By now, everyone has heard, read, and commented about the new fiasco that United Airlines has faced: the death of a puppy in an overhead compartment bin. I may be a little late to the party, but it’s never too late to talk about ethics. For those of you just coming out of the jungle or taking a news break, this is something that ACTUALLY Happened. A flight attendant convinced and demanded a passenger to place their puppy, that was in a carrier, into the overhead compartment bin where it proceeded to bark for 30 minutes, until (most likely) it ended up dead. Angered and sickened? Yeah, me too. The blame lies in every single party on that plane, including those who were witnesses (although that blame is much lower than that of the owner and even lower than that of the Flight Attendant). So, what it is that makes us clamp our mouths and deal with grimy airplanes and companies? There are, usually, only two reasons:
If you can get a wicked deal on a flight from here to wherever, chances are you’re going to snap that baby up. And, why wouldn’t you? Traveling, especially airfare, can be incredibly expensive. But, when it comes at the cost of human welfare (remember United’s incident with dragging a man off their plane?) and just plain annoyances like smaller seats and no perks, is it even worth it?
In my opinion, no. And, that’s just my opinion on the fact that you’re crammed into a tin can for hours on end with the bare minimum. I’ll gladly pay more in order to get a direct flight (or as direct a flight can get from Winnipeg) and will happily fork over more money for a little larger of a seat. (I’m not talking first class here, I’m not a millionaire).
Some people are not willing to pay more because they are okay with putting up with peasant seating to save a buck, or simply because they can’t afford to. And, that’s okay when it comes down to just peasant seating.
No Other Choice.
With all the United issues, people have many other choices. You’re in a first-world country having a first-world problem (don’t worry, I fully understand that my comfort on an airplane to Paris is DEFINITELY a first-world problem) and are trying to find the cheapest option. But….sometimes you’re in a country where air travel is scarce and you have to put up with the garbage plane; there’s just no way around it. Believe me. I’ve tried. The one thing you shouldn’t ever put up with (unless you genuinely fear for your safety, and in that case, you have more problems than egos and small seats) in air travel? Power-tripping flight attendants and pilots.
If they’re making you do something uncomfortable, or if you’re witnessing something uncomfortable unfolding before your eyes, speak up. Question what is happening, especially if it doesn’t feel right, but you’re not sure. Don’t just be another sheep, happy to go along with everything. Make sure yourself and fellow passengers are comfortable during your travels (even if your legs are cramping). While it may not be a civilians responsibility to make sure that airlines are ethical and do their damn jobs, sometimes it’s needed to show them that we won’t just lie down and take whatever comes our way just to save a buck or two.
Michelle is an avid traveler, a great ranter, a lover of all things nature and beautiful. You can find her out of the city limits taking in everything that Earth has to offer. When she’s not dressed down in yoga pants and a t-shirt, you can find her piecing together the perfect outfit to show off in the busy streets with friends – careful to state that she is not a hipster. Her favourite city is Paris, with a yearning for its breathtaking streets, architecture, and fashion so strong that she repeatedly finds herself walking along the cobbled lanes and sitting down in the Tuileries with a cafe au lait, scribbling furiously in a Christian Lacroix notebook.
View all posts by Michelle Lee-Ann