Jordie Dwyer - Reporter

Jordie Dwyer - Reporter

Things that make you go hmmm…

OPINION: United Airlines public relations and customer service debacle and the high cost of tickets to watch hockey discussed.

Alright, if you just sang, starting dancing or laughing, you might have grown up in the ’80s. For the readers that simply are confused or remembered some television show character’s rendition, I suggest you Google it before trying to understand the references below.

With all of the cellphones and social media out there with the ability to immediately document and transmit information and video, it makes one wonder if anyone at United Airlines thought about taking the brain out of the jar and placing it back on their head.

Last week’s fiasco that’s about as politely as I can put it in the newspaper whereby passengers captured the forceful removal of a doctor from a flight in order for the airline to carry four of its employees certainly tops the list of things that made me bring my left hand up under my chin in thought.

My first thought was how awful his wife, who was on the flight with him, and his family must have felt witnessing him being treated worse than most auction marts move cattle. As well, just imagine the emotional trauma experienced by the other passengers and it doesn’t take much time to figure out the majority of them won’t be flying ‘the friendly skies’ in the future.

Next came thoughts about whether the flight crew, and the employees that bumped the man and three other passengers that paid for their seats, had any feelings of guilt, concern or empathy at all given the situation. Not once in the days since the incident has there been any word from these people, which makes you wonder what the customer service culture is at that company.

Lastly, turning the public relations firestorm nightmare that ensued and was jet-fueled by a callous attitude from the company’s top man, it is hard to imagine he could survive much longer considering the financial implications that will no doubt be coming United’s way.

A lawsuit is nearly assured, the company’s stock price has fallen and if a boycott by passengers isn’t coming, there will at least be a shift of passengers that don’t want to risk bodily harm if they happen to get bumped by staff that allegedly had no consideration for being on time for a flight. Hmmmm.

Gouging customers

This has nothing to do with gas (collusion?) pricing in this country. Nope, this is about the outrageousness that is sports entertainment ticket offerings more specifically a well-known team north of Ponoka that put up for sale ‘concourse passes’.

Yes, pay $80 to walk around (no seat or access to them) inside the arena where the ticket holder can pay exorbitant prices for food and beverages and watch the game on any number of TVs, simply because the person can say they were there and absorb the atmosphere. Hmmmm.

One would’ve thought the already extravagant cost associated with games would satisfy the need for greediness. However, much like gas and oil companies do before a long weekend, people will pay whatever is asked of them.

Oh sure, there will be the standard reasons of covering expenses and providing a service people want and giving athletes with a short career span the chance to earn a living that will keep them afloat when it’s over. However, getting paid to play a game for a living while lining their pockets shouldn’t cause those that watch to go broke doing so.

Playoffs? We talking about playoffs?

Oh, and for those that thought I might forget Habs in 5 (Price just too good), Capitals in 5 (can’t contain Ovechkin), Bruins (shudder too much offense for Ottawa) in 6, Penguins in 4 (Blue Jackets playing bad heading in), Ducks in 5 (despite liking the Flames it will be hard for them to compete), Blackhawks in 5 (Chicago is on a roll), Wild in 6 (might be closer than I think) and Sharks in 7 (McDavid can’t help a defense that has little experience in the playoffs).

But that is…just an observation.