Serious Question: Y’all Still Flying Delta And United?
United Airlines seems to have picked up where Delta Airlines left off last year, finding itself in PR fiasco after PR fiasco as a result of questionable policies and procedures.
It’s the violent removal of passenger David Dao, a 69-year-old doctor, Sunday that caused United to make headlines again just two weeks after the airline was accused of policing women’s clothing when two teen girls flying as “pass riders” were prohibited from boarding a flight because they were in violation of United’s dress code by wearing leggings. And while boycott movements always pop up after such incidents, rarely are the threats followed through. But in the case of United Airlines, the backlash from potential passengers is being taken very seriously. According to Gizmodo, “United’s market capitalization, essentially the current value of the company, has fallen by more than $750 million from $22.5 billion…At the time of publication, United’s market cap has slid to $21.70 billion.”
And while declines in Delta earnings are being attributed to literal headwinds that caused more than 3,000 flights to be canceled last week, passengers of color have also likely not forgotten some of its glaring errors over the year. First, there was the #WhatADoctorLooksLike movement that gained wings when a Delta flight crew member refused to believe a Black female doctor was a physician. And not long after, Arab American YouTube star Adam Saleh said he was removed from a Delta flight simply for speaking in Arabic.
Celebs and everyday citizens have spoken out against each airline every time one of these incidents has occurred, but the real question is will people put their money where their mouth is if they really are against each company’s policies?
To be honest, I’ve had pretty negative experiences with every American airline I’ve ever flown — some far worse than others — and while I make a concerted effort not to patronize two which I consider having the most egregious service, sometimes the choice to fly an airline or not simply comes down to the almighty dollar. An unfortunate reality, considering the dollar is the only real power passengers have to make their demands heard as airlines continue to sandbag us with fees while offering fewer amenities, and increasingly poor service at every turn.
These incidents highlight the opportunity to take back some of our power as consumers, but that’s only possible if we’re serious about getting our money’s worth. Will you still fly Delta and United Airlines?