Andy Rooney Takes On The Airlines

A New Union For Airline Passengers

I have a proposal for airline passengers. There's a ticket agents' union, a mechanics' union, and a pilots' union.

I hereby propose an airline passengers' union to be called the APU.

Members joining will agree not to fly if APU demands are not met. The Earth would still turn if we all stayed home.

Here are some APU demands:

  • After 15 minutes, an airline would be penalized $5 for every minute a passenger stood in line buying a ticket.

  • Tickets would be made so passengers could read them.

  • If anyone on board finds that another passenger paid less for a ticket, everyone on the flight who paid more will get a refund.

  • No plane would leave the gate and taxi to the runway until it was cleared for flight, saving the airline gas and the passengers time.


According to APU rules, the overhead compartment would be the exclusive facility of the passenger sitting underneath it. No one else could put anything in it without written permission.

Every airplane would have an aisle wide enough to permit a passenger to get past the food cart to the bathroom.

The APU would prohibit annoying announcements. For example, no airline employee would be allowed to thank everyone for their patience after a two-hour delay, when passengers were not patient at all. They were mad as hell.

If passengers on the left side of the plane were awakened by the pilot announcing a good view of the Grand Canyon for passengers on the right side, the annoyance penalty would be $5 per left side passenger.

APU members would judge the food as

  1. good
  2. acceptable
  3. poor
  4. inedible or
  5. couldn’t open it

If the vote averaged less than “acceptable,” the airline would provide a free meal in the next city.

If a suitcase went to the wrong city, the passenger would be entitled to a free flight to that city any time within a year or after he got his bag back, whichever came last.

The flight schedules would be based on the average time it took to get from one city to another, from the moment the aircraft door was closed to the moment it was opened at its destination.

If an airline faked a repair problem and cancelled a lightly booked flight to save money because their flight an hour later wasn't full either, it would be penalized $100 per passenger.

Some of the terrible things that happen to airline passengers
are not the airlines’ fault. A lot of the terrible things that happen ARE the airlines’ fault.


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