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Featured United Airline "incidents" raise questions about the safety of autistic and disabled persons

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Ste11aeres, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Ste11aeres

    Ste11aeres Moderator Staff Member

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    Some of you may have heard about the man who was dragged, unconscious and bleeding off a United Airlines plane by security. He had done nothing wrong; the only thing that happened was that United Airlines decided to force some passengers off, due to a combination of overbooking and their own employees needing to travel, and he said he could not give up his seat. Several details have left me wondering whether he could be on the autistic spectrum. For example, his sharp scream when security touched him, (before they actually injured him) could indicate a sensory sensitivity, or an aversion to touch. Perhaps his insistence itself on getting back on time, would a neurotypical have complied?

    A google search reveals the 2015 story of how a woman and her daughter...her daughter who was quiet and causing no problems, were kicked off a United Airlines flight after the mother let slip that her daughter was autistic. The surrounding passengers all agreed that the girl was not being disruptive.

    And then there's TSA. And the story of the partially blind, partially deaf, and partially paralyzed girl with a brain tumor which left her easily confused, who was slammed to the ground, left bleeding and covered with bruises, when she instinctively flinched away from the hands of armed security after her shirt set off the metal detector.

    I don't really know what to say about all of these. It seems, airlines operate according to rules which work well most of the time, for "normal" people, at least. But we're seeing what happens when there's the slightest bit of non-compliance, such as may happen when someone has sensory difficulties, or aversion to touch, or confusion at following exact instructions, or whatever it may be.
     
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  2. nowwhat

    nowwhat Well-Known Member

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    The fact is, you don't really get the best and the brightest in the TSA. Pretty much the bottom of the barrel, and many of them are wanna-be cops or military who couldn't cut, therefore they have something to prove. A volatile situation when you put dimwits in charge and give them authority to use force.
     
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  3. Gritches

    Gritches Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You know what's missing? The outrage.
     
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  4. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Magical Pattern Auspie

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    I know what to say...they scare me half to death.:eek:.....:airplane:
    I hope I don't have to fly :airplane:with them ever?:confused:
     
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  5. Marmot

    Marmot But you can't push Willy 'round, Willy won't go... V.I.P Member

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    Any human being (including all who read this, plus myself) who is given unchecked power will ultimately abuse said power & authority. This is a law of human nature; proven a million times over throughout the course of human history that no one has ever risen above.

    Imagine on that plane, instead of shooting videos with their phones that a mere 25% of the planes passengers had stood up & peacefully blocked the isle. Then imagine if 50% or even 100% would have blocked the isle. From the videos that I saw, not a single person did this as in American culture today; we’re taught that the men in uniform / with a gun / with a badge / with an iron-on patch on their t-shirt are always on the side of right and that you should let them do whatever they wish to you and that maybe, if they do something really, really bad to you that you could challenge them (much later) in a court of law defended by an attorney paid for by the taxes of the very same victims.......

    You can’t blame people in authority for exhibiting their human nature, we can only blame ourselves for allowing this to happen.
     
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  6. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Magical Pattern Auspie

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    buy a train ticket e-mail a picture with a picture of a abuse story...look up how much the plane ticket would have cost write it in big red letters LOST MONEY $ :rolleyes:
    That is how you fight back...
    people hate losing money most of all.
    Mental note on that point for Maelstrom:cool:
     
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  7. EricD

    EricD Well-Known Member

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    8 will never fly United. As far as the TSA goes, the guy that shot the TSA agent last year is a hero. The TEA is a bunch of thugs.
     
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  8. Jusdifferent

    Jusdifferent Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, sad part about it... ( I mean it was all bad/sad, but the really rotten part... ) The dude that was dragged off - HE WAS SUPPOSEDLY A DOCTOR. The poor fella was ONLY trying to get home to his patients! This is just SOooooo wrong. Here is the complete story, with the video >>>Passenger dragged off flight to make room for United Airlines employees >>> We used to have to fly all the time for business - so glad we don't anymore. No excuse for this kind of ****:( What's wrong with people these days?!?:eek:o_O
     
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  9. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The training for TSA agents includes forty hours of classroom training and sixty hours of training on the job. In addition, an individual will need to pass a certification examination. Tsa agents need a ged or high school pass to apply for this job. For screening passengers for x- raying baggage. That's all that's required. They are usually privately hired by airports, from a security company. They are only trained to screen passengers and baggage.

    They are not trained or qualified to physically remove an unwilling passenger from a plane. That's why this all went wrong, the police should have done this, or the air marshal. The TSA officer is not trained to do this. This man would do well, to sue the airline and airport for this sort of treatment.
     
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  10. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the man is a doctor with an urgency of needing to maintain medical appointments the next day from what I heard. He was not on the spectrum.

    It is policy for the airlines to randomly select passengers to be "bumped" if overbooked beyond capacity, with a promise of being reimbursed with a cash sum to catch a later flight. The random selection takes place if they cannot find sufficient passengers willing to prematurely disembark for another flight. Assuming of course the selection was in fact, random. Which seems to be disputed, with some citing racial discrimination.

    Clearly such a policy does not take into consideration the possibility of others urgently needing to get to their destination. It's a stupid assumption to operate on a premise that anyone and everyone's travel arrangements are no more important than a leisure trip.

    The scary thing about such stories remains the same. Under FAA regulations, a flight crew of an airliner essentially has "dictatorial rights" along military lines when it comes to their passengers. They order, you obey. With little recourse to object. Even had the man been able to produce some kind of documentation relative to the urgency of his flight I suspect it wouldn't matter to the airline crew. They make command decisions and that's that from their legal perspective.

    Indeed, under such circumstances autistic passengers are likely to be at a distinct and potentially perilous disadvantage. It's a chilling prospect for some. :(

    At times it's disturbing to say the least, but usually it's about unruly passengers getting roughed up as a result of their own actions. Not something like this. Oh well, at the very least United, an airline I've never liked has a big black eye over this in terms of public relations. Perhaps in the future they'll consider altering this policy of "random" selection.

    Better yet, can't they learn not to overbook any and every flight like inept bureaucrats??? :rolleyes:
     
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  11. toothless

    toothless this is mr shadow,my support cat V.I.P Member

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    ste11aeres,in the UK the airline; ryanair is the exact copy of united airlines in terms of their disablist treatment of autistic, intellectually disabled and physically disabled people.
    for example,ive heard on news sites of completely independant high functioning autistic adults not allowed on the plane because they didnt have a carer, ive heard of other disabled people who were fully mobile [i think they had ASD or ID]being forced into wheelchairs to get on the plane,they charge £1 to use the toilet on the plane which is discriminatory against people with colostomy/urine bags and people with bladder/bowel problems,you could argue it doesnt suit the needs of pregnant passengers as well.

    stories like this on united airlines are why i still cannot go on planes,my severely challenging behavior meant i couldnt go on planes before,now my behavior is a bit more stable i really want to go on a plane to america with some sedation but stories like this on the united airlines planes really scare me,i could be shot by the air marshall if they saw any of my behaviors,airline treatment of disabled people is disgusting.
     
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  12. SpaceCadet

    SpaceCadet Active Member V.I.P Member

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    JetBlue doesn't overbook! That's their policy, they say so right on their website. So if you're worried about the overbooking problem in particular, there's one option.

    Flying is one of those few things where I really think I had an EASIER time before my diagnosis (as an adult). Ignorance was bliss, sort of - well maybe not bliss, but easier. Now I'm hyper-aware ahead of time of the stuff that can go wrong. Also because I don't fly often, once a year if that, it seems to me that TSA is always changing the rules in bizarre little ways (maybe I'm not even correct about that but to me it seems that way). They seem to think everyone flies once a week and knows the drill. Plus I'm almost always flying without a companion, so being alone without an NT "interpreter" doesn't help. Last year I had a weird TSA incident and after I got thru security I saw they had a complaint box and cards! So I filled out the complaint card... and never heard back, LOL, it's been over 6 months.

    I do love Amtrak! - but a long train trip is not always practical. Also aspies here should know, there have been cases on long-distance Amtrak trains in the west where DEA agents hassle passengers and steal money from them: Why Is the DEA Harassing Amtrak Passengers?
     
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  13. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Not that it's any less a consolation, but unless you display a deadly use of force it's unlikely a federal air marshal would discharge their weapon in a pressurized cabin just to subdue someone on the spectrum. However they wouldn't hesitate to apply physical force in subduing you likely with the aid of the crew. Much like what happened to this doctor. That air crews won't hesitate to hurt and humiliate passengers with zero tolerance under present flight regulations.

    It's ugly, but I don't see much changing with such a scenario. But damn, United should be able to count heads going through the door. That's not asking a lot, IMO as a shareholder of a major airlines. :mad:
     
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  14. Ste11aeres

    Ste11aeres Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. In addition, my brother thinks that they probably were not told why the passenger was being removed from the plane, and might have gone in assuming that it was for bad behavior, perhaps because he was being belligerent, causing a scene for no real reason, perhaps for showing aggression. And that thus, uninformed and perhaps assuming the wrong things, they might have also assumed that they should expect violence from his part and should deal with him as such.

    Doesn't excuse them, or anyone. If you're doing something like this, you should be informed, and if you call in security, you should tell them all details. Because, otherwise, the results can be truly horrific.
     
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  15. Aspiegirl75

    Aspiegirl75 Active Member

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    You have to keep in mind that united and such are national airlines. The way I see it, international flights are much better in accommodations. My mother visits me once a year, she has a lot of health issues so needs a lot of accommodations and knock on wood, we never had any incidents.
    Also, these airlines carry thousands of people on daily basis, so to an extent these outrageous acts are kind of rare. So don't let the thought of that deter you from coming over to this side of the pond! :)
     
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  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  17. Aspiegirl75

    Aspiegirl75 Active Member

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  18. Jusdifferent

    Jusdifferent Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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  19. Manuheleku

    Manuheleku Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    And it's sadly all about the money. United could have eventually found a volunteer to give up their seat for enough money. It was United's fault for overbooking, they needed to come up with a figure that would have been acceptable to someone. For a couple or few thousand, someone would gone for the deal peacefully and happily. No, better to beat the crap out of a doctor.
     
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  20. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    The airlines and other transports have a "common carrier standard". Meaning the crew is legally obligated to observe a heightened duty of care to passengers. In this instance clearly they failed.

    Sounds like probable grounds for a lawsuit. Negligence over an in-flight accident and injury (personal and physical) which didn't have to happen. Maybe now would be a good time for the industry as a whole to reevaluate being so heavy-handed with passengers. I'm guessing United will quickly settle this out of court and behind closed doors. Looks like their stock took a hit today. No surprise.

    Terrorism has changed the complexion of air travel. We all know that. However it shouldn't enable flight crews to behave like indifferent bouncers in a bar. That's bullsh*t IMO.
     
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