Southwest airlines cancelled flights over the Christmas holiday. The passengers in Nashville who were stranded at the gate by these cancelled flights were standing at the counter, wanting solutions. What they got was a cop threatening to arrest them. What happened was this:

The flight was cancelled. The ticket agent didn’t want to deal with irate customers, and instructed police to have the people removed. The theory that the cop is using is: The flight was cancelled, therefore your ticket has also been cancelled. Since you can’t be in the sterile area without a ticket, you are now trespassing.

The only problem is that this is a bullshit argument. The ticket represents a contract between the passenger and the airline. There was an offer, an acceptance of that offer, and valuable consideration changed hands. The fact that one party (the airline) failed to perform under the terms of that contract doesn’t mean that the contract no longer exists, nor does it mean that the person who is the victim of this nonperformance is a criminal. What is happening here is the cop is inserting himself into a civil matter to the benefit of the party that has breached the contract.

That ticket is still a valid contract. The fact that the airline has chosen not to perform (no matter if that is a good reason or not) doesn’t cause the ticket to cease to be a contract. A person who is merely standing in line and inquiring as to what the other party is going to do to remedy the situation is not a crime, nor is it evidence of a crime.

Why do airlines get special police protection? Can I call the cops if McDonald’s fails to include the fries in my combo meal? Can McDonald’s call the cops if I pay for food that they can’t deliver, but I am still standing there with a valid receipt, waiting for my food or at least a refund?

For years, airlines have overbooked, oversold, and failed to honor the terms of their contracts. It is long past time that people demand a change to these practices. What other industry would get away with selling more of a product than they are capable of delivering? Can a car dealer sell more cars than they have or can reasonably provide?

This cop is an asshole, but then again most of them are. The Nashville airport has issued an apology, but that doesn’t change the fact that police officers have no business inserting themselves into a contract dispute. Honestly, it is stuff like this that makes me think perhaps we WOULD be better off if the police were defunded.

Categories: Police State


Francis W. Porretto · January 2, 2023 at 5:49 am

Time was, such a breach was regarded as actionable, at least civilly. You could sue for “specific performance” and be assured of winning your point, at least if the service involved was deemed legal (and possible within the laws of physics).However, the “common carriers” got cagey not long ago, and worded their ticket contracts to guarantee only a good-faith attempt to fulfill the purchased service. So matters today are cloudier legally, and the courts are no longer reliably on the side of the customer.

Joe Blow · January 2, 2023 at 5:54 am

Yes, you are 100% correct. This whole situation is a pile of digshit, and the cop should have known better, but “just doing my job,following orders, muh pension…”
The airline employee should have never tried to kick the customer out, calling the cops to do it wasn’t just mean and petty, its discriminatory, and I would sue the crap out of the airline.
The cop should know the law at the very least, and not blindly take the side of the corporation. Note that behaviour, its a tell. They are NOT here to protect and serve (you).
Yes, this type of ignorance, negligence, and general stupidity, is why reasonable people such as myself think it reasonable to get rid of the whole lot of them.
I could wax poetic for paragraphs, but this is the tree that builds the forrest. Fuck. Them. And. Their. Blue. Line. Bullshit.
In the ass.
With a rusty chainsaw.
Twice on Sunday.
This is an orc protecting its master. Grok that. The world you thought you lived in doesn’t actually exist. Its only going to get worse.

Bigus Macus · January 2, 2023 at 6:11 am

I have flown for decades across the country and around the world. I have never heard of anything like this before. Unreal.

Hartman · January 2, 2023 at 9:29 am

What is your major malfunction Private Pyle?

Steve S6 · January 2, 2023 at 10:21 am

More info.
All passengers were directed to the main ticket counter outside the secure area. Since the disruption was affecting all SW passengers they could the volume at the main counter vs the gate counter. These two special dindus didn’t want to go to the main counter and made a fuss. The airport police were called as they were not following directions and being disruptive. Yeah, BS reason but what else would you do when passengers are following directions? Go straight to arrest?

    Divemedic · January 2, 2023 at 1:37 pm

    Why arrest them at all? Simply because it was more convenient for the airline for them to be at the other counter?
    This isn’t a police matter. It’s a civil contract issue.

      Skeptic · January 2, 2023 at 11:24 pm

      I’m not a dindu, and I wouldn’t want to go back to the main counter either, and neither would anyone else experienced at traveling. You leave the secure area and then get in a huge line of other people who are checking in for their own flights, wait for God knows how long, and then IF you are able to get another flight, you have to go back through the TSA bullshit again. No fucking thank you. Combine that with the fact that, at most airports, there’s very little in the way of food, drink, restrooms, or other services outside the security barrier, and I don’t blame them one fucking bit for not wanting to leave the secure area.

Elrod · January 2, 2023 at 12:03 pm


We’re watching civlization, and the civility it brings, slowly erode. There will come a point…..

Danny · January 2, 2023 at 1:39 pm

Perhaps the airline industry is getting into real trouble now. And golly if they’re in trouble how will they get out? Hmmm … gee maybe “the government” will “have” to step in and take over. Yes it seems impossible to even consider.

And I agree that maybe it really is time to defund law enforcement – or many of it’s agencies as they now exist. I knew they would eventually become full-blown assholes when the “militarization” began many years ago. You know – S.W.A.T. and the armored personnel carriers etc.

Big Ruckus D · January 2, 2023 at 4:18 pm

And yet again I get to say fuck the police.

Aside from that I also get to reiterate my expectation that commercial air travel as we’ve known it since the late 20th century is doomed.

I figure it will – at best – go back to being a luxury for the ‘jetset’ who can afford it when the price goes WAY up, which it pretty well has to simply due to reasons of supply and demand, combined with the cost of large scale operational problems. And the decimation of modern air travel as a commodity service may not stop there.

The damage done by the shitshots is still an emergent phenomenon with an as yet unknown upper bound, and may do irrecoverable damage to the supply of qualified pilots, who are not quickly and easily replaceable so much as flight attendants and ground crews (though even those positions aren’t exactly McJobs that any flunkie can be plugged into). Do you want affirmative action (the other AA) divershitty replacement pilots flying the plane your ass is stuck in?

Then too is the ever growing stench of discontent amongst a decreasingly civil public at large. Supreme fuckups like the holiday mass flight cancellations are likely to make a lasting (and unfavorable) impression that may cause some to eliminate air travel just because it sucks harder than kamala harris.

These outfits have real problems that look increasingly insurmountable, irrespective of any potentially forthcoming govt bail outs. Money will not solve what is wrong with these dinosaur corporations. Personally, there are no shits given on my part as I swore they’d never get my money when TSA and all the other in theatrical security garbage emerged post 9/11. To be succinct; their business model – and thereby the entire experience of flying – is a pile of maggot ridden shit now.

I can maybe muster some sympathy for those who fly only grudgingly in the interest of expediency, but people are clearly going to have to lower their expectations regarding lifestyle and convenience in 3rd world America. Much of that stuff is already good as dead.

    Divemedic · January 2, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    Couple that with the EV shit show, and the shut down of travel may be the end result. Was that the goal all along?

      Big Ruckus D · January 2, 2023 at 6:57 pm

      Indeed. I didn’t touch on that, but that is a factor of still unknown influence on their future. I think the notion that “the masters of the universe” will be able to exert the type of control they have wet dreams about will not materialize they way the are envisioning. They will screw things up terribly, that is assured.

      But the resources and talent to create their dystopian vision is not present in sufficient quantity to get the job done anymore, assuming it ever was. They cannot escape the massive downsides of their own stupid and dangerous ideas, and their unregulated arrogance will cause their downfall… eventually.

      Air travel is probably screwed even if the weftards don’t try to kill it off. It is plagued by expensive operational deficiencies and quite likely business-ending levels of labor shortage in the foresesable future. They are screwing their own pooch already to such an extent that exogenous govt pressures on their business will only hasten the inevitable. That’s my take anyway.

Aesop · January 3, 2023 at 2:38 pm

ACAB has gone from fringe rhetoric to a taxonomic certainty.

The victims here should sue the NPD as a party to the ticket fraud, and see how long after NPD loses that, and pays through their shorts, before Officer Fuckstick & Co. are told their policy is to mind their own fucking business unless a violent criminal act is actually in progress.

It’s a tough job, and you have to deal with @$$holes, but that still doesn’t justify being the @$$hole. Shitheel there should be removed from airport detail, and placed on parking ticket detail all winter long, on foot, out of doors, until he learns the error of his ways.

The airline should be sued for federal criminal fraud (which is what it’s called in federal criminal law – 18 USC 1341 – when you sell something you don’t have to someone, and take their money anyways, across state lines), and the CEO and board of directors should be jailed for it. The frontline workers at Southwest have been trying to tell TPTB at that airline for a decade they were screwing the pooch, but the BoD didn’t want to hear it.

I daresay their hearing would improve in the quiet of a federal prison cell for a few months of peaceful contemplation.

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