To assess this situation with 20 years of airline industry knowledge, Rhyse Woodward, Resident Travel Industry Expert and airline retiree, to weigh in. Here are her insights:
A video went viral today of a doctor being forcibly dragged off his flight in an overbooking situation. The video is naturally causing outrage against the airline, staff, crew, and the law enforcement officer(s) involved. It has created a media crap storm for United. Someone may lose their job over this fiasco, but not for the reasons you may think. I’ll get to that later. In this post, I’m not going to delve into where the blame may or may not lie. Instead, I am going to provide a basic layman’s knowledge of what a contract of carriage is, some FAA laws applicable to this situation, and how they apply to us as passengers.