April 14, 2017

UH OH: United Airlines Didn’t Have The Legal Right To Eject The Doctor From His Seat. “Since the flight was not actually overbooked, but instead only fully booked, with the exact number of passengers as seats available, United Airlines had no legal right to force any passengers to give up their seats to prioritize others. What United did was give preference to their employees over people who had reserved confirmed seats, in violation of 14 CFR 250.2a. Since Dr. Dao was already seated, it was clear that his seat had already been ‘reserved’ and ‘confirmed’ to accommodate him specifically. . . . A United Airlines spokesperson said that since Dr. Dao refused to give up his seat and leave the plane voluntarily, airline employees “had to” call upon airport security to force him to comply. However, since the flight was not overbooked, United Airlines had no legal right to give his seat to another passenger. In United Airline’s Contract of Service, they list the reasons that a passenger may be refused service, many of which are reasonable, such as “failure to pay” or lacking “proof of identity.” Nowhere in the terms of service does United Airlines claim to have unilateral authority to refuse service to anyone, for any reason (which would be illegal anyway).”

I thought that taking things from people they belong to, and giving them to people you like better, was the essence of our political system.