the whole plane, yeah he got the short end of stick by losing the draw, but instead of having the whole plane of people suffering with him, take one for the team, suck it up and take the next flight. Rules are made to resolve difficult situations exactly like this, if everyone acts like this man because he was being treated “unfairly” and stand their ground no matter what then no conflict in the world will ever be resolved.

  57. DNW Says:

    All this on the principle that the man showed “no shame nor dignity”?

    Crap. If that was a standard to abide by, that justifies these things, it must make you wretch with trump as POTUS, lacking both those qualities of character!

    His tantrum in the aisles and squalling when asked by legal authority to stand, is the matter I am addressing.

    Your fixation with Trump no matter what comes up, is something you are going to have to deal with yourself.

  58. DNW Says:

    Rufus Firefly Says:
    April 11th, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I am gobsmacked at those of you on this thread who are defending the airline’s behavior in this instance.”

    The airline offered him (and all others) money to volunteer to deplane. The airline randomly selected passengers to reassign when that did not work.

    The airline asked him to get up and out.

    He refused.

    The airline then called the authorities as he was making trouble.

    It is the police who dragged him off; not the airline.

  59. Cornhead Says:

    I just had a great idea. Trump DOJ needs to break up the airlines like it broke up ATT.

    Bring back Continenta, Northwest and others.

  60. Big Maq Says:

    Dude, it is you who is making this about a character issue. (Even though it is an after-the-fact response).

    And, if this is something so important to you that you’d justify “Throw(ing) his ass out onto the runway head first”, it sure doesn’t show up elsewhere.

    Just sayin., as it hardly seems consistent.

  61. DNW Says:

    Rufus,

    You also probably have been on more than one trip where there was an inflight emergency.

    You have probably also seen up close and personal how important passenger behavior is, and how irresponsible and immature, or cowardly, obstructive and uncooperative actions can jeopardize the lives of others, and even constitute a needless and direct threat to those others’ safety, and lives.

    There is no excuse for his behavior in this setting.

    In lesser situations I have been on a flight were the stewardess asked me to take a seat near the emergency exit so that someone capable could open it if need be. An obstructive, (in this case also oriental) old lady began shaking her head and caterwauling when asked merely to move a couple seats back toward the balance of her family was sitting.

    Yeah, we can all crash and die in a fire because some autistic headbanging moron cannot summon the reserves necessary to assist public safety by moving three seats back.

    Screw these neurotics.

  62. DNW Says:

    Big Maq Says:
    April 11th, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Dude, it is you who is making this about a character issue. (Even though it is an after-the-fact response).

    And, if this is something so important to you that you’d justify “Throw(ing) his ass out onto the runway head first”, it sure doesn’t show up elsewhere.

    I’m commenting on him flippantly.

    You are commenting on me, indignantly.

    Well, knock yourself right out.

    And if you ever come up with an actual fact and law based argument, check back in.

  63. Dave Says:

    No wonder the Democrats support this man and defend his behaviors, he was acting exactly like they were after the election. At least this man has the dignity not to blame Russia for rigging the draw, yet.

  64. Big Maq Says:

    “I feel for the road warriors who have to fly constantly. Most are very efficient about the way they handle all the airport hassle. Still, their stress levels are much higher than for people who don’t have to fly.” – JJ

    Used to be wonderful to greet or be greeted by family at the gate… long gone memories.
    .

    Why this gets such reaction (probably over 60 comments when this one is posted) is likely because many are rather fed up with the poor service, and think “there but for the grace of G0d go I”, as they’ve likely experienced some version of the graceless, heavy handedness and lack of any empathy for them as a customer in one form or another by some bad actor with poor judgement in the industry.

    Like I said, I have dozens of stories I can personally relate as a “road warrior”.

  65. DNW Says:

    More fun with the poor, misunderstood, “Chinese” doctor, just trying to ensure no patient of his went unattended.

    The Vietnam born Dao, resident of Kentucky, banned from the practice of medicine except in an outpatient clinic once a week …

    “David Dao’s troubled medical past is revealed in court documents His wife Teresa – also a doctor – reported him to medical authorities and his secret inappropriate gay relationship with a patient ..”

    “Father of five, 69, was convicted of a felony – but avoided prison time – because he was giving the man prescription drugs in return for gay sex”

    “Psychiatrist found he had series of issues including lacking ‘the foundation to navigate difficult situations'”

    “One doctor wrote that he ‘he would unilaterally chose to do his own thing'”

    “He only got his licence back after agreeing to be drug tested and polygraphed …”

    The guy is a nut-case felon. One with temper issues. One who disregards the law habitually. One who simply will not follow the rules of the game he voluntarily chooses to participate in.

    But he’s supposedly a “victim”.

    Really folks, if your judgment is proven that iffy, take Neo’s advice and wait awhile … and see.

    It’s advice that we all, including myself, should remember.

  66. Rufus Firefly Says:

    I’ve been on over 1,000 commercial flights on dozens of carriers and have seen just about everything one can see. Including a passenger being hauled out of his seat while he was having an actual heart attack. At that point the security guy in front had the presence of mind to say, “This is wrong. We should not be moving this man,” and stop. Paramedics soon boarded the plane and stabilized the passenger, then took him to a hospital. But I’m sure somewhere on the back of the guy’s ticket were written words that stated the airline reserved the right to remove him.

    Part of carrying out the duties of one’s job is to have the intelligence to react appropriately when things don’t go according to the manual. The United gate agent(s) failed to do that. The deadheading crew failed to do that. The cockpit crew failed to do that. The security crew failed to do that. United’s CEO has failed to do that. Passengers aren’t sheep, and they haven’t read the manual.

    Was the passenger annoying? Maybe. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. We’ve seen cellphone video of passengers being forcibly removed from planes while their fellow passengers cheer. In this video the people who were there throughout the ordeal (the very same people who have been inconvenienced and want to get to Louisville) chastise security. And investors who have read the CEO’s response have taken a half a billion dollars out of United’s value in the past 24 hours. And the Security company management has issued a statement stating their employee did not follow proper procedure and he is suspended from his duties.

  67. Big Maq Says:

    “And if you ever come up with an actual fact and law based argument” – DMV

    You seem to be getting more defensive each comment.

    “Flippantly” is hardly what I’d describe.

    If it were so casual, as to be something of a sarcastic joke, it would hardly need the defense.
    .

    Anyway, there is a difference between legal, ethical, and moral.

    Just because you have a “right” doesn’t mean you can exercise it any way you want.
    .

    Nowadays, many seem to conflate the legal to also be the ethical and moral, even governors…

    “Bentley has admitted making personal mistakes but denied doing anything illegal or that would merit his removal from office.”
    http://www.whig.com/article/20170406/AP/304069708

    Perhaps “character” matters, only for given situations.
    .

    Anyway, my last comment on this post.

    Have at it.

  68. DNW Says:

    JJ says:

    “It’s too bad that something which has become a necessity for so many (When I started in the business only about 25% of Americans had flown commercially. It’s much higher now.) has become so unpleasant. I used to take great pride and pleasure in delivering businessmen, families, tourists, and others to their destinations with a smile on their faces. I used to stand at the cockpit door to say goodbye and could see whether the passengers had had a good flight. Back in the day, most were happy. These days, not so much.”

    The only thing I disagree with it that it actually is a necessity. People fling themselves around with much more abandon than they used to do.

    Of course it’s also true that you almost cannot earn a good living without some moderate to extensive travel.

    I recall being greeted and seen off at the front exit, just as you mention, after an emergency landing due to an explosive-like failure of an oil pump or filter(or whatever) , and feeling nothing but appreciation for the crew, and the professionalism of the pilots.

    Nowadays, flying is like being placed in a packed jail cell with a bunch of moral if not physical derelicts.

  69. Dave Says:

    Thank God this man wasn’t on the Titanic, imagine the tantrum He would be throwing when he was told he had to let the women and children board the lifeboats first.

  70. neo-neocon Says:

    John Guilfoyle:

    Whatever the gate people say, that doesn’t sound like overbooking. It wasn’t about being thrown off a plane, it was about a crowded flight.

    And if you already have seat reservations together and they change them to separate you, that’s one thing. If you don’t already have your reservations and you merely expect to be seated together and you don’t get seats together, that’s an altogether different thing.

    You didn’t say which it was for you that time. If it’s the latter, why would you expect to be seated together? If it’s the former, that’s a problem, but the problem for you and your family was not overbooking. Overbooking is when there are so many people on a flight that some need to get bumped. You’re not describing being bumped.

    Maybe “overbooking” has become the catchall excuse the airlines give the passengers for everything these days.

  71. Cornhead Says:

    Overbooking is the new wiretapping.

  72. Dave Says:

    Why do people have to take side? why can’t we agree on that both of them are kind of right and both of them are kind of wrong? our reactions to this incident highlighted a much bigger problem in our society than this event itself. We all now have this black and white with nothing in middle view on the world that our side is impeccable with no flaw and their is all wrong and irredeemable. We have lost the ability to compromise. I blame Obama for that, this evil man has completely divided this country into two fractions that are seeing the other side as swarm enemies.

  73. Dave Says:

    *sworn enemies

  74. T Says:

    “I think one should look at the terms and conditions of the contract he consented to . . . .” [DNW @ 12:08]

    Again I am not an attorney, but I do know that in contentious circumstances a contract is interpreted against the benefit of the one who originally drafted it (the airlines).

    Furthermore, as I mentioned above, to call this a contract is prompting the question of whether or not it really is a contract. Contracts are entered into by negotiations from both sides. An airline passenger has no negotiation rights, nor can they even see the “contract” until they actually buy the ticket (i.e., agree to the terms of the contract). Perhaps “conditions of sale” is a more accurate term.

    “No transportation company could possibly operate, much less operate with the safety of its crews and passengers in mind, if the conditions you suggest as obtaining were recognized.

    I simply refuse to accept that. It is one thing to remove an unruly or unsafe passenger. It is quite another to goad/entice a passenger into being unruly and then demand and mandate his removal for being so; I believe the legal term for such coercion is “entrapment.”

  75. The Other Chuck Says:

    The decline in common courtesy exhibited by this episode showcases how much we are losing our civilization. If this was an isolated case it wouldn’t matter, but in one form or another it is everywhere. It reminds me of the great Paddy Chayefsky’s The Hospital which describes a manic universe of people out of control. The screaming “doctor” running down the isle mumbling “kill me, kill me,” after police thugs bash his head against an arm rest and drag him bleeding toward the cockpit could only occur in the imagination 40 years ago.

    Somewhere in the great beyond Paddy is smiling.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
Read More >>






Monthly Archives



Blogroll

Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge