Ten Terrible Policies United Airlines Could Also Defend

The increasingly less-friendly skies.
The increasingly less-friendly skies. Alan Light at Flickr

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.

click to enlarge What my airline meal never looked like. - MATT@PEK AT FLICKR
What my airline meal never looked like.
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.”
click to enlarge Wait...are you still here? Shouldn't you have deplaned in Kansas City? - MADS BODKER AT FLICKR
Wait...are you still here? Shouldn't you have deplaned in Kansas City?
Mads Bodker at Flickr
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.

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen