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Our flying experiences over the years have been good ones whether flying domestically or abroad. That's why the recent episode on United Airlines has raised strong feelings about passengers, not the airline.

Airlines overbook because people are too rude, deliberately or unintentionally negligent, in cancelling reservations they make but then opt not to use.

Our first reaction when reading accounts of the episode and in viewing the one passenger's video was dismay.

Why didn't other passengers step up and offer to give up their seats to quell this volatile situation? Insofar as I can tell, no one did.

My husband's first reaction to all the fallout from the incident was that anarchy is being encouraged. He said he would rather fly and feel safer on an airline such as United, which enforces the rules.

The removed doctor probably already has filed a lawsuit, but remember,it all could have been avoided had he cooperated with the request to depart the plane.

This is a hot mess and the mother of all public relations disasters. Of course, it's feeding time for the lawyers.

Melanie Csepiga, Lowell

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Local News Editor

Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.