cartoon of the week

United’s Unfriendly Skies? 

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Rick McKee/Cagle Cartoons


A United Airlines passenger was forcibly removed from a plane recently after airline personnel failed to get volunteers to give up their seats on a crowded flight. Footage of the passenger being dragged through the aisle went viral on social media, leading to public outcry and boycotts of the airline. Though customers who purchase plane tickets effectively give airlines permission to bump them from oversold flights if necessary, the United Airlines incident has prompted debate over airline policies, with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee set to hold a congressional hearing soon. 


  1. Where does the cartoon take place? Who do the people in the cartoon represent? 
  2. How does the cartoonist use humor to make a point about the recent United Airlines incident?
  3. Who does the cartoonist seem to side with—the airline industry or the injured passenger? How can you tell?
  4. Police reports have recently emerged alleging that the passenger dragged off the United Airlines flight was violent with airline personnel before he was forcibly removed. Does that change how you think about the incident?
  5. Do you think airlines should be allowed to remove ticketed passengers if there aren’t enough seats to go around? Explain. 

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