Flying the Friendly Skies
My fellow Charioteers will already know that I am hardly the world’s largest fan of the USA. That I am hardly enamoured with the idea of going on holiday in the USA will, thus, surprise no one. That’s not to say that the USA is without its merits and charms. It has both, at times in abundance. In my experience Planet ‘Murca’s native aggro simply outweighs the good.
One of the world’s worst airlines, United, has managed to land itself in hot water. After over-booking a flight it asked for “volunteers” to be rebooked on a flight the following afternoon. Initially it offered US$400 and a free night at a hotel. No one accepted the offer. It then offered US$800. I would have taken that. No one did and the airline chose to toss four passengers off the aeroplane in order to make room for four airline employees. One of the passengers expelled was an elderly doctor who had to work the next morning. After protesting vocally, he was brutally beaten by so-called “law enforcement officers”. Stalin would have approved of their tactics.
This event has accomplished two things. United which already had a horrendous reputation now appears to be positively thuggish. US airport police, infamous for making the Russians look like Claridge’s staff in comparison, are now widely seen as wannabe Gestapo. Was it really quite necessary to bash a man’s face in, especially when he’s old enough to be a pensioner? One rule that I learnt from the Chinese is to do everything possible to avoid kerfuffles. If there is a situation, always try to defuse it. As a result, even if the Chinese avoid involving the police, they rarely have the absolute terror of them that many in the US do.