Writing in the Washington Post, A.L. Bardach says: "Gotbaum wasn't late for boarding. She didn't forfeit her place by ignoring the airline's procedures. Her only mistake was showing up at the US Airways gate and believing that her paid-in-full, reserved-seat airline ticket meant that she would actually have a seat on the plane."
The headline of the piece: "Why Flying Now Can Kill."
Bardach points out that Gotbaum's connecting flight was subcontracted out to Mesa Airlines. Blaming it on the subcontractor is always something airlines try to do. (Don't get me started on Delta and Atlantic Southeast Airlines and all those equipment malfunctions.) But the fact of the matter, passengers don't book with Mesa or ASA. And those aren't Mesa's or ASA's colors, signs and commercials we see all over the airport. It's your name on the line, airlines; you might want to consider that when you hook up with a subcontractor.