Why United Wasn’t Ultimately Hurt By the Passenger Dragging Incident and Where Jumbo Jets Go to Die

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I cant speak for the traveling Public but for our annual reunion
    9 out of 10 chose not to fly United even though they were half the price
    For 40 dollars more I could have flown first class on United
    Some chose Southwest and I chose Alaska
    And truthfully Its about great recognition and easy saver redemption all of which United and American both lack
    so for that reason and not the actual accommodating a passenger for their flight crews
    the majority of us are all flying other airlines
    Id rather be on American and United but they have both hit bottom
    so there is no race to get there 🙂

  2. Flew home to Maui yesterday, not an open seat on the plane. I wish customers would stop flying UA , that way things would change!

  3. Good question Phil…..emergency at home, so the hubbie booked it! I think Alaska was full and I’m also not a fan of Hawaiian. I know a lot of people love Hawaiian but not me…esp. interisland. I miss Aloha every time I fly to Oahu. I wish I didn’t have to fly, but unfortunately I live on an island

  4. The reality is that UA (along with the other major airlines) provides a product that people want to buy: affordable airfare to places they need/want to travel to. And there aren’t a lot of good travel alternatives. I’ve personally flown a million miles on UA and its predecessor airlines. The vast majority of these experiences, while generally unexceptional, have been fine. Remember, Dr. Dao was dragged off a plane because he refused to follow crew member and police instructions. “Normal” passengers will NEVER have experiences such as that, and they undoubtedly realize it. I don’t want to question other people’s sanity, but there is nothing UA does that would warrant “boycotting” them. There’s also little they do that would warrant “preferring” them, either, but in an oligopoly, that’s not very important.

  5. I wrote the followng 6 days ago over at OMAAT so I am not surprised with report that the Dao dragging had little lasting effect.

    “The United 3411 incident happened on April 9. On April 23, I flew to Honolulu on a sold out United flight; ditto of my return flight on April 28…

    So, get a grip. Only creatures that dwell in travel blogosphere still remember UA 3411 or Dr. Dao’s name, or are even critical of US airlines in general. Almost everyone out there is simply looking for a flight that’d take them from point A to point B affordably and/or conveniently and/or on time…really ”

    That’s the normal. Attempts to do otherwise lead to the cognitive dissonance and schizophrenic behavior exhibited by @Dee who flew United precisely because it was convenient and then says, likely with a straight face, completely oblivious to the rich irony:

    “Flew home to Maui yesterday, not an open seat on the plane. I wish customers would stop flying UA , that way things would change!”


  6. The consolidation of airlines [back] to the Big 3 (Delta absorbed Northwest, American swallowed US Air in addition to TWA many years earlier, United merger with Continental) has left the United States with an airline oligopoly. For many hub cities, you are stuck with one airline (at Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Newark, etc.). It’s the same reason Americans hate cable companies yet oftentimes have only one choice.

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