What Dr Dao Should Have Done

Prescient advice from Christopher Buckley on how to get onto an airplane. He was writing about small planes, but really he was commenting on cramped spaces and schedules, so I think we can agree this has a more general usefulness -- especially in the light of recent events.

Before you go: 'Reserve a room at the hotel airport for three days on either side of theoretical departure date'.

Once at the airport: 'When you are told that the flight is overbooked and you have no seat, remain calm. This is a test to see if you have "the right stuff" and are worthy of the seat you booked to Bangor eight months ago. Screaming at the gate agent that you are extremely important, a close friend of the president of the airline, or a cardinal (in plainclothes) of the Catholic Church, etc., is a sign that you have "the wrong stuff." So is telling the agent that he is a baboon.

Instead, dress in surgical scrubs with hemostats clipped everywhere. These will look more impressive than a cashmere blazer and Italian loafers when you attempt to convey to the agent that it is critical that you be in Bangor by noon. For added emphasis, carry a small beach cooler prominently labeled HUMAN ORGAN'.

Once past the gate: 'Congratulations--you are one of the "chosen." But this is no time for complacency. [...]'

'Welcome Aboard: Get on first, regardless of row number. Once seated, permanently fasten yourself to your seat with chain, steel cable, or bicycle lock and heavy padlock to discourage the five other people who have also been assigned Seat 8A'.

-- From 'Small Aircraft Advisory', in But Enough About You: Essays, 2014

The coming lawsuit -- and we all know there will be one -- may go down in history as the Dao Ker Ching, an update on the original. 

Update: United Airlines settled quickly and quietly with Dr Dao. They asked, in effect, 'how much money to make this whole thing go away?'. It was probably a mouthwatering amount. There was no need for a lawsuit: the airline had already been found guilty in the court of public opinion.