On July 20th, Julianna’s (delayed) Delta flight landed in Atlanta at 7:30pm, with a connecting flight scheduled for 8:05pm. Julianna, who has muscular dystrophy, missed the connecting flight because nobody came with a wheelchair until 8:05—the same time the connecting flight took off. To make matters worse, the plane crew told Julianna she might make the flight anyway if she stopped waiting for help and got off the plane right now, so she crawled down the stairs on her own. When the wheelchair came she was “wheeled into a back room and advised” that her plane had taken off. But that was just the first half of her ordeal, and the next eight hours only got worse.
A 44-year-old Brooklyn woman was returning from vacation in Haiti when she began to have trouble breathing. According to her cousin who was on the flight with her, she was refused help twice by the flight attendant, then she was brought two oxygen tanks with masks—but both were empty. Her cousin requested an emergency landing, but before they could touch down in Miami she was dead, so the plane continued to JFK. The airline isn’t commenting on why the emergency tanks were empty in the first place. “After the flight attendant refused to administer oxygen to Ms. Desir, she became distressed, pleading, ‘Don’t let me die,’ Mr. Oliver recalled.”
Christine learned an interesting bit of in-flight trivia on her recent United flight: those little call buttons are for emergencies only. What’s more, the flight attendants can psychically sense when it’s an emergency and when you’re just foolin’ with them, and they’ll ignore you if they suspect you’re just going to ask for water. And no, needing to take sinus medicine to prevent clusters of needle-explosions going off in your skull during descent is not an emergency, so go back to your seat.
The USA Today tossed three travel experts in a room and asked them to describe their dream airline. An airline that restores the grandeur of flight by focusing on passenger value and convenience. Pay attention airlines, and consider giving us the following:
United Flight Attendants Scoff At Grounded Flier Compensation Plan, Lobby For Passengers Bill of Rights
You know who has to deal with a planeload full of sweaty, angry grounded passengers? Flight attendants. Know who wants a passengers bill of rights? Flight attendants. Specifically, United Airlines flight attendants. They’ve issued a press release through their union criticizing United’s “Flights of Note” compensation plan for grounded fliers.
Every once in a while, there’s a business model that’s so brilliantly evil, you just have to respect it, even while you bemoan its lack of ethics and its blatant disregard for the human spirit.