What Became Of The Friendly Skies
Time was when it was more important to beat the competition.
Apparently, times change.
I used to travel for business in the late '80s and early '90s. I had remarkably few negative experiences with that travel by air. I traveled with Continental. American. Delta. Eastern a few times. A couple-three commuter lines.
Only once did I fly with United.
It was far from the friendliest airline I ever set foot in, but it wasn't quite like the above, at least in my day.
In my few years as a business traveler, I recall twice being on flights that were overbooked, resulting in gate announcements seeking volunteers to take a later flight; they offered seemingly generous incentives, like cash and travel vouchers, to any volunteers.
They always seemed to get their volunteers and no more stringent methods were needed, such as "volunteered by force".
I can almost imagine a United pre-flight announcement today: Welcome to United, unless we volunteer your ass off the plane. In such event, the fight attendants will direct you to the nearest aid station after removal...
And no beat downs when no one volunteers to be bumped, and the incompetently overbooked airline ground/flight crew makes the choice of who gets bumped -- figuratively and literally -- themselves.
That said, there is always that possibility that circumstances might require me to fly again. If so, I don't like the idea of having to prepare, physically, to fly United: