Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
I fancy one or two executives at JetBlue and Alaska are watching some of the stories emerging about their rivals and snorting into their Lambrusco.
And then there's Delta. Last week, it kicked a man off a flight for going to the restroom shortly before takeoff. Then one of its pilots was caught on video slapping a woman, as he tried to break up a fight. The airline exonerated him.
But now there's emerged another tale of a Delta employee apparently resorting to a little aggression.
This is the story of the Boggan family who were trying to get to West Palm Beach from La Guardia.
As the New York Post reports, their flight was delayed for 17 hours. After 12 of those hours, Matthew Boggan thought he'd start filming the pain of the wait and posting it to Snapchat.
Well, he's 12. And that's what 12-year-olds sometimes do.
His filming allegedly wasn't appreciated by a Delta gate agent. I slipped in the "allegedly" there because there's now a lawsuit. There's now a lawsuit because Matthew Boggan says: "She just came over and hit me."
More precisely , the lawsuit claims that the agent knocked the cellphone out of Boggan's hand. And, please imagine, she allegedly told him it was illegal to film her.
The lawsuit also claims that passengers began yelling: "This is child abuse."
I contacted Delta to ask for its view on all this. I will update, should the airline fling a response my way.
A lawyer for the airline did tell the Post that Boggan "interfered with the Delta agent's ability to communicate an announcement."
By filming her? This seems an odd conception.
Yes, of course there's video. It shows a female telling Boggan: "Put the phone down!" And then there's a little more action.
The excitement occurred last year. Clearly, though, it's now gaining publicity because of all the other recent incidents that have enthralled social media.
"I think it's indicative of what we're seeing throughout the industry," Terrence Cortelli, Boggan's lawyer, told Inside Edition. "They just want to put you on the plane, send you off, take your money and they don't care."
It's a familiar theme that airlines don't care. Another familiar theme, though, is of airline employees acting -- or being forced to act by their employers -- like law enforcement officers.
It's surely no coincidence that the idea of it being illegal to film an authority figure is being disseminated by those very authority figures. (And it isn't illegal.)
Here's just one example of a police officer claiming to an Uber driver he'd stopped that it was illegal to film him. (Sadly for the police officer, that Uber driver was also a lawyer.)
Just as United is beginning to realize that it transports humans and can't continue to behave like an all-powerful militia, so other airlines might think about re-calibrating their attitudes toward customers.
Not all customers are wonderful. Not by any means. But airlines have bathed in their oligopoly a little too much and put far too much pressure on the lower-paid staff to enforce it by any means necessary.
All this while making planes and seats smaller and leaving no margin for error when it comes to the possibility of a delayed flight.
Even police forces claim they're serving the people. Perhaps airlines might rededicate themselves to the concept too.