Our Increasingly Uncivil Society
A United Airlines flight from Newark to Denver had to be diverted because two passengers were fighting over legroom. Robert Reich thinks there’s plenty of blame to go around.
DEPARTMENT OF DETERIORATING CIVILITY. United Airlines flight 1462 from Newark to Denver was diverted Sunday because of two passengers fighting over legroom. Both were sitting in United’s Economy Plus section, which has 4 more inches of legroom than the rest of coach. The man was using a Knee Defender (a $21.95 gadget, banned by United and many other airlines, that attaches to a passenger’s tray table and prevents the person in front of them from reclining) to stop the woman seated in front of him from putting her seat back while he was on his laptop. The woman complained. When a flight attendant asked him to remove the device, he refused. The woman then stood, turned around, and threw a cup of water at him. Soon thereafter, the pilot diverted the flight to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, where the two were removed from the plane, and then continued on to Denver, where it arrived 1 hour 38 minutes late.
Who’s most at fault here? The man who wouldn’t remove his Knee Defender, the woman who threw the water at him, the pilot who inconvenienced every other passenger by diverting the plane to Chicago, United Airlines, which crams people into tiny seats with inadequate legroom, or our entire society that’s becoming less civil every minute?[su_sky_ad]