United Airlines Overbooking Fiasco Should Never Have Happened

Can the airlines really be this stupid?

By now, nearly everyone has seen the video of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight. Most Americans — especially frequent flyers — are horrified. Airlines are notorious for lousy customer service, but this latest fiasco sets a new low. So much for the "friendly skies."

What happened this past weekend should never, ever happen again. It should have never happened at all.

The injustice of this ‎incident is that the gentleman pulled from the flight was forced to bear the cost of United’s error in selecting passengers to give up their seats. He is a doctor who said he had appointments with patients to keep. United’s actions in removing him were arbitrary and capricious.

What is‎ most infuriating is that there is no reason for anyone to be involuntarily bumped from an airline flight — ever. A simple economic solution exists — developed long ago by the late economist Julian Simon of the University of Maryland: holding an auction among the passengers to bid to give up their seats in exchange for monetary compensation.