When a slew of upsetting videos showing a man being forcibly removed from an overbooked United flight went viral Monday morning, reaction in the Marketplace newsroom went something like this: “RIP United stock,” to “Hmm, maybe nothing matters” when shares actually rose, to “What does that say about air travel in general?” With that in mind, Marketplace Weekend host Lizzie O’Leary posed a not-so-innocent question to Twitter:
What’s the #1 thing that drives you crazy about air travel?
— Lizzie O’Leary (@lizzieohreally) April 10, 2017
Here’s some of what we got. We’ll start with the obvious.
@lizzieohreally Getting dragged off planes by police when the airline overbooks =(
— Ian Jacobs (@iangjacobs) April 10, 2017
well it was ‘the food’ but now it is being forcibly dragged off the plane by the police for buying a ticket and arriving at the gate on time https://t.co/QiKD7V1Qs4
— darth:™ (@darth) April 10, 2017
Then, there are the logistics.
— George Woodward (@GSWoodward) April 10, 2017
@lizzieohreally Landing early or on time, but no gate (or gate personnel) available. So you sit trapped on the tarmac indefinitely. Drives me NUTS!
— Aaron Lewis (@AaronTLewis) April 10, 2017
@lizzieohreally When there is a super long security line but only 1 of 3 x-ray lines are staffed and running.
— Harry Heymann (@harryh) April 10, 2017
And the airline doublespeak, which was in full effect for United’s apology statement Monday.
@lizzieohreally When they say we’ll “make up time in the air.” What, were you not originally planning on flying at full speed?
— Matt Alsdorf (@alsmattdorf) April 10, 2017
@lizzieohreally How “Boarding Group 2” is actually the 7th group to be allowed on the plane
— Clark Pettig (@ClarkPettig) April 10, 2017
@lizzieohreally The made-up verb “to deplane.”
— Sacha Haworth (@sachalouise) April 10, 2017
Finally, many of you said the airlines weren’t the worst part of air travel at all.
@lizzieohreally Hell is other people.
— Katherine Lee (@katherine_lee1) April 10, 2017
@lizzieohreally When they call for people “who need extra time” to board first (as they should) — and the entire plane boards
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 10, 2017
@lizzieohreally Chatty seatmates.
— Danielle Kurtzleben (@titonka) April 10, 2017
@lizzieohreally American passengers who stand in the aisle to store their carry-ons and get settled, while 100+ people wait behind them.
— Shamir Karkal (@shamir_k) April 10, 2017
@lizzieohreally The dudes (it’s always dudes) that put their carryon up front & then march to their seats in back so now I have to put my stuff further back
— Jennifer (@WeTheLiving) April 10, 2017
There’s also dread about the whole situation which is, uh, pretty annoying.
@lizzieohreally Being sealed in an overcrowded tube with no control over what happens
— Andy Lancaster (@andylancaster) April 10, 2017
@lizzieohreally I’m unclear how there’s any response but “sitting for hours contemplating my fiery death.”
— Oliver Griswold (@originalgriz) April 10, 2017
On the Weekend show, we took a deeper dive into the airline industry. We spoke with airline expert Henry Harteveldt as well as Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants to get a full picture of the aviation business. Plus, we’ve got some of your voice mails about the best and worst of air travel. Take a listen on the player above.
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