As many know, United Airlines has been involved in a series of troubling events in which they have treated passengers in ways that are literally shocking to the public. I generally do not comment on such things, but this last confrontation between United Airlines and a passenger make me want to step forward and both comment and also share a story of my own.

In the attached story, United Airlines was refusing a concert violinist the ability to bring her 1600’s violin on a plane as a carry on, and was trying to force her to check the irreplaceable instrument in baggage.
The conversation grew heated, and an airlines supervisor grabbed the violin from the musician, and a struggle ensued as the violinist tried to protect her instrument. The supervisor injured the violinists hand, as the violinist screamed for help.
You can read the story for details.

As the carrier of the World Peace Violin, this scenario is my worst nightmare. Imagine an undisciplined airline’s supervisor grabbing the symbol of world peace and placing its safety in jeopardy!
But on a different note, I wanted to share that I have flown on United Airlines myself and observed several very disturbing things. The one which most disturbed me was the flight attendants refusing to give a meal to a three year old child who was crying because she was hungry. The family was sitting in the last back row of the plane, and the flight attendants told the parents that they wouldn’t give the child her meal until all of the passengers in front of her were served first. I spoke up and said that the flight attendant should be compassionate, and she told me that that wasn’t the airline’s policy and that she wasn’t paid to do that and that if I spoke of it further, I would be removed from the plane at the next airport.
I started flying when I was about 7 years old. I remember many many years of wonderful flight crews treating passenger with a smile and treating them like friends. What happened?

I used to fly planes myself many years ago (just Cessnas and such), and the first thing that you are taught when learning to fly a plane is that if you find yourself going down, you immediately take ahold of the controls and try to correct your course. Every pilot knows that the longer you wait to do that, the less likely that you’ll survive!
United Airlines needs to get serious about figuring out where things are going wrong. They are on a downward spiral and it isn’t pretty. And if they don’t take hold of the controls, their days are numbered!

Just my two cents!
Patrick McCollum