9/11 Pilots Union Shindig Legend For Naught?
April 29, 2010 8:56 AM   Subscribe

I recently heard a story about a party for an airline pilots union in New Orleans that was slated for the evening of September 11th. The restaurant canceled the event because of the tragedies that day, and the union tried to sue for breach of contract, but eventually abandoned it from the threat from the restaurant of going public. I can't find anything about it online. Anybody heard of this story and have a link? Or is this an urban legend? I haven't found anything on snopes.
posted by destro to Travel & Transportation around New Orleans, LA (7 answers total)
I can see a suit going the other way. If the union cancelled then the restaurant is out a lot of business. Why would the union sue though?
posted by caddis at 9:06 AM on April 29, 2010

Why would the union sue though?

If the union had already paid for venue, including food, and had already sold event tickets, the people who had purchased those event tickets may have asked the union for a refund when the event did not occur. The union might have wanted to recoup some of the costs of this from the restaurant.

Or perhaps this story isn't true.
posted by Mike1024 at 9:12 AM on April 29, 2010

It seems more likely that they would reschedule instead of canceling outright..
posted by amethysts at 10:22 AM on April 29, 2010

I wonder if the Union invited any Welfare Queens and Illegal Immigrants Who Steal Our Jobs?

Which is to say, look very suspiciously on any story like this about "unions." They are a favorite target for right-wing villainization, and most of it is downright fictional. Which is not to say this *couldn't* have happened, but it doesn't make much sense:

a) As noted above, the restaurant would be more likely to reschedule
b) If anyone was going to cancel it would the pilots, who lost colleagues that day.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:36 AM on April 29, 2010 [4 favorites]

If it's a legend, I can't find that, either, and my fuzzy-search google-fu is pretty good.

Usually an UL comes with a narrative, an "angle", and the obvious one here is those callous pilots! partying the night their colleagues died! but if that had been the case surely it would have received some attention. The angle of a lawsuit that wasn't filed to keep an embarrassing public position private is something you do see in ULs, but then how would someone even be able to know or confirm that a lawsuit was considered? The vast majority -- 99% or more -- of civil lawsuits are filed unnoticed by the media as it is.

The closest possible analogue to this story I can find is that the National Business Aviation Association -- corporate jets and such -- planned its 2001 convention in NO for the week following the attacks, but postponed it until December. I can see how that might have led to a financial contretemps with the hotels and restaurants involved, but it seems like an inversion of your story, with the aggrieved parties being the vendors. Still, there doesn't seem to be any incidation in Google News Archive (a virtually hidden and, I fear, soon-to-vanish resource) of anything like a lawsuit.
posted by dhartung at 11:06 AM on April 29, 2010

The fact that you heard about it suggests is isn't true, at least in the format suggested. After all, if the union wanted to keep it hush-hush, but you are hearing about it anyways, there is already an air of unreality to the story....

Not to mention if an action was started there would probably already be publicly available documents.

Coupled with a pretty impotent threat of "going public" over something like this - what would the union have lost in the public eye of a lawsuit was made public? - this seems more urban legend than anything else.
posted by neksys at 11:40 AM on April 29, 2010

Thanks dhartung, that makes it sound like it may not be a true story.

I could have included more of the details of the story - that supposedly it was scheduled on 9/11, not the 20th, and that the pilots went to another restaurant and rung up a huge bill and tried charging it the original restaurant because of their cancellation - but that wouldn't really make sense if it was scheduled for the 20th. Sounds like an urban legend.
posted by destro at 1:02 PM on April 29, 2010

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