April 2017 Columns: Airline overbooking, winning streak


The recent controversy over one United flight has caught my attention. I saw the video of a bloody man being dragged out of the seat he paid for, and I could not help but wonder if United really had the right to do this.

Regardless of who is in the right, based on how the circumstances escalated, United should have stopped when the situation got intense and realized it was not worth all the bad press in this global age. Now, news reporters and the public are all talking about how United used excessive force.

If I buy something, do I have the right to have it? Dismissing illegal objects, I think that an American citizen has that right. This man paid for his ticket, had obligations in the morning, and had to board this flight.

United handled this situation catastrophically. Most airlines will not remove customers, especially once they are in their seats, to place employees, or they will offer significant monetary compensation.

United overbooked and had to force their paying customers off to seat employees. This is definitely not right in my eyes; from a young age I was taught that the customer is always right, so how is this case any different?

Also, the customer was in his seat already. He was relaxing in his seat, that once again paid for, ready to get where he needed to go, but then he was told that because there was a mistake on a corporate level, he could not get where he needed to go.

Airlines, particularly major ones like United, should know better than to overbook and make such a debacle over their own mistake. Customers have the right to what they paid for and should be treated kindly as paying customers.

I am not sure what exactly was said on that flight, but I know that man paid for his seat and was hurt while denied the right to obtain what he purchased.


The baseball team’s coach, Peter Muehlenkamp, has reached his 300th win after coaching for 18 years. With his 300 wins, he only has 152 losses. Muehlenkamp has been the varsity head coach at two other high schools where he had a record of 291-145.

Before Muehlenkamp became a coach, he played on the SHS baseball team in 1987. That year, his team went to state. That was also the last time a SHS baseball team has been to state.

Muehlenkamp’s 300 wins are an accumulation of victories from all of the schools he coached at.

He was at Hughes for three years, and won the league title in his last year there. Muehlenkamp additionally coached at Reading for 14 years.

In those 14 years, he won the league title four times and won numerous sectional and district titles. In 2009, he made it to the state final four.

Also, he has coached one or two students each year who went on to play college baseball. Muehlenkamp and his assistant coaches focus on teaching their players about life and baseball at the same time.

Muehlenkamp believes that it is a huge benefit that he had people like Steve Imhoff, Rob Buckman, Nick Lunsford, RJ Hayes, Gil Voight, Chris Kramerer, Kevin Ralston, and others as his assistants.

He and his assistant coaches know that baseball contains a lot of failures at times and that it is easy to give up. However, they continue to promote the adversity and enjoy the challenge.