Courtesy of my state newspaper, the Union Leader, here’s another heartwarming tale from America’s friendly skies. This time Southwest Airlines bravely attempted to prevent a dying eight-year-old boy from spending his last Christmas at home.
The story has all the usual elements — the utter capriciousness of airline “safety”:
The Dainiak family was told by Southwest staff that the boy would either have to forgo the protective seat or get off the plane because the chair was not compliant with Federal Aviation Administration rules.
“It was a little shocking,” said the boy’s father, Chris. “We flew down with this exact chair six days before.”
And, of course, the desiccated response of the spokeseunuch:
“We are working directly with the family after sincerely apologizing and issuing a full refund for their less-than-positive travel experience,” Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins said Sunday night. “We certainly will take away any potential learnings from this experience in our constant evaluation of how to provide the best possible customer service.”
Potential learnings from their less-than-positive travel experience? How many “man”-hours of training do you have to have to talk like that?
If this were a TV movie on Lifestyle or some such, the traveling salesman behind them would say, “Hell, no. If you’re kicking the dying kid off the plane, you’ll have to kick us all off.” And the stewardess would go, “Goshdarn it, this flight’s not taking off without little Jimmy!” As one of the commenters roars:
My fellow Americans you are sheep if you don’t speak out and stand up to these morons!!
But, as I wrote here earlier this month, American air transportation is doing a grand job of accustoming freeborn peoples to behaving like a bovine compliant herd. So no one speaks out, stands up, or exercises simple human judgment and the dying kid gets treated like garbage. But at least everyone complied with the Bureau of Compliance federal regulations, and that’s what matters, right?
The one and only.