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The JetBlue Meltdown


Yesterday, a JetBlue flight bound for Las Vegas from New York had to make an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas when the pilot basically had a major meltdown mid-flight. Captain Clayton Osbon pretty much, single-handedly, caused all of the 135 passengers on the flight to collectively loosen their literal and proverbial sphincters when he began shouting about Iraq, Iran, and the Taliban.

Now, I can see why this could be completely horrifying to our panic-stricken, fear injected general public after what happened on that fateful day almost eleven years ago. The question of whether or not the extra security measures that probably have sterilized millions by now have been enough was probably forefront in all of the passengers’ minds.

The things that hit me the most about this incident, though, have nothing to do with the captain, himself. When you hear the full account and watch the videos, there is one thing that should stand out above all others. About six people actually made the effort to subdue this raving lunatic and succeeded. What did the rest of the plane do? They grabbed their smart phones and started filming. That’s right, folks. Another potential terrorist action on an airplane, and the majority of the plane’s passengers’ first thought was that they just had to get it on film! I’m not going to say YouTube will be the death of our country. I’m not even going to blame the site for causing this. But, let me ask you, if YouTube wasn’t such an everyday commonplace, would things have gone down the same way? Next time, people, pull your head out of your ass. Put the phone down and help shut the madman up. THEN you can go back to your Words With Friends and Angry Birds.

The other big issue I have with all of this is how quickly JetBlue hit the PR trail in an effort to get this swept under the rug as soon as possible. In an interview this morning, JetBlue CEO Dave Barger pretty much failed to directly answer every single question he was asked. All he was focusing on was repeating how Osbon has never exhibited this type of behavior before and how it’s obvious this is a “medical situation” he was suffering from. Medical situation, Dave? Really? And I suppose Bin Laden just really liked fireworks. The guy cracked his nut in the middle of a flight. There is no doubt in my mind the hours the pilots spend in the air played a big part here. It’s not a “medical condition.” It’s a classic case of a company overworking its employees.

In an effort to sum my thoughts all up, I will say this. The guy needs a vacation. The passengers will probably capitalize on “emotional distress” and sue the all-hell out of JetBlue. Barger needs to get his head out of his ass and stop pretending we’re all idiots incapable of seeing what really happened, and YouTube has, once again, turned another serious moment into a farce. Happy trails and good luck in this world we live in.

 

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