United Airlines Change Seat Assignments

United Airlines Change Seat Assignments-22
Meredith collects data to deliver the best content, services, and personalized digital ads.We partner with third party advertisers, who may use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on sites and applications across devices, both on our sites and across the Internet.Once the plane was boarded, United initiated a computerized lottery to determine who should “volunteer” to leave the aircraft.

One of the most shocking cases of this happened on April 10, 2017, when United Airlines, who was oversold, needed to send four employees on an aircraft.

Offers of the usual cash and a seat on the next flight were disregarded by those who had purchased their tickets, and people were allowed to board.

Anthropology and other social sciences, have spent decades developing tools of qualitative data contextual inquiry.

These tools help us to understand people, who they are, what they need, and different perspectives on situations.

Taking agency is our ability to make choices from available options as events unfold.

Humans are capable of creativity and expression, and can take agency in more ways than the designers of automated systems could ever imagine.

As we’ve seen, using a computer algorithm to insure “fairness” doesn’t always work with people.

This is mostly because we are collective, social, cooperative, and human.

I am particularly interested in when processes are too rigid, and become brittle.

The United Airlines case illustrates a process which is brittle: designed for narrow outcomes, and not designed for people — neither customers, or employees.


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