It’s not too difficult to make a compelling argument for Southwest Airlines. Their low fares, free bag check, lenient carry on requirements and open seating make the flight all the more enjoyable and relieve loads of travel day stress. But to top it off, they’re one of few airlines staying under the radar during a string of public abuse.
To kick off the strange chain of events, David Dao, a passenger on United Airlines, was violently ripped out of his seat by airport security officers and dragged off of the plane after he refused to give up his seat last minute to extra crew in early April. Other passengers captured it on video, posting it all over social media for, well everyone, to see. Dao suffered a concussion and lost two teeth from the incident.
United Airlines has a policy to ask paying passengers to exit the plane in order to make room for crew, who need to get to another destination for work purposes. The airline uses incentives such as travel vouchers and hotel stays to coerce passengers. But since nobody wanted to get off the plane because obviously they all had somewhere to be, or else they probably would not have gotten on the plane in the first place, the airline took matters into their own hands by calling security.
Following this, Delta airlines removed a passenger from a flight because he used the restroom while the plane was waiting on the tarmac. Now, it is policy for safety reasons that passengers do not use the restroom anytime during takeoff or landing, but the passenger peacefully complied with Delta personnel after asking them to explain to him why he was being removed. Once he was off the plane, he was greeted by law enforcement. Why, seriously why, would law enforcement need to talk to this man? He had to go to the bathroom, he’s human, it happens, in what way is he a danger? This seems beyond extreme to me.
Then, American airlines jumped in and allegedly ripped a stroller out of a mother’s hand, hitting her in the face with the handle by accident.
And to top it off, the most violent of broadcasted abuses this past month comes from British Airways. Kwame Bantu, 65, suffers from cancer and diabetes. Bantu saw his leg swelling and moved up to an empty seat in first class to stretch his leg, but was quickly approached by crew members. Crew allegedly tied him up by his hands and strapped down his shoulders. When he asked to use the restroom, he was told he could go in his seat. Surrounding passengers took photos of the man handcuffed in his seat. After a few passengers tried to defend Bantu, the pilot redirected the flight to a Portuguese air force base and removed Bantu and maybe even the passengers who tried to defend him. The flight was headed to Jamaica, but ended up returning to London.
Bantu told MailOnline, “They ambushed me. I was completely humiliated, my human rights had been taken away from me. They refused to listen about my medical illness and what I was going through. I was treated like a slave. It’s when some of the other passengers expressed their concern for me that they stopped the plane and landed to kick us out.”
And in the midst of the craziness, Southwest has kept up their glowing reputation and treated passengers with the utmost respect. Is it even a question who you should fly with on your next trip?