retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Associated Press points out that when airline passengers take videos of unpleasant occurrences on airplanes - like passengers being dragged off so that flight crews can take their seats - they in fact are violating terms of service established by the major airlines.

In fact, the people who shot the video of the passenger being dragged off the plane also could have been removed, since they "violated United's policy on photography ... Under United's policy, customers can take pictures or videos with small cameras or cellphones 'provided that the purpose is capturing personal events.' Filming or photographing other customers or airline employees without their consent is prohibited. American, Delta and Southwest have similar policies ... Airline rules on photography are sporadically enforced, but passengers should read them in the in-flight magazines because there can be consequences."

This sort of reminds me of the time a few years ago when the Domino's Pizza employee took a video of himself picking his nose and putting it on a pizza ... and the company responded in part by outlawing the use of video cameras in its kitchens.

That was, I said, exactly the wrong thing to do. In fact, they should've made a point of saying that they were going to spend so much time and money on employee education, better hiring and stronger food safety initiatives that cameras would be absolutely welcome there.

The same goes for the airlines.

While I realize that these regulations are only occasionally enforced, I would argue that they need to change them. Now. They should say that they want their service to be so good that any videos taken will be the most boring imaginable. And that if they make a mistake, they want the cameras there, because they want to be held accountable.

They might as well. Because people are going to use their cameras, they're going to upload the videos to social media, and if the airlines every try to enforce their rules, it is only going to make things worse.

It used to be that most supermarkets would have a sign at the front door: "No still or video photography." I almost never see that sign anymore, because stores realize that every person walking into the store comes equipped with a video camera. They can't do anything about it.

It almost doesn't matter if a company doesn't want to be transparent. Customers want them to, and will find a way to make them so. Corporate practices, good and bad, are on full view for the world to see ... and if they aren't today, they will be.

Personally, I think this is a good thing.

Deal with it.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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