This past weekend, United Airlines cited a totally not-made-up ban on spandex and refused to let two young girls board a flight in Denver because they were wearing leggings. (Sorry, Spider-Man. Put on some freaking slacks.) Then it doubled down on the decision, somehow connecting it to the fact that the young ladies were flying as “pass travelers,” meaning they were there as guests of employees and had to adhere to the no-spandex policy. This public-relations incompetence rivals that of Sean Spicer.
So here are some suggestions as to how United can keep digging itself into a hole, some of which are based on actual snafus United has committed over the years. Embrace the hole. Be the hole.
1. Absolutely No More Food
“After years of research, United and a secret cabal of all airlines have determined that human beings do not require meals,” said a United food-limitation rep. “Therefore, we’re doing away with all food service on domestic flights, and we’d ask our passengers to refrain from bringing any food of their own on board, as it really just smells gross and we'd rather not have to clean up after you.”
2. Nope, Still Can’t Use Cell Phones
“Seriously,” a United anti-communications specialist explained, “if you turn on your cell service while in-flight, the whole plane comes down. It’s actually an incredibly dangerous flaw in the design of the planes itself, and we’re relying on the complete and unerring rational decision-making skills of all Americans to make sure that we don’t invite disaster.”
3. We Will Bust Your Guitars
“We here at United want to go on record as saying that we really hate guitars,” said a rep from United's lost-and-never-found baggage department. “Just really fucking hate them. We never learned to play one as a kid, and there was this uber-dude named Jeff who could play, and all the girls thought he was dreamy, and now we just destroy guitars because of that. So blame Jeff, everyone. It’s all about Jeff.”
4. Unaccompanied Minors Aren’t Our Top Priority
“That 2012 circumstance where we temporarily lost the ten-year-old at O’Hare? That was only the beginning,” said a United un-health-care expert. “As we’re all aware, children are our greatest renewable resource, so losing one or two every so often is the least of our worries. Why do you think we've always told you to put on your own oxygen mask first?”
5. No Droids
“We don’t serve their kind here,” said a United Airlines cantina manager.
Keep reading for more ways United can dig itself even deeper into a hole.
6. BYOB? N-O.
“Yes, we realize that liquor stores sell those little bottles of alcohol for a buck apiece,” stated a United additional-charges agent. “But we can’t sell our passengers terrible Bloody Marys for $10 if we allow everyone to circumvent our onerous policies. Just think of it as the airline version of buying a soda at the movies, which nobody complains about, ever.”
7. Wheelchairs Are a Privilege, Not a Right
“Look,” said a United specialist who chose to remain nameless but might be easily identified by the gaping hole in his chest where his heart clearly once was, “we do our best to accommodate our differently abled customers, but sometimes we get busy.” But seriously, in October 2015, a passenger with cerebral palsy had to crawl off a plane because he’d been waiting for a wheelchair for over thirty minutes.
8. Constant System-Wide Computer Breakdowns
“We’re still under contract with Pentium,” explained a United digital-non-communications rep. “And we have high hopes that they’ll finally work out all the bugs from Windows98 very soon.”
9. Baggage Doesn’t Always Need to Arrive on Time — or At All
“Remember that holiday season in 2014 when we lost a ton of the luggage that was supposed to arrive safely in Denver?” asked the same lost-and-never-found baggage rep. “That proved to us that we don’t need to be as careful with bags as we have been in previous years. Now we suggest our passengers adopt a Vegas-style mindset: Will you get your suitcase at your destination, or will it end up in St. Louis? Tampa? Seattle? It’s like a game of chance. But remember: Gamble responsibly. Don’t check a bag that you can’t afford to lose.”
10. That Any of This Is Defensible
“So long as you need to travel," said United's anti-spandex league rep, "we figure you’ll take all of this ridiculous shit in stride. Fly the Friendly Skies!”