San Diego

‘I Hope Nothing Crazy Happens': Local Travelers React to United Airlines Fallout

The United Airlines video also highlighted how passengers are treated in general, regardless of the airline.

San Diego travelers flying out of Lindbergh Field days after a man was dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago had mixed reactions heading to their flights on Thursday. 

“I sort of forgot who I was flying with until I looked a couple of days ago and I was like 'oh my gosh, I hope nothing crazy happens,'” said Anna Beck, a United Airlines passenger. 

Passengers like Anna, flying out of San Diego International Airport on Thursday, shared their thoughts on flying with the same airline that subsequently dragged a doctor off a flight earlier this week. The video, seen millions of times, triggered a wave of public outrage. 

“We're fine with United," said Robyn Walker as she picked up her luggage from the airport. "We'd like to not see that happen again." 

The United Airlines video also highlighted how passengers are treated in general, regardless of the airline.

“It probably directed attention on the whole airline industry and in the service,” said passenger Greg Gibbons. “It’s the dumbing down of service for customers across all airlines.”

San Diego-based personal injury attorney Craig McClellan said the video is an example of corporate bullying. 

“It's an example of corporate bullying and no one likes a bully,” said San Diego attorney Craig McClellan. “If [United's CEO] had been on that plane on a way to a board meeting at Louisville, would he have received the same treatment? To me probably the biggest thing is the humiliation.”

As United faces the backlash, the airline is looking at whether it should change some of its rules and protocols. The airline says it will no longer use officers to remove passengers from their seats.

McClellan said the incident will probably lead to some type of ‘Passenger’s Bill of Rights’.

“Probably, if a flight is overbooked, passengers will be notified before they get on the plane and get seated," McClellan said. “If there’s an emergency situation, if they're going to see a loved one before they die, to a memorial service, or have to see patients or something like that, they will have a right to be heard and won't be bumped in those kinds of situations.”

In light of the video, many passengers are likely asking about their legal rights when they fly, said McClellan.

“When you have something like that, I think the people feel empowered,” said McClellan. “It gives us an opportunity to see undisputed evidence, in this case bullying that now something can be done about it, something will be done about it.”

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