The United Airlines’ Flight 3411 Saga

by Patrick Liew on April 17, 2017

It’s upsetting to witness the manhandling of a passenger through the video that has gone viral and is still being circulated.

Besides drawing lessons on how we can better handle similar situations, we should draw also lessons on how to improve security arrangements at airports.

According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), United Airlines and many other airlines have a right to ask a paying passenger to leave the plane.

They are bounded by law to give priority to flying airline crews so that they can make it on time to man a flight.

Otherwise, their absence may cause a disruption to air traffic and it may also lead to other complications and problems.

There are many uncontrollable reasons that can prevent these crews from reaching their places of work smoothly and in good time, including bad weather, technical problems, flight delays, and last-minute replacements due to medical issues.

The passenger was not manhandled by staff of United Airlines but by law enforcement officers of the Chicago Department of Aviation.

According to federal regulation, once the law enforcement officers are involved, the staff have to step aside and allow the law to take its course.

After being forcibly removed from the plane, the passenger broke the law by trespassing secured area to run back to the plane.

If such a situation happened, law enforcement officers have to take strong action to stop such a person.

He might potentially be up to mischief, including causing harm to passengers and crew and damages to the plane.

I trust all the airlines and not just United Airlines will learn valuable lessons from this incident on how to handle their customers professionally, effectively and efficiently.

Just as Importantly, law enforcement officers should continue to strengthen their abilities to respond to potential threats and ensure safety and security of human lives and the airport.


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