Is the United Airlines Passenger Incident a Natural Outgrowth of Our Unquestioning Compliance?

I imagine most of us have seen the United Airlines passenger dragged off the plane incident by now. It highlights the indignity of air travel these days.

It seems like once you purchase a ticket between the TSA searches and the attitude of the airlines, it’s comply or else.

Having recently flown United Airlines and having been crammed into the back of the plane (Last seat in the corner at the tail. You know that seat where you can’t recline the seat because of the bulkhead and not being a fan of TSA assumptions that we are all guilty until we submit to their searches and prove ourselves innocent regardless of age or physical condition.) this incident hit close to home.

However, sometimes reality is so abrasive to our sensibilities ya just gotta take the tension off with some humor.

Jimmy Kimmel’s commentary is good but the spoof commercial at the end is the best part. A bit of truth here wrapped up in the humor btw.

The Reality of Air Travel

In 2016, over 40,000 passengers were involuntarily bumped off their flights down slightly from over 43,000 in 2015. This passenger is simply one who didn’t cooperate with the involuntary offer. And to be honest, he doesn’t even appear to be a natural born citizen.

Meanwhile, the natural born citizens, while vocally complaining, didn’t attempt to help or be a replacement choice for this unhappy, man handled man. I guess we all have been lulled into compliance in this Leviathan Age of Government.

As it stands, airlines begin with the assumption that we are ALL criminals regardless of age or condition until we subject ourselves and our personal items to search and potential seizure.

My Recent Experience

I recently traveled to the middle of the US from the East Coast. I needed to take tools with me because of the work I was doing. To avoid the hassle of having my bags rummaged through as carry on, I paid the $50 baggage fee ($25 each way) since I never go through their scanner and elect the pat down instead which is annoying enough.

Anyway, I arrive home. I open my bag and find a pre-printed card in my luggage (They obviously do this regularly). It casually affirms that they opened my baggage and went through it anyway. Had there have been a lock on it, they would have broken it- the note mentions. Their justification was that they randomly selected my bag because they suspected suspicious items. My privacy? What privacy?

And yes, I flew United.

The Right to Privacy?

So much for personal privacy while traveling by air these days. On the airlines in this age, the 4th amendment means nothing.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things …

Perhaps by being so willing to submit to government mandated searches for EVERY passenger, we have empowered the TSA and the airlines to abuse our privacy.

Give government an inch and they eventually take a mile. We’re beyond a mile now. I believe it is time to push back and maintain our 4th amendment right of privacy.

Benjamin Franklin was credited to have said:

Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.

He probably didn’t exactly mean it the way it is used, but I still think there is a great deal of truth in the statement anyway.

Perhaps this latest passenger incident affirms why. Maybe this will change things a bit. We do have the option to vote with our dollars and/or place pressure on our government representatives. Maybe, it’s time to recover some of those lost privacy rights and push back a bit in place of being so compliant based on fear mongering. I sure hope so.


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