The recent news story (4/9/2017) showing United Airlines dragging a customer off one of its planes may have been the first hostile act caught on film, but it certainly not the 1st hostile act United has taken toward a customer. The customer so dragged had certainly bought his ticket & gotten a boarding pass, but United had overbooked the flight. To get all of its crew on board, they felt they had to forcibly remove a customer. They had authorities brutally drag him off the plane with blood oozing from his mouth. According to his lawyer, his nose & teeth were broken.
Hostile treatment by airlines such as United is certainly not news to me. Years ago, while living near Cedar Rapids, IA, I often travelled on United, which would go from Cedar Rapids to Denver, CO, then from Denver to my final destination. I remember one case quite well. That was the time I was going to an international conference in Hawaii -- one I was looking forward to since I had never been there. I got up around 4 AM & flew to Denver, & stood in line there to get on the connecting flight. However, the problem was United had overbooked that flight, & would not let us on, but sent us into a room.
There United employees gave us a voucher for a free meal, & assured us a place on their next plane flight to Hawaii, which left hours later. By then it was late morning & I was hungry (not having had breakfast), & went to use the voucher to get soup & a sandwich. However, I did not realize a problem. As a result of surgery & radiation treatment I had undergone, & medicine I was forced to go on, the soup (mushroom) was intolerable, causing a major pain in my stomach. I went to United and asked to lie down while waiting for the Hawaiian flight, but they would not let me. But one employee reported to his boss that I was having a heart attack (I clearly was not)! The result was that several United employees came up (still not helping) including a higher-up, & he ruled (despite my strong argument) that I could not get on a plane again until I saw a doctor, & he gave me a note that I could fly!
So I was forced to miss the next plane flight to Hawaii, & instead took a taxi to downtown Denver to a hospital, & saw a doctor on emergency in order to get the note (after about 3 hours) & take a taxi back to the airpiort. Later in the evening I was able to fly to Hawaii, finally arriving at my hotel early in the morning the next day, having spent 30 hours in airports (& a hospital). Of course, the conference started just a few hours later.
The result was that within a day I became very sick (with a virus caught probably at the hospital and/or in my airline weary state), & it lasted thru my Hawaiian trip & over a week after I returned. I can only thank United Airlines for that horrific experience, & am sure other customers have had experiences like this.
While I stopped flying with United regularly afterward, hostile treatment by airlines has continued. I hope others similarly get caught on videotape being brutally hostile to a customer. There is no excuse for it, and they deserve to be sued by those they badly treat.