Day 53 - United Airlines mess, Prep post for the detailed one, Homeland finale (preview)

Ah, the United situation is such a total mess. I have been hanging out at Reddit and learning and absorbing so much information the past whole day (my first complete day with Reddit since a hiatus, which I am not sure why I took), I hope to make like a compilation of what to do when asked to leave a plane?

The short answer: Leave the plane.

The long answer will have all sorts of links to comment threads that share a lot of information about what it really means when revenue passengers are asked to leave the plane, why airlines do it, how they approach it, how systematic it is (they have software that will pick out people randomly, and it’s not really truly random in the right sense of that concept, it’s more of a priority based selection algorithm), and finally, WHY is it necessary?. Why should people who have austensibly promised a ticket on that flight be asked to leave a plane?

Of course, this is all in the context of FAA and flying in the US etc, but I am sure that airlines all around the world operate more or less the same way because the airline industry is perhaps one of those industries where standards are borrowed across countries because that makes a lot of sense.

A precursor and probably a prep post for my long post on the issue would contain these:

  1. The dominos must keep falling in place

  2. They have software to select who gets asked to leave, it’s not random

  3. Checked-in luggage? You might be safer

  4. Detailed airline Contract of Carriage review by u/brndnb08

  5. More discussion on what is loyalty for airlines and how each one tries to quantify it

All in all, it has left me with a much greater understanding of what to do in situations like these.

Most importantly, this:

Once the police are involved, stay the hell out of it. Take videos, make complaints, but do it all after the fact. Same goes for your own interactions with police. When the cop is about to beat your ass, you shouldn’t start screaming that you know your rights. Save that for after the beating ends or else the beating may not end as soon as you would like.

One of those comments was a major hit, my observation that most people who fly only 10-12 times a year try to get the cheapest flight and the only people who wouldn’t fall in the category “people who booked the cheapest flight they could get” would be people travelling for business who are jetting around the world and the country all the time! (My Reddit comment karma just crossed 600!)

Yeah, I think the above list should be enough for me to construct a good post about this. The fact that complex systems like airlines work, has been a fascination for me. They have huge machines going around the world, and each of those machines has millions of small parts any of which could go wrong at any airport anywhere in the world, and they have to deal with the next 400 people who are dealing with their own crises and will have a myriad reasons for wanting to get to their destination in time! It’s incredibly complex, and I am glad they get it right as much as they do.

What United did with this particular incident, was HORRIBLE. It was a barbaric act, they could have done a lot of things differently. I don’t know anything about how these situations are normally handled, but in any case, there’s NO JUSTIFICATION FOR DRAGGING A MAN SCREAMING OUT OF A PLANE. The Internet agrees.

Moving on, more has been said and written about r/place. The latest at, I haven’t read the article but I have been told that it’s a great article and I intend to read it eventually. I need to be done with my Bachelors Thesis final presentation before that.

2 days to go now. About 33 hours, to be precise. I finally completed the LaTeX part of the report today. A few final touches will make it print ready. Create a Presentation after that, prepare for the presentation, and present Thursday morning! There’s enough time to do all of that, I hope.

Emma is still stalled, right where I left it. I have not been able to read one more page of it with all this time spent on reddit.

And apart from hogging most of my blog space, my time on Reddit also ensured that I have also not been able to talk about Homeland! I saw the Season 6 finale today. IT BLEW MY MIND. I know I have been raving about Homeland a lot lately, but that’s because this season has been like a home-coming of sorts. The episodes have been crispier, each character has more depth, every character pops out of the woods and shows us a side of theirs that no one else knew existed.

I debated writing spoilers in this post, it’s far too early to be honest and I don’t want to write anyway. Eventually, I will write a post about the Finale, one of these days I am going to be struggling for content anyway and then, this will be an easy one to write about!

I am going to call it there, this post has actually run far longer than I intended it to. It’s 1:21 AM now.