Reeling from the recent public relations nightmare faced by United Airlines, the airline industry has publicly touted the update of choke-hold policies as making the skies even friendlier.
Linda Hutton of Greeley, Colorado, found out about the new policy when she was kicked off of the black-eye flight from Newark to Cleveland for using an unauthorized choke-hold: Hutton fought and beat Japanese tourist Teiko Masamoto for a seat on the overbooked flight, but then Hutton herself was removed from the flight for violating the new no choke-holds policy.
Hutton spoke to local press in Newark as she waited for another flight to Cleveland.
"It's not fair that they kicked me off for using a choke-hold that the airlines themselves can use on us passengers. I didn't even win the fight by choking that China-lady, or wherever she's from--she broke my nose I think--but once I sat on her leg she couldn't fight any more."
Both women were "re-accommodated" by airline security personnel after the match.
Masamoto's leg was fractured in three places, but she was happy to have had a chance to be on American television: the entire incident was actually being filmed for a new reality TV series where passengers duke it out on an overbooked flight to see who gets bumped.
One airline announced the Saturday Night United Fist Flight program (SNUFF), and the need to clarify the choke-hold policy before filming resumes on the new TV series.
"We're in talks right now to bring SNUFF to NBC. The fights will only get better as we expand the competition to routes where the stakes are much higher for the passengers. I think fights on the New York to LA or even overseas routes could make for some compelling television."
"That said, our insurance coverage does nor allow for one passenger to use a choke-hold on another passenger, that privilege is reserved for the airlines and their authorized security. Besides, too often a choke-hold turns a good fight into a boring wrestling match."