Overlooked Fact

United Airlines overbooked a flight.  The asked for volunteers to take another flight.  When no one volunteered, they selected several passangers to be removed.

A United spokesperson confirmed in an email Sunday night that a passenger had been taken off a flight in Chicago.

“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked,” the spokesperson said. “After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate.

“We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.”

A customer didn’t want to give up a seat on a flight he paid for.

Police were called.

This is what unfolded.

Everybody has been shitting on United Airlines for this.  Did United handle this poorly?  You betcha.


It wasn’t a flight attendant who dragged that man bloody and screaming off the plane.  It was a police officer.

This is the nature of Government.

It was George Washington who said “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”


Every time someone says “there aught to be a law” what they mean is “a man with a gun should be able to apply violence to another person to make them do what I want them to do.”

When obeying a flight attendant’s every diktat is holds the weight of law (thanks War on Terror), a cop can rough you up for not wanting to take a later flight than the one you paid for.

The cognitive disconnect with the Progressive Left is that they hate cops but love making regulations.   You can’t have one without the other.  You can’t micromanage people’s lives without police there, using force, to make people comply with the micromanagement.

Welcome to the police state.

23 Replies to “Overlooked Fact”

  1. Astute observation. And conservatives love cops and hate regulations (except regulating morality). Only the libertarians are consistent: hate regulations and the cops who enforce them.


    1. Only the libertarians are consistent: hate regulations and the cops who enforce them.

      EXCEPT: A libertarian has to side with the airline and cop, and against the passenger. Inconvenient for preening libertarians who “hate regulations and the cops that enforce them”, but think it through.

      The airliner is the private property of the airline. They decided that the passenger in question was not going to be flying, and requested that he deplane. He refused. His refusal put him into the category of “trespasser.” The airline then turned, as is appropriate under libertarian ideals, to gov’t in order to secure it’s private property rights.

      Need I say more?

      The flight attendant’s authority to boot the passenger doesn’t derive from post 9/11 police state regulations, it derives from private property.
      (And no, there is no contractual requirement for the airline to transport him, no matter what. The airline is obligated to either transport him, or give him his money back.)


      1. You are right about private property rights. But there is more to it.

        Libertarians have a problem with the airlines and the collusion they have with government, e.g., extra security, bailouts, FAA support, etc.

        They operate with a lot of goverment support that other businesses don’t. The authority of flight attendants was boosted post 9/11.

        The problem is that this became violent fast and unnecessarily so.


      2. The passenger owned a portion of the plane when he purchased the ticketed seat. He owned that seat for the duration of the flight. It was his property. United went back on their agreement. “A failure on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”.


  2. People get pissed when I point that out. Progressives and statists are the most violent people on the planet. Most of it is by proxy, sure, but they have no issues sending hired golems out to enforce their will.

    I tweak them further by suggesting if they are that bent out of shape about something, they should go enforce it themselves.


    1. Whelp, looks like someone wants airline attendants to be trained to deal with physically combative passengers instead of calling people whose job is to deal with violent individuals. That’s going to do a real number on your airlines’ insurance premiums, your ticket prices, and


      how overbooked the flights are going to be.


  3. Overbooking is simply unacceptable in this age of modern communications. If this is the case then United should have left those on the plane and simply not allowed entry for the four people not in their seats yet. It would still have been stupid, but it would have likely prevented the ugly physical force episode.

    However, I heard (unverified) that they wanted to displace the four passengers for United flight crew personnel to get them to another airport to pilot/staff a flight and this makes sense. In that case, United would be stranding a whole flight and this is a larger consideration.

    It is their airline after all. I see it as an issue of private property. They can sell tickets for seats and then renege on them (at the very high cost of customer dissatisfaction). This is why law enforcement will be brought in if you refuse to leave. It is like trespassing.

    Imagine a situation where someone you invited is on your property and now you ask them to leave. It may be rude and unnecessary, but you can bring in the law enforcement if they refuse. We are trying to get away from the alternate of you shooting them for not obeying you. So, that is why I disagree a bit with the noted criticism of law enforcement in this case.


    1. My problem is that it went from Zero to Violent very quickly.

      If getting the United flight crew to the next airport was such a big deal, they could have upped the compensation offer until 4 people really volunteered.

      Offer me free tickets for my family at Christmas and I’ll wait till the next flight.

      That cost would have been minuscule compared to the tanking of United’s stock value.

      I respect private property. I think most people do. But the violence here was gratuitous.

      This wasn’t somebody who broke into the plane. This was a paying customer. There were a lot better ways to handle this than bring in the police. That should be a last resort, not a first strike.


    2. “Overbooking is simply unacceptable in this age of modern communications.”


      Overbooking is simply good business in this age of slim margins cutthroat economics:

      If your plane isn’t overbooked by just the right amount, you’re slitting your own throat on the profits.

      Seriously, did we turn into Tumblr just because the guy we wanted got into power? Y’all suddenly turned into a bunch of Bernie bots with the level of disregard for reality. First we turned into a fat-acceptance group and now we’re taking socialist practices to airline management? Next thing I know, Miguel’s going to be offering ad space to Mayor Bloomberg.


      1. I think you are going a little far with the Tumblr Berniebot thing.

        I know the video doesn’t capture the whole scenario and a lot probably happened before the filming began.

        I didn’t not read in any other source that the passenger got violent with the flight crew first. I’d like to know where you read that.

        I think what most people are reacting to is the optics:

        You: “Hey, I paid for this ticket, you let me on the plane. I have to get to my destination on time, I have an appointment to get to.”

        2 min later you are being dragged out of your seat, bloody, by cop.

        I don’t think people believe the flight attendants should be handling violent passengers. It is a matter of how quickly a corporate policy gets escalated to cop violence that upsets people.

        Take this example:

        A restaurant makes money feeding people. If a table finishes their meal and just sits there talking, the restaurant loses money. If a table finished and paid and just sat there for a while, the first response shouldn’t be to have the waitstaff call the cops.

        You politely offer the table their drinks to go. If that doesn’t work, the manager politely asks the table to move along. The cops are a last resort.

        GayPatriot posted and Miguel reposed “What’s legal vs. what’s right.” To address this.

        My point is, as soon as you call the cops, expect violence to happen. That is something people don’t seem to be acutely aware of. The Cop was violent on United’s behalf, because United called them.


      2. “Y’all suddenly turned into a bunch of Bernie bots with the level of disregard for reality. First we turned into a fat-acceptance group and now we’re taking socialist practices to airline management”

        If you can’t state your side of the issue without accusing the other side of bad faith, it tells everybody an awful lot about the strength of your argument.


  4. Once the FAA calls the police to have a person removed by what ever means, you cant cry that it really wasn’t their intentions. They’re just trying to get out of this with clean hands and pass the buck….. it totally sucks that the customer definately got beaten for no good reason. I’m not defending the brutality. You know the police are in cover up mode as well. In fact they even said he was bleeding because he fell on the arm rest, which is absolutely ridiculous in itself because you can’t fall on it if your already seated. But once the FAA demanded his removal, the cops were obligated to do so. Everyone’s a loser in this case….except the actual customer, he’s going to be rich!😉


  5. For $800 per seat for four seats, United could have hired a bus and hired a driver to take its four employees (note that they don’t say “aircrew” or “pilots”) to where they wanted to go. It would have taken maybe a couple of hours more but would have been more relaxing. Hell, when you add in the comped hotel rooms, they come damn close to being able to afford a chartered aircraft or helicopter ride. Instead they did this.

    My buddy Mike says it’s because United is run by idiots; my buddy B. says it’s because United is almost a monopoly these days without any close competitors; I say it’s because United has an absolutely poisonous corporate culture and has for a long time (google “United Breaks Guitars”). All of us are right, but I’ll make another bet too- that, somewhere in the back of all this, is a United corporate trainer telling a room full of gate personnel and flight crew something like, “If any passenger gives you any lip at all, just call the TSA or the local law on them. You don’t have to be nice to these losers.” The fact that air crew can just call in badges for pretty much anything means that they WILL call in badges for pretty much anything.

    Hope that felt good, Unidentified United Employees Who Needed to Get Somewhere. Hope that felt good, Unidentified United Flight Attendants and Gate Crew. The suits who sign your checks are staring down a 11-digit loss because of you guys and they’re going to be feeling a lot like looking for scapegoats.

    PS- How scared are the United suits and corporate lawyers? Well, how long did it take them to dox the victim? Yeah, that scared. That doesn’t sound like people who though they were in the right, does it?


  6. Who called the cops?
    Who initiated aggression?

    While we’re being precise, you should change the headline. The flight was not overbooked. It was fully booked and passengers were already seated.

    United failed to plan properly and had four crew members on standby, meaning that no seat had been secured for them.

    If you or I fly “on standby” then we have to wait for an opening.

    United violated their own contract by forcing people off the flight.

    Trying to hold United blameless for the violence visited upon this man is like saying a man who sicced attack dogs on someone is blameless.
    Sure, the dogs need to be punished, but so does the one who set them loose.


  7. I struck United from my list of options for flying before I ever took my first flight. And they just keep proving I was right.


  8. UAL has been on our “no-fly” list for quite a long time. Their customer service was awful. I had to threaten to sue them to get a refund of a change fee they extorted from me and my wife under threat of not letting us board the plane to go home from NC. Never flew UAL again since then. Looks like their customer service has not improved. Got worse even.



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