Look deep into the bunny's eyes and feel the emotional manipulation of my inclusion of the picture taking hold.
And let's not forget the controversy the Dao story overshadowed, in which United booted two teenage girls off of a flight because a dumb provision in the membership program they were part of had deemed leggings inappropriate in-flight attire. And now there's a professional golfer complaining that United broke his clubs. Even Delta Airlines has been getting some residual heat after they removed a guy from a flight because he went to pee when the "Please Don't Pee Right Now, You'll Just Make a Mess" sign was on.
A passenger getting his face rocked by sky cops is a big deal. The golf club thing probably shouldn't even be a story, but it happened to a quasi-famous person at the worst time for United, so we'll allow it and a dozen other trivial controversies into the hate party, because since the first 1980s standup comedian joked about being cramped in coach while people in first class get caviar foot massages, bitching about airlines is a cherished communal catharsis. United unwittingly turned itself into the outlet we needed to purge our frustrations with their entire s****y industry.
So every time a new headline pops up about an airline doing what they have always gotten away with (losing luggage, killing pets), our first reaction is to roll our eyes and say, "Seriously? This is considered news now?" And I'm saying, "You're goddamn right it is. Or at least, it's the only form of non-news I'm totally fine with them printing."
Airports seem to be poorly run debacles no matter where you go, while airlines themselves have been raising prices for years. If the money's going to the in-flight entertainment, I don't think those four episodes of The Big Bang Theory in the headrest were worth the investment. Every decade of air travel brings with it a new set of annoyances and complaints exactly like those. We're all permanently pissed that we have no alternative but to deal with this suppository in the sky that we can't escape without accidentally killing hundreds of passengers in the process.