Written By: Nick Long
While there are plenty of cases where airlines have not treated their customers with respect, the recent incident of a woman dragged off a flight brings up an important point on why forced freedom and "unity" will never be sunshine and rainbows in complicated world of rules. If you haven't seen the video yet it's posted below, but what is interesting about her reasons for protesting are dog allergies and the fact that others are utilizing their unique advantages to bring their pets onto the plane.
Whether or not these particular types of allergies are common or even life-threatening isn't even the point when one who acknowledges their own vulnerabilities is exerting these potential dangers onto others and forcing a majority to meet their needs.
For most, the presence of a dog on a moving plane usually doesn't pose a threat or danger to their health or well-being, a situation which is no different than anyone who chooses to visit a park or public space. The fact that a person has chosen to venture into a unfamiliar territory is proof enough that they are willing to accept the potential dangers which arise from it.
It becomes clear through these clips that any decision imposed on a majority will always suffer from repercussions, especially when forced to witness or even change their behavior to satisfy a single person or authoritative figure.
When we take into account corporate policy forcing paying customers off planes to make room for actual employees, the danger created here is completely artificial as the choices made were due to a small or select group of individuals who choose to impose their will rather than compromise through actual sacrifice on both sides to solve the disagreement.
In many ways, all these situations which divide public opinion of airlines simply exist because of specific rules which are taken advantage of by narrow perspectives rather than truly collective bargaining. No one wants to acknowledge they are forced to bend to the will of an airline, nor do they wish to experience the brutal will of an unruly passenger whose freedoms are more important than their own. The neutral voice has always existed in the majority and yet these situations expose a bitter truth hidden beneath the crevices of human nature and how survival mode is somehow wired to make humans seek these perceived advantages at all costs.
While we won't get into details about why these airline videos seem to be a trending topic now, perhaps it's not that these problems haven't existed before, but the fact that certain people have chosen to fight back due to awareness of their ability to stand for themselves.
There are many other incidents which highlight the fact that sometimes airlines handle the problem passenger perfectly fine by dragging them off, in the case of the woman with dog allergies and even the passenger who refused to be seated next to a Trump supporter. The United incident with the doctor who refused to give up his seat to employees is obviously the worst incident, but had he not been a doctor or expected different treatment due to his status, perhaps most people wouldn't have cared and the situation wouldn't have played out the way it did.
These policies have always existed and been executed by airlines without much trouble in the past, but it is always in these unique situations that you have a recipe for disaster. While we shouldn't condone the obvious power these airlines have over seating arrangements, it's become obvious that many if not all of these issues could have been resolved by the customer simply walking off the plane rather than choosing to fight and be dragged off.
There is a time and place for everything, and to dramatize an already controversial situation is only adding fuel to an endless fire. The authority airlines have over passengers is the very same mechanism which protects the majority of passengers from unruly flyers who quite simply, are looking to cause a scene. While perfection isn't expected, outrage over treatment of passengers doesn't have to be a constant presence in mainstream media.
Whenever companies introduce policies where the customer is always right, you even have people taking advantage of insurance claims such as in China and many other countries where "victims" never lose and many drivers are taken advantage of by fraudulent scams. Cameras not only play a role in how people react to situations beyond their control, but can very much be utilized to their advantage when taken with the right amount of context and witness testimony.
CBS has investigated many people taking advantage of airline rules to bring their comfort dogs onto planes along with many clips in Disney World posted on Youtube which display park visitors lying about disabilities in order to get special treatment and cut in line.
In the end, perhaps these problems which exist on airlines simply expose a deeper truth which has always existed in the invisible boundaries of what anyone perceives to be within their rights. Freedom to one will ultimately mean freedom to take from another when we do not allow context and facts settle the argument. This is why much of the outrage continues to be a pointless trend on Youtube that does nothing but raise our attention towards the inevitable truth that change doesn't come without sacrifice and rules can always be taken advantage of by any side.