I don't know how many of my readers have been watching the TV news lately but a recent item that came up just before Thanksgiving made me so mad that I vowed I would write something about it even though I'm neck deep in projects. Last Monday I watched a brief news story on the late afternoon CBS telecast that described an unbelievable act of barbarism in the form of a wheelchair-bound woman being taken off of a plane and left in a baggage area at the DIA airport. Apparently, while she was waiting for help she died of a stroke and was found abandoned where she should never have been left.
A couple of days later this woman's daughter was on the news. She lives in Latvia and expected to see her mother come home on a plane. She sure didn't expect to get a call from the authorities that her mother had been wheeled to a baggage area and left there to die. I will not disclose the name of the airline but I cannot believe that a human being could be treated this way for any reason or under any circumstances. The daughter said she just wanted an explanation of why her mother was taken off of the plane. This newscast ended with the anchor relaying that the airline had been contacted by them and no explanation was given. They called the hospital where the woman had been taken and they gave no explanation to them as well.
We see items in the paper everyday about our relationships with other countries but what must they think of the United States when these intolerable acts happen and our authorities shrug? Why would the rest of the world not hate us under these circumstances?
Just the day before, I had read a Washington Post article about a bill being passed for passenger rights. It expounded on a few other problems that have existed for quite some time. It went on and on about code-sharing which I've known about since I was a teenager. One expert that had been consulted by the author Christopher Elliott was consumer advocate Edward Hasbrouck who felt that truth in advertising, problems with federal pre-emption and failure to enforce existing consumer laws were greater issues but how can that be seriously heeded when a bigger issue is staring us in the face like this?
I can pick up a paper or turn a news telecast on any day of the week and I'll hear about gay rights, animal rights, and Miranda rights but I am wondering about basic human rights. Whatever happened to treating your common everyday citizen with compassion, respect and care? The same consumer rights advocate I cited above was quoted as saying, "Airlines routinely engage in practices that would constitute fraud if engaged in by any other business." I'll go a step further in saying that they also routinely engage in the practice of treating people worse than cattle. Apparently, people that work in airline terminals need to be given classes in human compassion and responsibility toward your fellow human being along with CPR and basic medical care. I doubt if it will bring that woman's mother back, though.
Blowing off steam !
The Castle Lady