A Quick Fix for the Blues

by Honolulu Mother

This article in The Week offers a few quick ways to boost your happiness.  At the end of the article (which gives more detail on why and how this works), it sums them up thus:

Sum up

Here’s what brain research says will make you happy:

1. Ask “what am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.

2. Label those negative emotions. Give it a name and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.

3. Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”

4. Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.

Are there mood-boosters we could add to this list? For me, I would add (1) Go for a walk and (2) Put on cheerful music. What suggestions do others have?

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298 thoughts on “A Quick Fix for the Blues

  1. For me having a trip planned makes me happy and if I’m blue I call up the countdown timer on my phone and it cheers me up.

  2. We use 2 & 4 a lot. Naming it makes it less overwhelming. The benefit of hugging is self-explanatory, but we also go a little further and wrassel a little. He can pick me up now, which he loves. I’ve brought back the “lumpy bed” recently. It’s still fun and has nostalgia value now.

  3. Rhett – do you the actual planning? I really like planning trips, sometimes as much as the actual trip.

  4. Oh, you mean us, adults!
    Stop thinking about what’s bugging me & do something else, or if it’s a big deal, dig in & figure out a solution, I guess.

  5. Going outside in the sunshine makes me happy and relaxed (even if I’m not exercising). Getting into a good book and having the time to read it. Checking things off my to do list.

  6. Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”

    This is big for me. I’m a ruminator if I allow myself. It helps to have people around me be decisive because they serve as good role models and help me see my foolishness.

    Sunshine is always good.

  7. I think the biggest mood boost is the figuring out what is bothering me and making some progress to fixing it. Sometimes its stupid, like today. My partner is just insistent the I use rechargable batteries in my cordless mouse. I absolutely hate it. There never seems to be a charged battery when my mouse decides to die, which it always does with no warning. I even turn it off when I leave my “work desk” for the day. Today, he told me that I should still have a charged one in my desk. Well, I don’t. So I pulled out the last non-rechargable and put batteries on my shopping list.

  8. Austin, getting multiple chargers, so they’re available where we use the batteries, was a huge improvement for us. If your mouse gives you a warning, you can just plug in the charger and be ready when the batteries are/aren’t. But overall I agree with you. Relaxin and being free when there’s something to be resolved is not happening.

  9. Austin – Tell him to get the batteries and charger and keep them ready on standby and you’ll be happy to use them.

  10. Mouse batteries went out this week and we don’t even pretend to use rechargable. I couldn’t find replacements, was in the middle of a time sensitive work project and got a little crazy. Luckily, a toy drill had some good AAs in it.

  11. That doesn’t contribute much to the “happiness” conversation, I suppose.

    DH and I drink a lot of bubbly. It always feels like a celebration of something. Can’t believe I’m the first to suggest alcohol as a cure for the blues. Next up: caffeine and sugar.

  12. Ada we do that too. The Kirkland champagne is surprisingly good and their Prosecco is not bad either (and stays bubbly for a few nights if you’re inclined not to drink the whole bottle in one). Also I love the first bit of warm weather when the rose comes out (no clue how to do the accent). And my morning cup (or two) of coffee makes me happy too. I love the ritual of a warm drink with cream and sugar.

  13. Only because I had real work to do, Ada.

    I was going to say scotch. Just a wee dram.

    I have not felt really bummed in a while, and actually, alcohol is not my preferred solution.

    If I’m mopey about work, exercise, then back at it very early the next day. If I’m mopey about something around the house, probably at least take a stab at fixing that (if not completing the whole task), then celebrating with a scotch. If interpersonal, then we have to talk it out, which would probably be over coffee or wine or scotch.

  14. Can’t believe I’m the first to suggest alcohol as a cure for the blues. Next up: caffeine and sugar.

    LOL. I hear cocaine and meth will perk you right up too.

  15. Feeling really bummed since yesterday. DH needed some commiseration and emotional support yesterday and I blew it bigly. This morning I have been an epic failure at parenting as well and took out my frustration on my 4 year old. The said kid who was looking forward to daycare all morning suddenly started crying on (presumably) seeing who was in classroom. Also, when the teacher took the class outside, my kid was the only one standing part and not really playing with other kids.

  16. Luckily, a toy drill had some good AAs i

    Haha. Now there’s a reason to give them batteries!

  17. Ask “what am I grateful for”. Ugh, ugh, ugh I hate this kind of thing. Makes me want to think of all the people who annoy me.

  18. Go for a walk is top of this list, in the sunshine, on the beach listening to a good audiobook is the cure for any kind of bluesl. I also use: crossing things off my todo list, painting, container gardening, doing a jigsaw puzzle while listening to a podcast with a diet coke, holding hands with DH, looking in on my son if he’s home. Looking at his guinea pig. Texting my little niece if she isn’t in school. Calling my mom.

  19. Every time a new post appears on my Nextdoor list, there’s a guy who comments “Unsubscribe me! I don’t want to get these emails any more! Stop sending me this!”

    People have tried to explain that we’re all subscribers just like he is, and we don’t control the distribution list. They’ve tried to tell him how to change his account settings, but it’s all been for naught. He probably needs some scotch.

  20. I go running to boost my mood. I also learned from my mother that if you force yourself to smile, it will impact your mood and make you feel better. I do practice that one.

  21. Lengthy online conversation with my UAL friend. Her opinion is so different from that of most people. She says she hopes UAL charges the guy thrown off the plane with a crime. She says he was violating his contract and the chain of command on a flight. Very different perspective.

  22. Batteries – If he would be responsible for them so that they were always at the ready, I could go for it. But, apparently it requires more care and feeding than I am willing to do or do correctly. I get fussed at because I leave them plugged in too long after recharging. And, no the mouse gives no warning – just dies. And, like someone else said, it is always at a bad time! So, to increase my happiness quotient and stop stupid disagreements over batteries, I am opting out of rechargables and if I don’t say anything (or ever ask for a AA again) he may never notice!

    In general, alcohol helps initially, but it usually takes action to make the “thing” that causes the unhappiness to go away.

  23. Milo, I’d warn about that guy going postal, by it sounds like he wouldn’t know where to aim the gun!

    Related to smiling to make yourself feel better, when I’ve caught myself saying “I hate my life”, I’ve been trying recently to replace it with a positive statement. It helps way more than I expected.

  24. Right at the beginning of their story on it last night, Marketplace pointed out that
    “If you take the time to read the airline condition of contracts that you’re planning to travel on — not that anyone does by the way, because it’s 10-point mice type that only lawyers probably read or approved. It does, in fact, say that the the carrier has the final right to allow you to travel or not for what may either be marketing or operational reasons.” I think the “but nobody does” part should get more attention by the industry.

    https://www.marketplace.org/2017/04/10/business/united-hotseat-after-passenger-removed-flight

  25. UAL may well have acted within their legal rights, but they are not going to win in the court of public opinion, even if that guy is a little off his rocker. Milo and I are both on that guy’s side. When does that ever happen?

  26. MM and S&M that is exactly why I have stress at the airport sometimes because I know at the end of the day they can say you disrupted flight operations and have you arrested. And basically there is no arguments with law enforcement as the airport and airline employess get the benefit of the doubt.

  27. Recently introduced the kids to Abbott and Costello. (They’re really into puns these days). Needless to say, loved it. Such a classic bit.

  28. “So, to increase my happiness quotient and stop stupid disagreements over batteries, I am opting out of rechargables and if I don’t say anything (or ever ask for a AA again) he may never notice!”

    Yup. Keeping a stash like this package of 48 batteries from Amazon makes me happy. :)

  29. In recent years, I’ve done better in managing my expectations which helps to not set oneself up to get the blues. I also mediate using Head Space for 10 minutes each day and that helps focus thoughts.

  30. Rhett – do you the actual planning?

    Yes, but I’m mostly in charge of where to go and entirely in charge of how to get there. But I like that part figuring out the upgrades and such. I also love meals on the plane so if we go to FL we’ll fly through Chicago because then you get lunch and dinner. Things like that.

  31. Rhett – do you the actual planning? I really like planning trips, sometimes as much as the actual trip.

    Me too!

  32. I get fussed at because I leave them plugged in too long after recharging

    Oh yeah, no, fuck that noise. Just hide a huge bunch of regular AA’s in your tee-shirt drawer.

  33. By the way, those of you who say that you address the “reason” you are blue, is there always a reason? You never get blue for no or an unknown reason? If that’s true, you are lucky!

  34. Sometimes things just suck. There are lots of people on here whose kids are atypical in some way. I appreciate the mutual support and shared ideas. I’d much rather accept my kid’s reality and deal with it than try to plaster on a happy face over shambles. Sort of like Austin’s batteries, on a much larger scale, and without the “I’ll just get throw-aways” option. I’ve got the one I’ve got, and need to figure out why he can’t hold a charge. I guess I’m talking about a different level of happiness. The surface level isn’t much of a problem for me.

  35. Mafalda, when I’ve felt blue out of the blue, it’s generally been because of something just below my conscious awareness. The most obvious example is when I started dropping things and swearing a lot towards the middle of April. Eventually it would dawn on me that the birthday of the kid I gave up for adoption was coming. I’d pull out the photo album, have a cry, and feel better. These days it isn’t much of a thing for me. Same thing on a smaller scale; if I’m feeling grumpy or blue, once I figure out why and acknowledge those feelings, I’m already on the way to feeling better. Do you ever realize later that there was something eating at you, in a way that made you feel bad, even though you had not yet noticed the thing itself?

  36. Austin, there’s always the in-between option; have disposables on hand to use while the others charge, then switch them out when the rechargeables are ready. Hate to say it, but there is a point to fussing over leaving them in too long; we’ve had a couple leak all over the charger. I assume that because we left them in too long.

  37. S&M yes – you do bring up a good example. In that case there is a “reason” to be blue but you can’t actually solve it. I agree with you, it certainly can be dealt with better if we can understand the reason. When I think of mood lifters I’m imagining activities that lift my mood- assuming there isn’t an actual problem to be solved- because I’m first a problem solver before anything. No galavanting around the beach if there is a problem to be solved first! ;)

  38. Exercise, doing something productive (cleaning, work, cooking), reading a book, getting together with a friend that I haven’t seen in awhile…these are all things that I do when something is bothering me. Exercise helps clear my head & think about the problem productively. The others life my mood/take my mind off things.

    I don’t feel like drinking at all when I am down about something. It is a celebratory thing for me – getting together with people, going to a sporting event, celebrating the end of a week of work, etc. When I am down, I am more likely to want to eat comfort-y food than drink alcohol. Or meth. (kidding)

    I guess I don’t really feel blue for no reason. I am lucky I guess. Usually I am upset about something specific, or if I am tired/sick/stressed I get more irritable than blue.

  39. The last few years, irritability/the blues are almost always tied to lack of sleep/sleep interrupted by kids. Ignoring the housework to be done and going to bed early often solves the sleep problem, leaving me with the messy house problem.

  40. I don’t really understand depression/feeling blue without an outside cause. I know it exists, but it isn’t how I am. I realize that I am
    exceedingly lucky that this is how I am wired (and I firmly believe this is a chemical thing totally outside of your control).

  41. Kate – I don’t either. And if I do have outside cause to be upset, I just do something about it rather than wallow but I totally understand that other people are different. My husband says that I’m the least sensitive woman that he knows.

  42. It has also been my understanding that the percentage at which a flight can be oversold varies significantly based on the origin and destination. On one Newark to San Juan, I was told it was extremely oversold because it has one of the highest percentages of no-shows.

  43. ” I also love meals on the plane so if we go to FL we’ll fly through Chicago because then you get lunch and dinner.”

    So you select that over a non-stop flight mainly for the meals?

    I used to like travel planning but lately it seems like so much work. I see the OP mentioned music, which also can help me cheer up. If it is danceable music, that’s usually a plus. Also, doing something nice for someone else can help.

  44. So you select that over a non-stop flight mainly for the meals?

    Of course! I was a little annoyed when I booked FL the other day as ORD isn’t really an option anymore so it’s CLT or PHL and each of those legs don’t warrant a meal so it’s just snacks and cocktails.

  45. I hate travel planning. I just want it all to magically happen.

    DH has been bugging me about what I want to do in Athens. I don’t want to do anything in Athens. I want to go directly to Amorgos and float in the pool. But he wants to go to Athens so for some reason *I* have to come up with preferences about what to do in Athens.

  46. Rhett – You’re not joking? You’d rather take a multi-leg flight for the airline food? Wouldn’t you rather just go to a restaurant at your destination?

  47. I don’t really understand depression/feeling blue without an outside cause.

    Do you get cranky sometimes for no reason?

  48. Wouldn’t you rather just go to a restaurant at your destination?

    Is the restaurant racing through the sky six miles up at 500mph? If not then no, I wouldn’t rather be at an Earthbound restaurant.

  49. S&M – My level of caring about batteries is just one of those things that I don’t want to spend the time on. Rocky’s sentiments are more closely aligned with mine!

    Travel – I don’t know if I mentioned DD#2 and I went on a cruise at Spring Break. Generally, I like the planning and the researching to figure out the details. I also know where I am taking risks. But, with all the stress of the past year, my decision to go somewhere without much lead time, and having never done a cruise before, we used a travel agent. It is the first time I have used a travel agent since the pre-internet days. It was way too stressful as several things did not go very smoothly that I would have thought a “professional” should have known or would have done for us.

    Blues – I find I can generally find the cause. I realize I can’t always make a change to make the cause go away, but knowing what it is helps. I’ve had a few clothes in my closet that my friends had pulled of my mom’s to be consigned. Last week I realized that seeing them there every day was weighing on me and that if I hadn’t consigned them by now it wasn’t going to happen. I folded most of them up and put them in the general donation bag. I put two things aside for the next “coat” drive and put one thing aside for a women’s dress for success. Not seeing that out of the corner of my eye every morning has made a difference.

  50. airline food

    I actually think it’s pretty good – the warm nuts, the pretzel bread the freshly baked cookies. And that’s American the food in Mint is even better.

  51. Rhett – I find it fascinating that you love airplane food. I’ll eat anything, but on our flights to/from London, I passed on the food because it seemed so unappealing. I love hearing about different preferences people have.

  52. Rocky, go to the plaka and get me a bag like the one I got in 1989. I loved that thing, and wore it out. Also, the rooftop movie theater where the Acropolis was behind and just next to the screen was good.

    When I travel, I like to know a bit about the place when I get there, and to have schedules and times for anything that has schedule and times–the ferries, the market that isn’t open “afternoons”, the museum, everything. I plan on 3-4 things in a day, and try to know ahead of time how I’ll get from one to the other, and then decide that day what we’ll actually do. I think I was more relaxed about this before I was traveling alone with a kid. I have learned through two experiences in the past nine years that although they like to go on tours, my parents don’t want to make or be held to plans at all, so holding off on something they’ve said they want to do together can lead to frustration. Back to today’s topic, when that happens I just breathe deeply and try to smile. The fact that they are getting old old now helps in two ways: I’m able to be more patient and they are more likely to say ahead of time what they don’t want to do.

  53. Rhett as a non depressive with a family full of depressives, I can safely say that while I get crabby sometimes, or experience situational sadness or even get down on myself and my failings, it is not at all the same as depression. For me such feelings are clearly an injured or diseased state to be quickly dispelled, similar to a migraine or a sprained ankle. To a depressive they are a familiar default state, in many cases an apparent safe place if not a happy one.

  54. “There never seems to be a charged battery when my mouse decides to die, which it always does with no warning. ”

    I suggest you try Eneloop batteries, which are sold at Costco and Amazon. They hold a charge much better than most rechargeable AA and AAA batteries, so you can charge them up and have them on standby to bring your mouse back to life.

    If you have other rechargeables and want to keep them on standby without burning them out by overcharging, I suggest plugging the charger into a timer set to turn on for half an hour every day, just enough to keep them charged but not overcharge them. But that constant charging seems to defeat at least on of the purposes of using rechargeables.

    BTW, I’ve been moving away from alkaline batteries, and to Eneloops and lithium ion batteries. I’ve had too many things destroyed by electrolyte that leaked out of alkaline batteries.

  55. I don’t enjoy travel planning because there are too many choices. Beginning with flights. Fly out of tiny local airport with multiple connections or fly through Chicago and add 2+ hours to trip? The AirBNB options for this Australia trip were dizzying. And some of them vanished without warning while I was plagued with indecision. I want a curated list of flights and accommodation choices to pick from.

  56. “Laugh. Find something that will make you laugh.”

    Yes, a good laugh always makes me feel better. I appreciate all the humor and attempts at humor undertaken here.

  57. “I go running to boost my mood. “

    I also find physical exertion boosts my mood, especially when followed by a nice shower, leading to a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep always helps.

    Another thing that helps my mood is finishing something on the todo list.

  58. Tcmama,

    If I was planning a trip to London the flight time would be based entirely on assuring BA would be serving its highly regarded high tea. Unless an A380 was an option.

  59. Just read another article on the United snafu. Apparently the reason the flight was already boarded before passengers were bumped was that the United employees who occupied the seats vacated by the bumped passengers showed up late to the gate.

  60. I suggest you try Eneloop batteries, which are sold at Costco and Amazon. They hold a charge much better than most rechargeable AA and AAA batteries, so you can charge them up and have them on standby to bring your mouse back to life.

    That still doesn’t fix the problem of having to remember to put them on the charger, charge them, remove them when they are finished charging, and put them someplace where people can find them.

    We periodically stock up on batteries at Costco so we have a ready stash.

  61. Scarlett – I love AirBnb, it’s obviously filling a niche (or a gaping wide hole) in affordable, interesting, flexible travel arrangements. But the interface is terrible if you don’t have a very specific plan. Trying to figure out where to stay in Tokyo was overwhelming – googling neighborhoods, etc. Too many choices, not enough sorting.

    On the other hand, if I want a bedroom to stay in near a hospital in Portland, it’s very good.

  62. Another thing that helps my mood is finishing something on the todo list.

    I know some people enjoy the feeling of literally drawing a line through items completed. I’ve never understood that. I’ll go one step further and say there are some tasks I enjoy doing. I have been sanding and painting a bench recently, and enjoy the details of it.

    all the humor and attempts at humor undertaken here.
    hahaha Well said.

    It never would occur to me that the food on any commercial plane since maybe the 1960s would be a reason to take a flight, but watching it all get loaded onto the plane and then the distribution process sure was helpful in passing time with my kid! I don’t like the physical sensation of take-off and landing. I think it’s because of my allergies–the passages between my nose & ears are never clear, so two legs in a row is about all I can take.

    Does anyone else here have travel conflicts with their kids? I think it’s normal for couples to need to work out trips, but my son’s preferences are really diverging from mine. He doesn’t want to go zip lining, doesn’t like beaches, is very “iffy” on rafting. If we go to a city, he doesn’t want to see a bunch of things in one day. He generally wants to just relax and is fine never leaving the hotel. We aren’t traveling any time soon, but have made a deal that the next time we do, he will do an active thing that I choose and will also pick a “sitting” place for us to watch the world go by. Hanging out in our room would be fine with him, but he’s agreed, at least in theory, to a park, cafe, or similar. At Disney, he’s fine hanging out at a resort and never entering a park. If we do go to a park, there is no way we’d do the standard mad dash from one ride to the next. We saunter through and enjoy what comes up. It’s a nice place to do that, but I think many would say we’re squandering the day.

  63. Saac, with my family size, I set the itinerary (months in advance!) and my kids are obliged to go along with it, with some choice (which rides/hikes/Jr ranger programs to do) when we’re present. I was so happy at age ~17 to no longer be subject to the vacation scheduling preferences of five other people. I suspect my children will be the same.

  64. Scarlett – I love AirBnb, it’s obviously filling a niche (or a gaping wide hole) in affordable, interesting, flexible travel arrangements. But the interface is terrible if you don’t have a very specific plan. Trying to figure out where to stay in Tokyo was overwhelming – googling neighborhoods, etc. Too many choices, not enough sorting.

    It’s no different than looking for a hotel. You have to narrow down where you want to stay first.

  65. “That still doesn’t fix the problem of having to remember to put them on the charger, charge them, remove them when they are finished charging, and put them someplace where people can find them.”

    Well, they come pre-charged and ready to use, so at least once you don’t need to remember.

    But their holding their charge well lends them to charging them when you replace them, rather than having to charge them when you need them, which IMO is significantly more convenient. Keep two sets for the mouse, one in use, and the other fully charged and ready to go.

  66. I disagree – Hotels are in very limited corridors, and one hotel represents 300 rooms. Airbnbs are everywhere. Hotel availability doesn’t change so fast. If you dither, the one perfect airbnb is gone. But you can’t book without being confident – most have fairly strict cancellation policies. I know what a Homewood Suites entails, but each and every airbnb needs a pretty careful going over. There are very few sorting criteria compared with hotel websites and little control over the translation of categories (every room in tokyo that has access to a bathtub has checked the “hot tub” box).

  67. WCE, the last time we traveled, a couple of years ago, that’s what we did. Even before that, he complained that I set us up with too much to do in a day. Now that he is old enough to sit in a hotel room by himself, the power relation has shifted. I clearly want him to get more out of any trip we take than the hotel and the pool. The next trip we take will probably be camping or similar during the eclipse this summer. I think Mooshi Mooshi’s kids have planned parts of their trips. Having him pick a place to relax out and about might be the best I can get. But maybe somebody here has a better idea.

  68. SM, it sounds like you are a traveler, and your DS is a vacationer.

    That’s pretty accurate summary. Any ideas on making a trip work? Are your family members similarly different?

  69. every room in tokyo that has access to a bathtub has checked the “hot tub” box

    Given what Japanese bathtubs are like, I can see their point. Ada, are you still looking at this time, or has this trip already happened?

  70. “Do you get cranky sometimes for no reason.” No. I mean, some might feel that way about my crankiness. But I can always pinpoint what is causing the crankiness. I suspect I have higher levels of serotonin than most.

  71. “every room in tokyo that has access to a bathtub has checked the “hot tub” box.”

    In fairness, doesn’t having a tub with hot water qualify as having a hot tub?

    I think this is a semantic/cultural issue, and it’s reasonable for someone planning a trip to Japan to not assume that “hot tub” means the same thing in the US as in Japan.

    For Japan, it might make more sense to have check boxes for “private bath,” and,
    “shower.”

  72. SM – my DH hates to have a vacation totally planned to the day or the minute. The result is that we hit the main highlights of a place but there is a chance to relax at the pool or take say spur of the moment trips based on just flipping the attractions pages in the hotel magazine.
    I would like a more scheduled vacation but over the years we have settled on the above compromise. If I were to go solely on my own, I would take one of those tours like Meme does.

  73. For Japan, it might make more sense to have check boxes for “private bath,” and,
    “shower.”

    And “jacuzzi” or “whirlpool”.

  74. More on the United fiasco: there are questions of whether United’s policies meet DoT rules (providing a written statement to bumped passengers), and whether United’s contract of carriage applies in this case, because denial of boarding may not apply given that passengers were already boarded.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/uniteds-real-mistake-173844672.html

    I also heard the crew that started the whole chain of events wasn’t flying until the next day.

  75. Ada, I haven’t run into those issues with airbnb. I find it easy to search – i pick the number to sleep and entire unit. The map shows them by location and price, I check the ones that look promising. When you talk about “dithering” and they get taken, do you mean in minutes or hours, or over days?

    It’s no difference than the finding a hotel. I look by area, compare prices and amenities, etc. Yeah there is usually more than one room available in a hotel so there’s less chance of it filling up than someone booking an airbnb.

  76. Why Delta Air Lines Paid Me $11,000 Not To Fly To Florida This Weekend
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2017/04/09/why-delta-air-lines-paid-me-11000-not-to-fly-to-florida-this-weekend/#11bfdaf24de1

    Even though it was a weather-related problem, this family volunteered to give up their seats and negotiated the maximum price. This sounds enticing, but I must say I have never heard a request for volunteers and felt moved to go for it. Even once or twice when the airline guaranteed me a seat on the next flight a few hours later. I must rethink my attitude.

  77. We haven’t done very many full family vacations in these “middle years”. We did when the kids were small and we had complete control. They tended to be smaller, regional getaways other than a week long trip to Disney. Then we hit a period with an unemployed adult who transitioned to early retired adult, who became the SAHP. His preference was a few family summer outings and sending them to some summer day camps rather than having them at home more of the summer and us all going on a “big” trip. Then we transitioned to my primary care giving to my parents and staying in the routine of my not traveling very far from them, but the DDs taking advantage of one/two specialty camps major travel. Last summer, they went to a gaming convention (not my cup of tea), and I stayed home also due to taking so much time off due to my mom’s passing and clearing out her house.

    This Spring Break was the first time I’ve tried to get a trip accomplished. DD#1 was going to be gone with her school, so I tried to get something for the rest of us. Ended up being just DD#2 and me. But, we have plans for a cruise over Christmas – all of us! I think the issue will be on selecting the excursions. At that point, only DD#2 will be under 18. Given my partner’s recent health issues, I can see him either not going on some of them or us splitting up on the excursions we choose.

    DD#1 and I are trying to plan a trip summer 2018 for her graduation. She wants to do Great Britain, which I am fine with, but we need to start figuring out dates and what are the must see things on her list.

  78. Many years ago (pre-kids) DH and I elected to be bumped from a Delta flight. We were rescheduled on a flight a few hours later, and elected to be bumped from that flight as well. For one reason or another (I can’t recall the details anymore, weather maybe?) they could no longer get us to our destination, but put us on a flight to some small midwest airport. From there Delta put us in a cab and we drove another 2.5 hours to our destination airport. It ended up being a very long day, but we received a lot of money in travel vouchers, and we took a few very nice vacations with those.

    I just don’t understand why United didn’t put the crew on another flight to a closer airport and then rental a car or pay for a cab to get to Nashville.

  79. The trip is in the summer, but the accommodations are locked in. Whew. Don’t get me wrong – I am happy with the options that airbnb connects us to. I am particularly excited about a 2 night stay we will have (booked via airbnb) at a home in the countryside with an older couple. There will be hiking among rice paddies, making mochi, and hoping that my children don’t destroy any of their precious artifacts. My Japanese neighbor (in the US) assures me that the kids will be forgiven for anything they do because they are blond.

    Anyway air bnb – Here’s an example – 2 adults and 2 kids staying near Ginza on a random weekend in August – 300+ choices. While I can constrain the cost of the room, I cannot order the results by price, so it is tedious to compare similar costing choices. Travelocity has 44, and if I eliminate the 1*, 2* and 5*, I have a list of about 30, all on one page, with descriptions that are similarly formatted. Details on the airbnb require me to click through each listing. Also, you can make assumptions about hotels – air conditioning, 24 hour desk, etc. that you can’t make about the airbnb.

    Also, many Japanese airbnbs seem to be 8 beds in a giant room with a sink, rice maker and toilet shower on the end. It is hard to separate those out from the true family apartments. Like this: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16006432?checkin=2017-08-10&checkout=2017-08-14&guests=4&adults=2&children=2&s=47-T16PK There is also a tendency in the listings to feature pictures of neighborhood activities and close ups of dishes and art. I find it tedious and inefficient to book in an area I don’t know well.

  80. I just don’t understand why United didn’t put the crew on another flight to a closer airport and then rental a car or pay for a cab to get to Nashville.

    The airlines are currently minting money but it wasn’t too long ago that they were going to bankruptcy fairly often. I assume many of the rules are based on the lean times and they haven’t’ adapted to the current time of relative plenty.

    I can only imagine e-mails have gone out to the relevant managers saying that in the past saving money was #1 but now feel free to use your best judgment to avoid horrible viral social media PR.

  81. Saac why don’t you just do one thing on your own when you travel and leave your son to his own devices for a few hours? I have two kids who want to go go go and one who needs downtime when we travel. DH and I just divide and conquer since I also need downtime to just read or chill out. He took the little ones to the pool quite a bit on his own last week while my oldest and I read for an hour. We only plan one meal out per day (my kids also really prefer to eat in for some reason) and only schedule one big fun thing per day or every other day. If my kids were older I’d be more apt to do a bit more but schlepping the two little ones to multiple things is just not fun (and I often end up having to carry a 35 pound 3 year old).

  82. “..feel free to use your best judgment…”

    Many organizational cultures discourage use of judgment in lieu of following the rules. While in some cases asking for forgiveness results in a better outcome that asking permission, that often backfires on the manager when the upper management does not agree that the “horrible outcome” avoided was a reality.

    I have worked in environments where judgment was relied upon and, unless there was a pattern of poor judgment, it was assumed to be appropriately applied. However, I have worked in others (not for very long), where exercising judgment past which rule was most applicable was “punished”. Wondering what is true at United.

  83. I’m not sure about my judgement of the guy being a nut. He had a felony drug conviction 14 years ago and lost his medical licence. He was allowed to start practicing medicine a little over a year ago. It’s certainly possible that he was rightly worried about losing his job if he missed work. I could see getting over excited in such a situation. I’ve certainly seen adult meltdowns at the airport over far less.

  84. “It’s certainly possible that he was rightly worried about losing his job if he missed work.”

    It’s a three-hour drive by rental car.

  85. “`It’s a three-hour drive by rental car”

    So, why didn’t anyone else pocket $800 and drive that night?

  86. I’d pocket $800 cash and drive. I’d be less eager to pocket an $800 voucher. I’m not sure which they were offering.

    But that’s beside the point. What makes him a nut is that he started screaming about being kicked off the plane and shouting “just kill me then.”

  87. So, why didn’t anyone else pocket $800 and drive that night?

    I haven’t seen anything saying United offered a rental car option. I’m guessing a one-way rental would be a few hundred bucks, so that takes a big chunk out of your $800.

  88. “so that takes a big chunk out of your $800.”

    That’s true, too. But if you really thought your job depended on it… That was the point.

  89. Denver, iirc, there were limitations on the voucher that made it difficult to get as much out of it as the face value.

  90. “just kill me then.”

    One of my travel blogs said it was his broken English and what he was saying was, “They are trying to kill me.” Which is still a little melodramatic.

  91. Ada, when I use it, I look at the map where it shows the locations of the places with their prices, so it’s easy to compare similarly priced places in the same area.

  92. That’s true, too. But if you really thought your job depended on it… That was the point.

    This goes back to the point that most people don’t know what their rights are in this situation, and aren’t aware of the possibilities of asking for compensation and such.

  93. Atlanta, splitting up would be fine if he was a business associate roommate. But I want my kid to get something out of where we are.

    I’m not just looking for compromises of our styles, but also ways to involve him. The best combo I’ve come up with was a brunch boat tour around Manhattan. I enjoyed the narration and views up on deck. He sat by a window inside with earbuds in & ate pancakes, but also picked up a few highlights. If he refuses to research his options, I’ll probably give him options: pick up brunch at the market and eat it in the square or lounge in the park near the famous fountain? Hang out at a cafe or …..something else? Getting together with someone I/we know also goes well.

  94. I think he is crazy for getting dragged out and bloodied. Once it escalates to that point, no matter how much United was in the wrong, stand up and walk out.

  95. S&M – would you guys like organized tours when you can pay attention and really absorb things and he can come along but bring a book or listen to some music or whatever?

  96. I don’t think so. I think he just refused to move. It is all so crazy! All of the actors. United, police, passenger. They all lost their minds that day.

  97. S&M,

    Keep in mind that being 14 and in high school can be extremely stressful. I know it was far harder and more stressful than anything I’ve had to do as an adult. So, I can certainly understand why, when he’s on vacation, he just wants to relax.

  98. Kate – Serious question. If United has a right to boot someone off the plane, and calls the airport police to assist with that, and the passenger refuses, what are they supposed to do? If he would have left willingly, then there’d be no reason to even have the police in this instance.

    They didn’t beat him with a baton or Taser him or discharge pepper spray. It looks like one guy picked him up and dragged him off, with as minimal force as necessary to carry out a required task.

  99. If you host the Totebag party at your house, and by 2 am you’re ready for everyone to leave, but I’m sitting in your kitchen refusing to budge — not acting violently or anything like that, just absolutely refusing to budge — wouldn’t you expect the police to physically drag me out if necessary?

  100. Rhett, I was hoping you’d chime in, as you are the patron saint of sitting with a drink in your hand! We are extremely aware of the stress of high school. He is a lump most afternoons/evenings, watching South Park or Samantha B and playing with his EV3, but I don’t want HS to suck all the fun out of everything for the next few years. He quit basketball 1.5 years ago, and just added it back in, two nights a week at the Y. It is his only EC, which is scandalous to mention on here.

    Kate, thanks for your idea too.

  101. So, I am not convinced that they had the right to boot him (certainly have the right to prevent boarding, but he had already boarded). But I know nothing about this area and haven’t looked at anything specific. But I think it is nuts for the police to come on to a commercial plane and enforce a corporate policy of kicking someone out. Totally nuts. He wasn’t breaking the law. I think they should have let him stay there. And sit there until they get volunteers who are willing to get off. Or, let everyone fly since they were on the plane and deal with the employees another way. Their only option wasn’t to call the police to remove him.

  102. Attending a party isn’t the same as buying an airline ticket and being on the plane. Totally different set of circumstances that cannot be compared.

  103. We’ve already established that the airline ticket is only as good as the underlying contract, which permits the airline to bump passengers. At that point, he’s violating the contract, and he’s trespassing on private property. It’s the same as if someone won’t leave a hotel room.

  104. We’ve already established that the airline ticket is only as good as the underlying contract, which permits the airline to bump passengers.

    We have not established that. The contract language seems to allow for denied boarding but not for pulling people out of seats they are already in.

  105. “We have not established that.”

    Yes we have.

    “The short answer, according to aviation and government sources, is that airlines have a lot of leeway to remove a traveler from a plane, for any reason.”

    “Most airlines avoid having to yank someone who has already settled in to their seat. Technically, that is still considered a “denied boarding” as long as the plane is still at the gate and is permissible under the law.”

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/airlines/news/a26010/united-airlines-bump-passenger-rights/

  106. Milo,

    If you host the Totebag party at your house, and by 2 am you’re ready for everyone to leave, but I’m sitting in your kitchen refusing to budge — not acting violently or anything like that, just absolutely refusing to budge — wouldn’t you expect the police to physically drag me out if necessary?

    It would be more renting RMS’s CA house and her deciding mid vacation that she needed it and calling the police to evict you. You have the legal right to occupy the house that you rented and she does not despite owning it.

  107. But violating a contract is just a breach of contract. Not a violation of law. They should sue him for breach of contract. Not get the police involved.

  108. “You have the legal right to occupy the house that you rented and she does not despite owning it.”

    * unless her lease t’s & c’s specify she can do that upon appropriate compensation.

  109. The airlines probably have such to clause to probably deplane drunk passengers or disorderly passengers, passengers who need medical attention (my friend deplaned after boarding in the nick of time after having a stroke).

  110. “We have not established that. The contract language seems to allow for denied boarding but not for pulling people out of seats they are already in.”

    I absolutely agree, and I used to work for an airline. They did not offer him a copy of his rights, they did not explain how they selected him, it seems that they did not follow their own passenger selection procedure, and they let him on the plane.

  111. * unless her lease t’s & c’s specify she can do that upon appropriate compensation.

    My travel blogs are saying once you’re in your seat it’s no longer denied boarding but refusal to transport with is a different legal term with different rules. So, it would be as if RMS had the right to cancel your reservation right up to the moment you checked in. But, once you were checked in she needed cause to evict you.

  112. Milo,

    I appreciate you being contrarian on this as it livens things up. Are you just being contrarian or do you (somewhat) approach this from the perspective that the authorities are almost always right and should almost always be obeyed?

  113. But once he wouldn’t leave then they have him on the federal offense of not following airline crew instructions and disrupting flight operations. This is not the same as renting a house. Now is United in a PR mess, yes but unless a court wants to change precedent they are technically not in the wrong. I’m not saying United won’t end up compensating this man but they were well within their rights to remove him from the plane. You really give up a great deal of rights and freedoms when you fly.

    I was once on a plane where there was a rowdy group (around 6/7 people) who was heading out to Florida for vacation and drinking a bit much and swearing a bit too loudly. They pissed off the head flight attendant. She told them to calm down and eventually had one of the officers come out in speak to them – pre 9/11. There was another older couple who was egging them on too. They just wouldn’t stop. We arrived at the airport and on stormed the Ft. Lauderdale police who arrested them. Since I was in row 2, I overheard the flight attendants and Delta had rescinded their return tickets and they were arrested. You should’ve seen their faces when the cops told them to get up. The one girl was like I need to get my purse and the closest cop screamed in her face you don’t need shit now move it. The older couple was arrested too. We all got to deplane and see them cuffed outside the jet way and their poor friend who was picking them up looking confused.

    Bottom line, on a plane you really don’t have that many rights. Because it is air travel and there are safety concerns you need to comply. Maybe there will be changes out of this episode but you can be that there are, we will all end up paying more for the privilege to fly.

  114. In this case, it was a poor business decision buy the airline to kick him off the plane, and part of me is glad that, being a nut job, he made such a scene and garnered this much attention (although he probably regrets having his felony convictions re-aired).

    But it seems that the airline has a right to eject someone. Even if you argue refusal of transport, they can claim belligerencd. And at that point, the police have a job to do. They did it well in a difficult situation.

    So I’m fine blaming the airline. But the police acted appropriately.

  115. So, if they didn’t have a right to boot him from the plane, I don’t think they can then get him on failure to follow their orders to leave. At least that is what I would argue. And rowdy passengers are totally different. By all accounts, this guy wasn’t doing anything wrong prior to getting selected to be forced to deplane.

  116. Even if you argue refusal of transport, they can claim belligerencd.

    I don’t think RMS can claim belligerence as cause to evict if the only thing you were being belligerent about was refusing to give up what you had every legal right to occupy.

  117. “At least that is what I would argue”

    And that’s a good argument in court. However, I started this whole thread with the point that the police acted appropriately in the situation.

  118. Rhett – you have far more rights as a tenant than as an airline passenger.

    While true, that’s doesn’t prove he didn’t have every right to occupy his seat.

  119. I don’t think that they did. They roughed him up while dragging him out of the plane that he had lawfully boarded.

    Does anyone think we should buy some United shares today?

  120. Lark,

    I follow boardingarea.com which has a bunch of travel bloggers that I like. I’m not a huge pointsguy or flyertalk follower though.

  121. Also – did you know that he ran back on? That is going to make my representation a little harder.

  122. “Did you see his face after?”

    Yeah, I thought his face hit the arm rest. They didn’t strike him; if they had, we certainly would have heard about it.

  123. “did you know that he ran back on?”

    Lol. No. He’s probably on drugs.

    This guy is still working as a physician?

  124. Oh no, I don’t think they hit him. Just that they were negligent when they re-accommodated him off the plane.

  125. The law he broke was not complying with crew instructions. It is basically a catch 22. You think you’re in the right and “own” the seat but they second they tell you to do something and you don’t comply well now you’ve committed a felony. Like I said yesterday, this leads to some anxiety when I fly because quite frankly you are at the complete mercy of someone else. Yes they want to generally do the right thing and aren’t out to get you but bottom line they have all the power. They want to check your overhead bag that’s their right. They want to move your seat – they can. They want to remove you from the plane because of reason xyz – you’re being removed.

    Yes this is a PR nightmare but I really don’t see the FAA changing the rules. They want to transport the most people they can in the safest manner possible. They don’t want a plane full of people yelling about “rights” so they’ve sided with the airlines and given them all the power.

  126. “Oh no, I don’t think they hit him. Just that they were negligent when they re-accommodated him off the plane.”

    You ever force a toddler mid-tantrum to sit in a car seat or put on a coat? Did he/she ever fall down in the process?

    Now imagine that toddler is a grown man.

  127. For a bit of background Ben got his start in college when he noticed that the 5pm flight from LAX to SFO was always overbooked. So he would just book a ticket ever week and then show up, volunteer to be bumped and get a several $100 voucher. Rinse, repeat.

  128. ““did you know that he ran back on?”

    Lol. No. He’s probably on drugs. ”

    A friend who watched the video thought he appeared to be concussed.

  129. Used to Lurk – I get what you are saying, but there are things that they have control over that if you don’t follow can get you in trouble (like checking your bag or moving seats). But they don’t have full authority. If they told you that you had to stick your head in the toilet and you said no, you didn’t violate anything. That was an unlawful order. I think the same would apply if they didn’t have the right to kick him off. Ordering him to do so is unlawful so he has no obligation to do so.

    He has already lawyered up, so I hope we get to find out. Hopefully he is crazy enough not to settle and takes it all the way through the judicial system.

  130. “You ever force a toddler mid-tantrum to sit in a car seat or put on a coat? Did he/she ever fall down in the process?”

    If your toddler ends up with a bloody face, then some questions should rightfully be asked about your conduct.

  131. “If your toddler ends up with a bloody face, then some questions should rightfully be asked about your conduct.”

    Not really. Plenty of kids end up with nursemaid’s elbow when they throw themselves to the ground. Now add 150 lbs to that toddler, and it’s hardly surprising that his face got a cut or bruise.

    Finn – The professor addresses whether he should have been kicked off the plane. I haven’t disagreed that United messed up there. He does not address the situation that the police encountered of a belligerent passenger refusing the orders of the flight crew (and it’s an order that in 99.9% of circumstances is entirely lawful, and here it’s a gray area).

  132. the closest cop screamed in her face you don’t need shit now

    How do these cops get away with treating people badly? It’s as if they were never corrected or told that the people they are serving are not there for them to take out their frustrations on.

  133. that is what I would argue. And rowdy passengers are totally different. By all accounts, this guy wasn’t doing anything wrong prior to getting selected to be forced to deplane.

    Sounds to me like police kettling (is that the right word) protestors at a peaceful demonstration, and then going all out with the overuse of force and straight-up violence once people panic.

  134. “kettling (is that the right word) protestors at a peaceful demonstration”

    Nobody ever seeks a permit to hold a violent demonstration. Without crowd control, even peaceful and happy mobs can trample or crush people to death very easily.

  135. If you are in the position of taking care of a child, your responsibility isn’t just to not hurt the kid yourself, but also to prevent other types of harm as well. If the kid jumps off a wall/knocks over a dresse, you’d better be there to catch him/it. Wants to eat paint? Your fault if they do. How have your kids survived if your only job is not to intentionally hurt them while physically forcing them to do what you want?

  136. Milo,

    He does not address the situation that the police encountered of a belligerent passenger refusing the orders of the flight crew (and it’s an order that in 99.9% of circumstances is entirely lawful, and here it’s a gray area).

    Did he have a ticket? Yes. Was he in the seat for which he had a ticket? Yes. Was he defying any order or regulation other than refusing to give up his seat for which he had a ticket? No. Then the cops should have told the crew/gate agent that there was nothing they could do. If United wishes to file a civil suit against the man then that’s the proper venue for such disputed not the police.

  137. Saac – You’re doing it again. Stop being obtuse. You’re arguing strawmen. Even if you took my examples completely at face value, part of keeping kids safe is ensuring they use car seats and seat belts, even when they don’t want to.

  138. Rhett – Except he was already in a belligerent state when they arrived, as partly evidenced by Kate’s account that he tried to re-board. So it might be United’s fault for getting him in that state, but once the police are there, that’s the situation they had to deal with.

  139. Rhett – Except he was already in a belligerent state when they arrived, as partly evidenced by Kate’s account that he tried to re-board.

    He tried to reboard after he was dragged out. Do we know what he state was prior to being dragged out? I can only assume he was refusing to get out of the seat he seems to have had every legal right to occupy.

  140. I don’t think he was in a belligerent state when the police arrived. He was just refusing to give up his seat. The craziness began when they yanked him off the plane. And then he ran back on.

  141. ” Do we know what he state was prior to being dragged out?”

    We know that he was refusing to comply with crew orders, orders that are in such a gray area that, after several days of review. a law professor writes his opinion on it beginning with “I think.”

    And then he was refusing to comply with the police’s instructions.

    Now, he may have been technically in the right when it all shakes out, but the police had to remove him at the point that they did.

  142. “The craziness began when they yanked him off the plane.”

    No, as you said the other day, it was already crazy of him to refuse to comply with the police instructions. So the craziness started at least at that point.

  143. I definitely think it was crazy for him not to just get off the plane when the airline forced him to do it. But that isn’t the test for whether it is permissible or if the police acted appropriately. I don’t think they likely did. United created a situation, the officer exacerbated it and crazy man was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Certainly all were bad actors, but in order of who SHOULD be following protocol, certainly the police should be held to a high standard when intervening in a commercial dispute.

  144. but the police had to remove him at the point that they did.

    You are under no obligation to obey an illegal police order. The cops seem to have put zero effort in determining who was in the wrong here.

  145. crazy of him to refuse to comply with the police instructions.

    So the public should just do whatever it’s told regardless of the law? Isn’t there some role for people who stand up for their rights?

  146. Rhett – You continue to miss the point. Used to Lurk has explained it pretty clearly. He may not have been in the wrong about his entitlement to transport after he boarded. But he was in the wrong for not following the flight crew’s instructions.

  147. “So the public should just do whatever it’s told regardless of the law?”

    When they’re airline passengers, yes, it seems that they should.

  148. There are safe ways to deescalate a situation and to physically control a person when necessary without harming the person you are serving. If you google “protective holds”, you will see a Google of sites explaining them. Police are ignorant, not trained in this, and far too often on power trips where their only response to a power struggle is the same as a two year old’s–“I must WIIIiiN”
    Here is one place that offers training in how to do this as peacefully as possible. If only there were some kind of professional serving the public at large and keeping the peace! http://rightresponse.org/training-workshop/physical_intervention

  149. But he was in the wrong for not following the flight crew’s instructions.

    How was he wrong? He is under no legal obligation to obey the illegal orders or the crew or the police.

    When they’re airline passengers, yes, it seems that they should.

    Then change the law. The law currently doesn’t support what you’re contending.

  150. When they’re airline passengers, yes, it seems that they should.

    The only people to whom immediate obedience would seem right are dangerous authoritarians.

  151. I know that is what the airlines and police would like you to believe. But that just isn’t the case. You do not give up all rights.

  152. Rhett – You continue to miss the point. Used to Lurk has explained it pretty clearly. He may not have been in the wrong about his entitlement to transport after he boarded. But he was in the wrong for not following the flight crew’s instructions.

    UtL, are you still around? The above is not how I read your comments. I understood you to be saying that they exercise power over passengers, sometimes arbitrarily, not that they are in the right every time they do so. Can you please clarify?

  153. , part of keeping kids safe is ensuring they use car seats and seat belts, even when they don’t want to.

    Exactly. And doing so in a way that does not itself harm them.

  154. Milo, ad hominems like in your 1:03 are not just disrespectful and rude. They signal that you don’t have a decent reply to the argument made.

  155. Saac – there are a lot of things like that might work in theory but not in practice on a crowded plane. And the whole point is that he had to be forcibly removed and all he got was some sort of cut and bruise on his face, he was pretty lucky.

    Your vindictive insults about my parenting or supposed “authoritarianism” are not necessary or appreciated. You’ve mentioned repeatedly to all of us that you’re in a shitty place right now emotionally, but please leave me out of it.

  156. So the public should just do whatever it’s told regardless of the law? Isn’t there some role for people who stand up for their rights?

    I’d stand up for myself. My son has already determined that that could lead to a beat-down, so he’d allow his rights to be violated in other ways. White woman: black man

  157. The guys who dragged the passenger off the plane were not police–they were hired security officers.

  158. It’s not an ad hominem. You’re attacking me with obtuse and strawman arguments, and then you move on to insults.

  159. Milo, if you group yourself with the authoritarians under discussion here, that’s your call. Don’t try to put it on me!

  160. Milo, a simple definition of ad hominem is referring to the person, rather than the argument. Insulting someone by calling them obtuse is a good example. You can look up more.

  161. Houston – I read that they were Dept of Aviation deputized officers. Maybe the report I read got it wrong.

  162. “a simple definition of ad hominem is referring to the person, rather than the argument”

    Such as saying:
    “How have your kids survived if your only job is not to intentionally hurt them while physically forcing them to do what you want?

  163. there are a lot of things like that might work in theory but not in practice

    Please just look at the link I provided or google it yourself. This is not theory. These are instructions for people who may do this every single day at work.

  164. Milo, when I wrote that, I was assuming that the “if” would be immediately recognizable as false, which means the thing that depends on it is also not true.

  165. Saac – It’s theory. And it certainly doesn’t guarantee that a belligerent nut job will never get injured if the officer employs such techniques.

  166. “Milo, when I wrote that, I was assuming that the “if” would be immediately recognizable as false, which means the thing that depends on it is also not true.”

    Lol. Nice try.

  167. Milo, for heavens sake! “Beligerant nut jobs” are exactly who the techniques are designed for.

  168. Sorry. I expected that you had done if-then statements in higher math, if not in an intro to formal logic. No offense intended. Look at the examples I gave. It’s pretty clear that a parent would stop those actions, isn’t it?

  169. “Beligerant nut jobs” are exactly who the techniques are designed for.

    I do have a problem with “nut job” if, as seems likely, he was entirely in the right.

  170. I think Milo would prefer the law be changed to mandate compliance with any order from either flight crew or police regardless of it’s legality. Which is certainly one way to approach it.

  171. No, Rhett, that’s not true, and I’ve repeatedly said that I 1) think United was wrong; and 2) am a little bit glad that he did this.

    But I also would suggest that people deal with the law as it’s currently written and not as they think it should be.

  172. “I do have a problem with “nut job” if, as seems likely, he was entirely in the right.”

    He’s a nut job regardless of whether he’s right.

  173. But I also would suggest that people deal with the law as it’s currently written and not as they think it should be.

    You’re arguing the complete opposite. The law as currently written says you have no obligation to obey the illegal orders of flight crew or the police.

  174. The order to get off the plane is not an illegal one in and of itself. For these specific reasons (needed the space for other UAL employee), it may not have been justified, but it’s not an illegal order. And as we’ve already said many times now, it’s a Catch-22 for passengers, because even if that order was unjustified, he was belligerent in not complying with it.

  175. He shouldn’t be treated that way, whether he’s a nut job or not. No one should.

  176. The order to get off the plane is not an illegal one in and of itself.

    It was illegal. The only had the legal right to ask him to deplane for one of the reasons listed in the Contract of Carriage. One of our employees needs the seat isn’t one of the reasons listed. Ergo they had no legal right to ask him to leave.

  177. That’s possibly true, or so *thinks* the law professor in Finn’s blog. But the Catch 22 is that he didn’t comply with it and became belligerent, so when the cops/security showed up, he was a belligerent passenger.

  178. I never claimed to be the best writer. Trying again.

    The fact that your children are in good health strongly suggests that you recognize that your job is not only to avoid intentionally hurting them while physically forcing them to do something, but also to proactively prevent them from harm. In other words, you recognize that when you are in the position of taking care of a child, your responsibility goes beyond simply not hurting them yourself to include preventing other types of harm as well. Examples are that if your child wants to jump from dangerous heights or swallow something poisonous, you prevent them from doing so.

    Better?

  179. he was a belligerent passenger.

    Not when the cops got there, he was simply refusing to do what he was under no legal obligation to do. I get that you think the law should be changed but that’s not what the law currently is.

  180. “he was already in a belligerent state when they arrived, as partly evidenced by Kate’s account that he tried to re-board. ”

    When he tried (successfully) to reboard was after he suffered a blow to the head sufficient to bloody him and apparently render him semiconscious, which suggests he may have been concussed, which may have affected his behavior. At the time the airport cops arrived, he had not yet received the blow to the head.

    Thus, it is open to question whether his behavior after receiving the blow to the head is reflective of his state when the cops arrived.

  181. Indeed he had a right to that seat and United was trying to steal that seat from him. He had every right to object to their theft of his property*.

    * the right to occupy that seat at that time on that flight.

  182. I do think the law should be changed to make passengers’ rights more clear, and that if the airline wants to add more people, then it can only voluntarily eject ticketed passengers with cash compensation (not vouchers).

    But the law, as it exists, seems to state that a passenger has to follow the legal orders of the flight crew. Now that several days, or almost a week (not sure) has elapsed, we have law professors writing on their blogs with perfect hindsight, with plenty of time to research existing laws and regulations, and they can’t even come up with a definitive answer as to whether the order to deplane was justified. Different sources disagree, and the one Finn showed us isn’t entirely confident of his position. In consideration of that ambiguity, it’s not reasonable to think that a $30k per year police officer or security guard should arrive on the scene and be able to immediately discern whether the noncompliant passenger gets to stay or has to leave. So they took the reasonable action of asking him to leave, and then they had to forcibly remove him, which they did with relative safety.

  183. Finn – If he suffered an inflicted blow and didn’t just fall against the arm rest in his resistance, then it was only because he was refusing the orders of the police. So his state was belligerent both before and after he was knocked in the head.

  184. “I do think the law should be changed to make passengers’ rights more clear, and that if the airline wants to add more people, then it can only voluntarily eject ticketed passengers with cash compensation (not vouchers).”

    Did you mean, involuntarily eject ticketed passengers?

    My understanding is that current rules require involuntarily bumped passengers to receive cash compensation. Vouchers are frequently given as part of agreements with passengers who voluntarily give up their seats, and I think that’s fine.

  185. In consideration of that ambiguity,

    It seems contract law clearly states in cases of ambiguity the decision falls to the party that didn’t draft the contract – in this case the passenger.

    So they took the reasonable action

    The more reasonable action, after determining the man had a ticket and was in the seat for which he had a ticket, was to tell the flight crew to have a nice evening and be on their way.

  186. Milo, if his behavior was affected by the blow to his head, then it’s questionable whether his behavior at that time was reflective of his state prior to the blow. That does not say he wasn’t belligerent before the blow, it’s just saying that behavior after the blow isn’t necessarily evidence of that.

  187. Sorry, I meant that they should have to keep increasing cash offers until enough passengers volunteer to give up their seats. (Although some sort of exceptional limit might be required here, because I could see some investors scheming to buy up all the tickets on a particular flight and not budging until the airline reached $1,000,000.)

    “The more reasonable action, after determining the man had a ticket and was in the seat for which he had a ticket, was to tell the flight crew to have a nice evening and be on their way.”

    Do you think that police commonly encounter un-ticketed passengers on airplanes? The fact that he held a ticket is unexceptional. The flight crew was asking that he be removed because he wasn’t complying. That’s all they reasonably needed to know.

  188. “That does not say he wasn’t belligerent before the blow”

    Precisely. Else he wouldn’t have gotten injured.

  189. I’m not sure that new rules or laws are needed in this case. Part of the problem seems to be that no one involved at the time understood the rules, laws, or the airline’s contract of carriage, and took actions based on assumptions that in hindsight may have been faulty.

    Airline policy also seems to be the biggest factor in allowing the situation to escalate to the point it did.

  190. “Else he wouldn’t have gotten injured.”

    How do we know that the injury wasn’t the result of belligerence on the part of the airport cop? We have heard that at least one cop “did not follow protocol” and has been suspended.

    I’m not convinced the passenger wasn’t just being stubborn and refusing to leave. That in itself is not belligerence (aggressive or warlike behavior); it seems more along the lines of passive resistance.

  191. I agree with Rhett at 2:22.

    Also, if “it’s not reasonable to think that a $30k per year police officer or security guard should arrive on the scene and be able to immediately discern whether the noncompliant passenger gets to stay or has to leave” then the first obvious response would be to say “this is above my pay grade” and ask a higher authority. If for some reason they believed they did legally have the responsibility to remove him, then it should have been done without adding to the uproar or harming the passenger. How many of them were there? Even absent the training that is available to many professional care-givers (including teachers and guidance counselors, who may have to deal with unruly students without hurting them), they could have easily come up with the idea of one limb for each of them and carried him off the plane without injuring him. Dragging him down the aisle is an unnecessary show of force on their part, simply to demonstrate their power to the other passengers, who might otherwise have spoken up on his behalf.

  192. The flight crew was asking that he be removed because he wasn’t complying. That’s all they reasonably needed to know.

    FA: He’s not complying.
    Officer: Complying with what?
    FA: The order to leave.
    Officer: Why are you asking him to leave? He has a ticket.
    FA: Because we need the seats for our employees.
    Officer: That’s a civil matter not a criminal matter so there isn’t anything I can do. Have a good night.

  193. “they should have to keep increasing cash offers until enough passengers volunteer to give up their seats. ”

    Yup.

  194. Honest question: If I’m sitting in my seat on a plane that’s being prepared for departure, and an ultra-religious man has a seat next to mine, and he says he cannot sit next to a woman due to his religion: If the flight crew asks me to change my seat, do I have to do so? Should I have to do so? How far are we going to go in saying that passengers must/should always obey instructions of a flight crew?

  195. NOB, that situation happens frequently with ultra Orthodox Jewish men on airplanes. It is my opinion, that the man should leave or move his seat if he can’t sit next to a woman. I am a Jewish woman, and there is No way that I would move. If you need to fly on a commercial jet in 2017, you have no right to expect that there might not be a woman on the plane. Don’t try to enforce your prehistoric “customs” on paying customers in 2017 that have the same rights as you. Can you tell that this drives me nuts????

  196. At least they seem to be learning a little something from the incident:

    “We’re not going to put a law enforcement official … to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger,” United Continental Holdings Inc Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz told ABC News on Wednesday morning. “We can’t do that.”

    Munoz said United would be examining its incentive program for volunteers on overbooked flights and that once a passenger is already seated, “your incentive model needs to change.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ual-passenger-idUSKBN17E1GN

    Also, I’ve heard a couple times that the Dr who had his license revoked was a different person with a similar name.

  197. Lauren – Is it the airlines that try to accommodate those requests for business reasons?

  198. NOB, it seems, the flight crew can ask you to move and can have you hauled off by police if you refuse to do so. If you get injured, it is your fault because you were not obeying the flight crew.

  199. From that same article, United’s CEO agrees with the majority here who are saying that the passenger was not at fault.

    On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, announced plans for the Customers Not Cargo Act, which would prohibit the forcible removal of passengers already aboard an aircraft “due to overbooking or airline staff seeking to fly as passengers.”

    Munoz said Sunday’s incident resulted from a “system failure” that prevented employees from using “common sense” and that Dao, whose face was bloodied during the altercation with security before takeoff, was not at fault.

  200. “Sorry, I meant that they should have to keep increasing cash offers until enough passengers volunteer to give up their seats.”

    I think there’s very broad consensus on this general idea, although for passengers to volunteer, it doesn’t have to be cash, as long as the offer is good enough for enough passengers to voluntarily give up their seats.

    In this case, part of the problem was that they were offering to put people on a flight the next afternoon. I think had the offer included alternate means to get people to Louisville that night, e.g., a rental car, they’d have had takers. My guess is also that they were offering airline vouchers, not cash; with $800 cash each, a couple traveling together probably could’ve rented a car and still had a fair amount of money left.

    “(Although some sort of exceptional limit might be required here, because I could see some investors scheming to buy up all the tickets on a particular flight and not budging until the airline reached $1,000,000.)”

    The scheming investors would also have to have enough people show up at the gate to fill the plane.

    There are also already limits to how much compensation the airlines have to provide to involuntarily bumped passengers; I believe the max is $1350.

  201. Finn – I don’t like the idea of vouchers for the same reason I don’t do miles credit cards; I feel like they’ll screw me somehow with blackout dates or other restrictions. And for some passengers, a hotel might be less relevant because they already live near that airport, etc.

    Cash is universal.

  202. NoB, that question is getting more complicated these days with airlines trying to nickel and dime passengers as much as they are, and passengers paying additional charges for things like window seats or seats with more legroom.

    If you’d paid extra for any aspect of your seat, then I think it’s pretty clear that you shouldn’t get anything less than what you paid for.

    I also think it’s pretty rude for guys like that to think that everyone else has to accommodate them. If it’s that big a deal to them, they should buy two seats to ensure they don’t have to sit next to a woman, or travel with enough other men to take a full section of seats, and make sure to get the appropriate seat assignments beforehand.

  203. So the other piece I’m missing is there were 4 seats needed or at least that seems to be what is reported. Did three other people get off voluntarily and then they only needed one or did three other people get off the plane when involuntarily bumped and he is the only one who decided not to move? Did the three other people selected get off after they saw this man being dragged off?

    So first I want to say I don’t agree with UAL actions in themselves and think they could’ve handled it much better. However what I hear every time I fly is that it is federal regulation that you comply with crew instructions. Anyone can agree that a crew member telling you to stuff your head in a toilet or for the passenger in seat 13 B to go smack the passenger in 24 F is not an order to follow. But if they told you to move your nice window seat that you paid for, selected at check in and were sitting in to the middle seat between to broad shouldered men, do you move or do you argue? I was on a plane once and not a propeller one but larger where five people had to change seats for weight balance. Do they get to argue that they wanted their original seats? What is considered a reasonable instructions and what is the timing to decide?

    My point with airlines is that it is subjective judgement of the crew if you are belligerent or did not follow instructions. There are airports that have specialized in being stop over for flights that land to remove passengers for example, Bangor, Maine. They didn’t bump the four people so staff could go on vacations. They bumped them for crew movement. The FAA wants these planes in the air with the safest crew possible. Air travel is different and I think more stressful for people so they given more leeway to the airlines on how to keep the system moving. If that crew did not make their next flight, how many people does that affect? We can argue that overbooking shouldn’t be allowed but if that comes down then expect sharp increases across the board. What I expect to happen in this case is this man will settle for some sum and we will see Crew Movement added as an explicit reason to involuntarily bump people within the regulations,

    Given that they had to move crew, do they allow the man to stay on do they go to the next person on the list? Do they deplane and then not allow 4 people to re-board? If I was the manger I would’ve authorized more money but as someone pointed out above those things are not always clear cut in the moment. I expect this case will be looked at very carefully across the industry.

  204. Milo, there have been a lot of articles about this, and I think it varies by airline. I haven’t traveled to Israel. I am hoping to go some day, but I think this is a common occurrence on El Al and some of the other carriers. I am sure it is a business decision because the ultra Orthodox population is growing rapidly, and they tend to speak as a united block so they can influence airlines, food manufacturers, governments, and school districts. This is primarily happening in NY metro and Israel.

    The percentage of Orthodox Jews in NYC is now at least 40% because the ultra Orthodox have a high number of children per family, and Jews that identify as Reform are rapidly decreasing because they estimate that close to 50% of Reform Jews may not raise their kids as Jewish.

    The ultra Orthodox population is is growing so quickly in Jerusalem, and other parts of Israel that they are sometimes able to change certain customs, or close down entire streets due to the Sabbath.

    I obviously understand the customs, and I want to be accommodating to people of all religions. I just don’t like when a man buys an airline ticket, and he is fully aware that a woman might be on the plan next to him. He is aware of the risk, and I don’t think it is fair to make the woman feel uncomfortable or that she has to move.

  205. Lauren – I don’t disagree with you. I was only curious to confirm that it’s a choice the airlines make voluntarily as part of their business plans rather than to comply with some regulation based on religious accommodation.

  206. Milo, I agree with cash for involuntary bumping, but for voluntarily giving up seats, I don’t see any problem with vouchers if the passengers agree. I would think that most passengers would have a lower dollar value threshold for cash than vouchers, and a lower dollar value threshold for unrestricted vouchers than those with restrictions. Part of being a good negotiator in that situation is making sure to understand all restrictions on the vouchers.

    I believe there are other things gate agents can do to sweeten the pot. When I’ve been bumped in the past, I’ve asked for, and received, mileage credit for both the flight I was originally booked on, and the flight I actually took.

    I once was checked in by an acquaintance. As she checked us in, we chatted, and she mentioned it was her last day there, as she was moving to another city. As she finished checking us in, she grabbed a stack of coupons that were each good for (IIRC) a head set rental, a drink, or 500 miles frequent flier credit, and handed them to me.

  207. U2L– my understanding is that 4 people were selected by United, and three of them deplaned without physical coercion.

  208. ” I was on a plane once and not a propeller one but larger where five people had to change seats for weight balance. Do they get to argue that they wanted their original seats? What is considered a reasonable instructions and what is the timing to decide?”

    This brings back memories of the weigh-ins when checking in, standing on a scale along with luggage.

  209. Lauren, what I don’t understand in those cases is why the guy didn’t have to move, if he was the one with the problem. You know, like in the old joke. Snopes has several versions. This is how I heard it.

    A 50-something year old white woman arrived at her seat on a crowded flight and immediately didn’t want the seat. The seat was next to a black man. Disgusted, the woman immediately summoned the flight attendant and demanded a new seat.

    The woman said, “I cannot sit here next to this black man.”

    The fight attendant said, “Let me see if I can find another seat.”

    After checking, the flight attendant returned and stated “Ma’am, there are no more seats in economy, but I will check with the captain and see if there is something in first class.”

    About 10 minutes went by and the flight attendant returned and stated “The captain has confirmed that there are no more seats in economy, but there is one in first class. It is our company policy to never move a person from economy to first class, but being that it would be some sort of scandal to force a person to sit next to an UNPLEASANT person, the captain agreed to make the switch to first class.”

    Before the woman could say anything, the attendant gestured to the black man and said, “Therefore sir, if you would so kindly retrieve your personal items, we would like to move you to the comfort of first class as the captain doesn’t want you to sit next to an unpleasant person.”

    Passengers in the seats nearby began to applause while some gave a standing ovation.

  210. standing on a scale along with luggage.

    would be somewhat less humiliating than without it.

  211. Has anyone participated in this?

    I have. I haven’t flown Delta in a while but it was one the default screens when you checked in. I never ended up getting bumped though.

  212. One of the many reasons why I hate flying even more nowadays is all the nickel and diming. I know it’s a revenue booster, and I might be in the minority feeling this specific way about it, but it’s one of those things where you feel that, if you’re already paying X hundred dollars for yourself (or Y thousand dollars for your family), then every additional option you decline is only one more in-your-face reminder that you’re still getting the sub-par experience.

    I think it’s the same reason people get so resentful of the Disney guided tour packages with line-cutting privileges, or even the extra “magic” hours for those who stay onsite, or preferred FastPass booking for the same.

    We have a basic desire to feel that once we’ve bought our ticket, we’re as deserving as anyone else at an equal shot of a good experience.

  213. “would be somewhat less humiliating than without it.”

    Well, the concern was the total load on the plane. I was a pretty skinny kid, which allowed our family to take a lot of stuff when I flew.

    The stewardesses, as they were called then, also would sometimes ask us to move to balance the load.

  214. “The stewardesses, as they were called then, also would sometimes ask us to move to balance the load.”

    I want to do that on my boat sometimes, but usually decide against it. I’ll do my best to compensate by relocating coolers and the anchor.

  215. The important piece of information that seems to be missing from the Delta system is the flight on which you would be re-booked, which determines how much of a delay would be involved in giving up a seat as well as loyalty programs.

    Having to stay an extra night and give up a day of work or vacation, as in the recent United case, as opposed to a flight a couple hours later, would have a huge impact on what I’d bid.

  216. ” I never ended up getting bumped though.”

    With the amount you travel, I don’t think you’d ever get involuntarily bumped.

  217. So if 3 of the 4 randomly selected people deplaned, does that change the “reasonableness” factor of the one who remained? Are the 3 who left wrong in their actions and he the lone righteous one fighting for his cause or is that the 3 followed industry precedent and he was wrong? I think you can argue either way and test cases are always needed so it will be interesting to see what if any affect this has on industry practices.

  218. With the amount you travel, I don’t think you’d ever get involuntarily bumped.

    I was volunteering and it never happened.

  219. It is pretty clear that you have to follow instructions of the flight crew when it deals with safety, etc. So, if they say you need to move to even out the weight of the plane, you have to move. Probably without compensation even if you end up in a worse position.

    I don’t think it matters that 3 other people deplaned when asked to do so. Either United had a right to kick him off or it didn’t. And if it didn’t, he doesn’t have to comply with an unlawful order even if other passengers did. This isn’t negligence and he should not be judged under a reasonableness standard.

    I have been bumped a few times. All before I had kids and didn’t mind a flight the next day (and welcomed the $).

  220. I have been (voluntarily) bumped a half dozen or more times. The vouchers always spend like cash, in my experience. The last time involved a 3 hour delay until the next flight, and I got $400 and a first class upgrade. I scoped out whether I could move up (there was one available seat) before I approached the agent – usually they can’t offer that.

    My parents have participated in the Delta silent auction – they’re probably low-balling the rest of you. I imagine they are willing to accept for $25 and some drink vouchers.

  221. Ada, how did you know how many seats were left?

    If the vouchers spend like cash for you, then maybe you aren’t looking at rock-bottom, on sale prices.

  222. Whole Foods – comment by the CEO, I found interesting.

    Mr. Mackey acknowledges that some families can’t afford Whole Foods or don’t care enough about his mission. The company doesn’t do as well “in the suburbs with people who have an expensive mortgage, they have 3½ children and a golden retriever,” he says.

  223. “or don’t care enough about his mission.”

    His mission is to increase shareholder value.

  224. Milo – see this comment

    Some investors who have held company stock for years because they believe in Whole Foods’ mission say they will sell if the company strays too far from that vision. “We’ll change our minds if their behavior changes,” says Russ Piazza of Front Street Capital Management, a small fund with a stake.

  225. lol. I wonder if it’s one of those socially minded funds, or if he’s also confused about his professional obligations.

    The CEO is definitely right, though. We can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods, and we don’t even have a mortgage.

  226. Oh! I checked seats buy beginning to buy a first class seat on the airline website. They don’t oversell first class – if they will sell you a seat, then there is one available.

  227. “The last time involved a 3 hour delay until the next flight, and I got $400 and a first class upgrade.”

    Ooh, I’ll have to remember to ask for first class to voluntarily give up my seat.

  228. Now UAL is offering vouchers to all the passengers on that plane. And Trump weighed in:

    President Donald Trump said Dr. Dao’s treatment was “horrible.” He said carriers should offer more for vouchers so that passengers willingly give up seats.

    “They should have gone up higher,” he told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. “But to just randomly say, ‘You’re getting off the plane,’ that was terrible.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/united-ceo-blames-system-failure-on-passenger-removal-incident-1492003424

  229. President Trump has always had a knack for sensing the pulse of the common man and woman. ;)

  230. “Now UAL is offering vouchers to all the passengers on that plane. ”

    I was wondering about that, since everybody was delayed for something like 3 hours due to United’s mishandling of the whole situation. It’s kinda like everybody got involuntarily bumped to a later flight.

  231. I flew on the Trump shuttle a few times because I used to fly Eastern. Trump took over the Eastern Airlines shuttle. It didn’t last long because it wasn’t profitable for Trump, and US Air eventually took over what was the former Eastern Air/Trump shuttle to DC/NY/Boston. There weren’t a lot of choices because People’s Express went out of business too. I think it was a couple of years until Delta finally started a shuttle to compete with the Trump shuttle.

  232. “How much do you offer before telling the Global Services guy he has to either sit in 23E or take the next flight?”

    If you can’t threaten arrest, then ultimately you have to pay him whatever he (or another first class passenger) demands. There’s no business decision about it. If, as the CEO indicated, they will not use police to eject passengers, then there is no longer any such thing as involuntary bumping once you’re in your seat. As WCE would remind us, rules that are unenforceable are no rules at all.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when a disabled person takes the exit row, or a child refuses to wear her seat belt and the parents aren’t willing to force it on or get off the plane.

    I’m still in awe that you go out of your way to take extra flights.

  233. For the exit row, they were very strict on the international flight I took. I couldn’t keep my purse near my seat. The flight attendants volunteered every single time to move it to the overhead. Now, as I am short that was very inconvenient for me. In the end I just wedged my purse in and covered it with a blanket draped over my legs. I made sure it wasn’t blocking the door. With the exit seat, it is always in the back of my mind that I may have to open that door in an emergency.

  234. I’m still in awe that you go out of your way to take extra flights.

    We won’t even get into how your status is based on miles, money and segments. If I end up working at home more than usual I’ll take more connecting flights to get me enough segments to push me into the next status level.

  235. Milo – they could just not bump him. There is no reason he should have to lose his seat. The idea that they must be able to arrest people if they won’t give up the seat they are actually sitting in is ridiculous. There was no reason that the other person couldn’t have been bumped since he was not on the plane yet. Or they could have waited to board the first class passengers if they were worried the last guy would show up by boarding time. I would think that first class passengers have higher rates of showing up, so it is pretty dumb to board people you then will kick off. The airlines are really ridiculous.

  236. And your examples about a disabled person in the exit row or a child without a seatbelt don’t apply. It is clear that you can be removed for. not complying with safety rules. But if you are acting appropriately and following all rules, no way should you get pulled off because, whoops! someone better has come along.

  237. Rhett – you and my husband would get along great. Not long ago he took an unneeded flight (went to Boston and back within an hour) because he wanted some upgrade to his status before a certain date. I thought that the whole thing was silly.

  238. It will be interesting to see what happens when a disabled person takes the exit row, or a child refuses to wear her seat belt and the parents aren’t willing to force it on or get off the plane.

    Those are safety items covered by both FAA regulations and the Contract of Carrige those will probably stay. I assume they will only stop calling the cops for bullshit reasons related to airline screw ups.

  239. Kate – Surprisingly, from one article I read, first class passengers have the highest rates of no-show.

  240. Interesting. Maybe because they are largely business folks who aren’t footing the bill.

  241. “Maybe because they are largely business folks who aren’t footing the bill.”

    Or meetings change last-minute, or a major proposal/deal elsewhere suddenly requires immediate attention. I couldn’t feign to know the motivations of the wealthy.

  242. Interesting. Maybe because they are largely business folks who aren’t footing the bill.

    They are on full fare fully refundable tickets so there is no cost to cancel. I assume these are people whose schedule is always changing.

  243. One of the perks of status, at least on American, is that full fare fully refundable economy class tickets can be upgraded to first class at time of booking for free.

  244. Rhett – you and my husband would get along great. Not long ago he took an unneeded flight (went to Boston and back within an hour) because he wanted some upgrade to his status before a certain date. I thought that the whole thing was silly.

    We did that one year. DH really wanted the status upgrade so we got cheap flights out to Kansas City (which is a terrible airport, but I digress), had lunch with some friends, and flew back.

  245. One of the perks of status, at least on American, is that full fare fully refundable economy class tickets can be upgraded to first class at time of booking for free.

    On United, the full-fare, fully refundable economy class tickets are often more expensive than first class.

  246. I’m curious about the math.

    The 7:10pm today from BOS to ORD returning tomorrow:

    Lowest fare Coach – $448
    Lowest fare First – $1904
    Flexible Coach – $825
    Refundable Coach (full fare) – $1932
    Refundable First (full fare) – $2175

    I struggle to understand how full fare coach makes sense. You’d have to have a schedule that’s constantly changing and need to be absolutely sure you’re on a given flight if it turns out you need to be somewhere.

  247. I buy discounted first class tickets for US travel from time to time. I have done the same research as RMS. Of course, both us are transporting only one or two people and we both have disposable income and flexible schedules. If you have to cancel, there is still a sizable credit available after penalty for future travel that will cover an economy fare. I bought a steeply discounted non refundable front of plane ticket on a two class Delta plane with pod lie flat seats for my Africa trip in the fall, at twice the price of the economy tickets. The add on to the existing travel insurance premium was 10% of the ticket cost. But we do save money when we can while not adding hassle. We are flying into Indiana late this month a day early to get midday non stops and low low wanna get away fares. The extra hotel night at the fancy Hyatt in our destination town is 125 dollars, an easy trade off. And Southwest and Jet Blue give you credits if you have to cancel. I can always use them to go to DC or Philly to see family.

  248. Do people actually pay full coach fare? It completes the package of offerings, I guess, but the jump to the next level up is smaller than the jump to the next level down. Once you’re in that ballpark, why not go first class?

    The prices there are interesting. The Economist had a chart yesterday rating airlines on service and price. As Rhett and MM had commented, Asian airlines were tops in service, and some were not that expensive. I went down the rabbit hole looking at the prices on Emirates. Their spread is larger with an economy fare from JFK to Milan under $400 roundtrip and the business class fare at $2.4 K. They also have a ridiculous first class with suites, showers, a club room & a private mini bar. It costs tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re paying that much money, why would you bother with a scheduled carrier? How much would a private charter cost?

  249. The lie flat beds for long haul travel are worth the money. I had a nice dinner, slept and the next thing I knew it was breakfast and landing time at my destination.
    Even, in first class but seated upright, I done feel totally relaxed – sure more leg room but not even good things to eat.

  250. “With a NetJets membership, you purchase an undivided interest in a specific aircraft and gain access to a fleet of more than 650 jets worldwide. Prices per share with the private aviation company vary depending on the type of jet you choose — light, mid-size or large-cabin — and how often you fly. The smallest share you can purchase is a 1/16 interest, which gives you 50 hours of flight time a year. Your biggest upfront cost is a one-time acquisition fee: for the Phenom 300 Platinum Edition jet, which is being added to the NetJets fleet later this year, a 1/16 interest, or 50 flight hours, costs $550,000. The largest share possible is a one-half interest, or 400 hours of flight time, which costs $4.4 million.

    In addition to the acquisition cost, fractional jet owners are also responsible for a monthly management fee and an occupied hourly fee, which covers fuel, maintenance, catering and landing fees. For that same jet, the monthly management fee for a 50-hour share is $9,600, while a 400-hour share costs $60,000. The occupied fee is the same regardless of jet size, at $1,950 per hour. NetJets owners sign up for a two-year, two-and-a-half-year or three-year commitment, depending on the size of the aircraft, and NetJets has a guaranteed buy-back option after that commitment is up.”

    Looks like your pro-rated cost comes out to $13,000 per hour, from the Walmart of private flying. So maybe $70k to get from JFK to Milan?

  251. It costs tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re paying that much money, why would you bother with a scheduled carrier? How much would a private charter cost?

    Private would be $120k round trip to Europe ($5600/$8600/hr), the best first class would less than 20% of that.

  252. On the one hand when you divide it by 14 people the cost per person falls. But, if you’re going with 14 people you’re not going to have a seat that turns into a fully flat bed. You’re going to be a lot less comfortable than in business/first class.

    Gulfstream IV

    vs.

    BA First

  253. Here is a travelogue on Delta One (Business/First Hybrid) with a comparison to Emirates Business Class. The flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg is 17 hrs. Well worth it to me, especially at the price. Delta is introducing the private “suite” option in the fall of 2017 on its long haul flights. Probably will start with the China runs.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/i-flew-business-class-across-the-world-on-a-top-rated-airline-and-came-home-on-delta-2016-2/#thanks-to-a-last-minute-booking-i-flew-to-bangkok-on-emirates-via-dubai-and-back-to-new-york-on-delta-via-tokyo-for-comparisons-sake-ill-compare-the-longer-legs-of-both-trips-in-business-class-1

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