Priceless treasure of Western civilization nearly destroyed by evil airline assholes and its owner was still amazingly enough willing to even talk about it without requiring Valium and a warm blanket
This isn’t about people flouting the rules or not “doing their research.” They do it. These are people who are doing exactly what they are told they should be doing, and then being screwed over anyway.
I am very, very firmly convinced that airlines do this sort of nonsense — forcing people to buy first-class seats, telling them to buy tickets on another flight — because they look at their passenger list, calculate that the flight is losing money, and consciously and explicitly say to themselves, “We’re six passengers shy and losing money on this flight. Go find someone with a guitar and threaten them into buying another ticket.” Another ticket on that flight, another ticket on another flight, an upgrade to first class? Anything. Just squeeze.
This is precisely what happens. It’s not a random matter of gate agents who don’t know what they’re doing or poor, confused flight attendants. This is a distinct, explicit corporate policy carried out by an industry that is losing money. When ANY flight takes off and there is ANY opportunity to sell another ticket AT ALL, they are directed to take it.
And it’s not all cellos and guitars. The editor of an online knitting magazine was blackmailed and nearly forced off of a flight for bringing a ukulele. The goddamned thing is smaller than any roller carry-on.
This is blackmail, and it is evil.