United Airlines is having one heck of a week, after a public relations nightmare has caused their stock to tank and Twitter to erupt in opposition to the carrier.
The incident in question made national headlines this week, as a 69 year old doctor was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago after the airline overbooked the plane. In order to make room for United employees, four seats would need to be vacated. After two rounds of enticement failed to net any volunteers, a computer program was used to select which passengers would be removed. The doctor, who had patients to see back home, refused. That’s when police were called to forcibly remove the man, who ended up bloodied as he was literally dragged down the aisle of the airliner, stunning many other passengers.
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As the story went viral, complete with video of the incident, United issued a single pathetic apology, and a leaked email from the company’s president praising his employee’s for their handling of the situation appeared online. This all caused United’s stock to head straight for the toilet.
Now, United has once again made headlines, but this time it’s due to their own unpleasant experience at the hands of the Russians.
“A United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Shanghai, China was diverted from flying over Russian airspace for ‘diplomatic reasons’ early Wednesday morning, passengers on the flight say.
“Those diplomatic concerns forced the flight to refuel at Tokyo’s Narita airport, the flight’s captain told passengers, several of whom posted about it on social media.
“It is not entirely clear what diplomatic concerns may have forced the diversion. The most obvious explanation would be the tense relationship between the U.S. and Russia over Syria’s use of chemical weapons during an attack on April 4.
“The White House said on Tuesday that the Russian government has engaged in a cover-up to shift blame from the Syrian regime for the attacks, which involved the use of sarin gas and killed 100 people. Syria and Russia are allies.”
Russia and the United States have been at odds for the better part of two weeks, after the deadly attack in Syria. Russia’s allegiance to monstrous Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has certainly clouded the Kremlin’s judgments in diplomacy, and America’s unwillingness to ignore Assad’s atrocities could very well be the reason for this United flight’s diversion.
No matter the explanation, Russia denying airspace to a civilian U.S. flight is absurd, and is certainly an indication of an increase in diplomatic debauchery.