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Old 11 April 2017, 03:08 PM
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erwins erwins is offline
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,232
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I would guess that something happened to make the planned crew for the other flight run out of hours. So it might not be something they could plan further in advance.

I'm not sure why it matters so much that he was in his seat. I agree that it seems more unfair in a way, but once everyone was on board (for whatever reason--poor communication with the gate crew, bad decision-making, or they thought they had another solution but it fell through. Whatever) they were dealing with already seated people. They could have required everyone to get back off I suppose, but that would be a colossal waste of time.

I agree that they handled it terribly, and I notice that the drive time from Chicago to Louisville is less than 6 hours. Why not pay a service to drive the crew to Louisville? If their flight was not until the next morning it seems like that could have worked.

If not, then they should have tried harder to get volunteers. Also, once they select someone against their will, they have to give them a notice of what they get in compensation. That notice also tells the passenger that they can refuse the compensation and choose to sue the airline for damages instead. I expect that is part of why he wound up back on the plane. They decided not to compound their liability. (I don't know if he was given the notice.)

Also, the airline has set criteria for selecting a ticket holder--you can get a copy on request. So passengers are not selected entirely at random. It is possible that time of reservation is a factor, but these are the example criteria in the federal regs.
Quote:
(b) Boarding priority factors may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) A passenger's time of check-in;

(2) Whether a passenger has a seat assignment before reaching the departure gate for carriers that assign seats;

(3) The fare paid by a passenger;

(4) A passenger's frequent-flyer status; and

(5) A passenger's disability or status as an unaccompanied minor.
14 CFR 250.3

So it should be fairly obvious to figure out if he was selected according to their policy or not. It still may be that his treatment, by the airline workers and by police, after being selected was influenced by race.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
This is of course a lie - if you're refused booking due to the carrier's error, the carrier is legally required to get you to your destination via some other means, and your ticket is fully refunded (in cash!), and (depending on the length of delay) you will also receive an additional 1-3x the cost of your ticket (in cash!!) up to some limit ($1200 last I checked).
There are some circumstances when you can receive no compensation. If you didn't follow the airline rules about how early to check-in, or if they can get you to your next airport within an hour of your scheduled time are two examples from the federal regulations linked earlier. There are others.

And it makes sense for the airline to start by offering lesser compensation to get volunteers. It can be a win-win. If I don't mind being rescheduled, I can get compensation for the inconvenience that makes it worth it to me. Whereas if I don't volunteer, it will likely go to someone else. And the airline gets to pay a lesser amount to someone to whom that amount makes the rescheduling worth it. They should, however, always increase the offer at least up to around what they'll be required to pay anyway, if they aren't getting volunteers. (They may not know the exact amount they'll have to pay until a person is selected, since there are variables based on ticket price paid and destination arrival time.)
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