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  #41  
Old 11 April 2017, 12:52 AM
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UEL UEL is offline
 
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I was flying with Delta once (I have brought that story up here before) and they were overbooked. They started at $200, then $400 and finally $800 vouchers for volunteers. And then the gate agent said that if no one volunteered, you'd be selected and get $0 for being rebooked.

Thankfully, her Majesty was paying for my flight (I am by regulation not allowed to accept vouchers to volunteer to be rebooked) and if I got rebooked, it would be between her Majesty and Uncle Sam to determine how to look after me. I would not be out of pocket. I'd be annoyed, for sure, but not spending my own money.

What gets me here is that the plane was loaded. If they had pulled this guy aside at the gate and said "we are sorry but you've been bumped" he might have been pissed, but not securely fastened in his seat with his seat back upright and his tray table in the full up and locked position.

And the level of force by Chicago airport police was excessive. They knocked him out cold, he had blood coming from his nose and mouth, and may have a concussion. Why? Because United goofed.

I have some business with work coming up in the US, and I've already told my travel authorities, not with United. I'll take Amtrak before I take United.
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  #42  
Old 11 April 2017, 01:40 AM
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I've just read about 8 different news agencies' take on the incident. Oddly enough, the last United Airlines story on CNN is from early March. I guess CNN knows which side of the bread is buttered.

Anyways, one story had an interview with one of the passengers on that flight. The interesting thing that was in that interview was their recollection of the hostility shown to the transitting flight crew when they took their seats.

Another story had an interesting take on the overbooked flight. It was not overbooked. They had one paying customer per seat. It was a planning error that had transitting crew that needed to use those four seats.

One commenter in one of the articles stated that she sided with the airline. The man was being clearly disruptive. She pulled out the definition from the ICAO regulation on disruptive passengers, and by the thinnest of definitions, you could classify them as disruptive. But that same regulation says that you can use any force, up to and including lethal force, to remove this passenger. So, I guess he's lucky he was not shot.

All told, between not wearing leggings, and assaulting passengers... United has not had a good spring.

I am interested in the "Aviation Police". After the Robert Dziekański taser incident where he was killed, it was revealed that the RCMP tended to send their lowest performing Mounties to the airport. I wonder if the Chicago PD do the same. I'm going to have to read more about it.
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  #43  
Old 11 April 2017, 02:13 AM
Alchemy Alchemy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
I was flying with Delta once (I have brought that story up here before) and they were overbooked. They started at $200, then $400 and finally $800 vouchers for volunteers. And then the gate agent said that if no one volunteered, you'd be selected and get $0 for being rebooked.
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).

I don't understand why it's legal for airline staff to rely on passengers not knowing this, and willfully defraud their customers by implying (or outright saying) they are legally able to bump passengers without consequence, so as to put more pressure on people to accept their near-worthless company scrip.

They're not offering vouchers to be nice; they're offering so that they can get a passenger to voluntarily refuse to board, and give that person a $400 voucher (which is probably worth a quarter of that to the airline, and perhaps might never get used at all) instead of $1200 cash (which actually costs the airline actual money).

United of course was only offering a $800 voucher - possibly as much as $1000 - and nobody was taking it because this was (1) not worth a day's delay and (2) (assuming anyone on-board saw through the airline's BS) well under what anyone would receive if involuntarily deprived of a seat. Apparently, one or more savvy flyers negotiated to something more reasonable but were refused.

I have to think this entire situation could have been avoided if United staff onboard just informed the cabin what the law was, how much they were legally required to compensate a passenger who is refused boarding (new flight, full refund, and easily over a thousand dollars cash) and making that their final offer before they just picked people at the company's discretion. The fact they didn't could reasonably have led this man to believe he would receive nothing if he conceded and gave up his seat.
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  #44  
Old 11 April 2017, 02:44 AM
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  #45  
Old 11 April 2017, 03:51 AM
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Things must be really different since I worked for an airline. As employees, when we had flying privileges, we were told in no uncertain terms that if we were flying stand-by and the plane was full, we weren't getting on. We were always the last to board, and then only if a seat opened up due to a cancellation if the plane was fully booked.

Period.

We could "list" for any flight we wanted, and often we had to list for multiple flights in case this very situation came up, but there was never any question who'd be denied boarding or taken off a flight if the plane was full of paying passengers; we'd get pulled in a heartbeat-no questions or complaints accepted. We'd just have to find another, less-booked airplane. If that meant flying multiple legs to get where we were going, so be it.

I can't even fathom how it came to this given there were stand-by employees on the plane.

~Psihala
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  #46  
Old 11 April 2017, 04:04 AM
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Seems like United has been one PR disaster after another. Makes me wonder what's going on there. I think at the point where they're enforcing this policy by calling in the police is where it crosses the line.

Customers get that when it's something the customer did wrong or could have avoided but this is a crisis of the airlines own making. Literally no customers are going to be on their side. Even if they have to cancel or delay some other flight, that's going to cost them less. Again, customers don't like that but they get it. Maintenance, safety, pilots, etc. All reasonable excuses for inconveniencing someone - even though they may be due to similar constraints. "We sold to many seats" - not so much.
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  #47  
Old 11 April 2017, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psihala View Post
Things must be really different since I worked for an airline. As employees, when we had flying privileges, we were told in no uncertain terms that if we were flying stand-by and the plane was full, we weren't getting on. We were always the last to board, and then only if a seat opened up due to a cancellation if the plane was fully booked.
These weren't airline employees flying for free on their personal time, they were crewmembers being repositioned for work related reasons. According to the pilot who wrote this column, they're always considered high priority.
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  #48  
Old 11 April 2017, 05:03 AM
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That makes more sense. Even so, the airlines had interline agreements back then (I have no idea if they still do--its been decades), pilots and cabin crew could fly any airline going in their direction.

I heard stories in Res about pilots finding other forms of transportation to get them to unexpected assignments when flights weren't available, but I wouldn't be able to back any of them up with evidence.

~Psihala
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  #49  
Old 11 April 2017, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
This isn't news because they "re-accommodated" him after he boarded the plane. It's news because they bodily removed him. That is also not whimsical, but also I'm guessing not "fairly well established procedure."
.... and they were so rough in removing him that he ended up looking like this:


Some reports also say that he was knocked unconscious.
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  #50  
Old 11 April 2017, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Fortunately my schedule is flexible enough that I could take one of the volunteer reschedule things. I'll certainly be more inclined to do so after this.
So basically you're saying you'll volunteer as tribute so some other poor soul doesn't get dragged from the crowd by armed guards. That's gracious of you, but this shouldn't be The Hunger Games.
Quote:
The airline business is so odd. In what other business would you even inconvenience a customer to re-deploy your employees, let alone remove him against his will?
None that operate in a free society. Hotels might overbook people, but they don't search your bag, pat your genitals, photograph you naked, and rip you bloodied from your bed so they can give it to an employee.

"Why are you being so belligerent? You can wait in our lobby till a room opens up. Here. Have some pretzels."

Last edited by Little Pink Pill; 11 April 2017 at 06:32 AM.
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  #51  
Old 11 April 2017, 06:50 AM
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Chicago police have issued a statement
Quote:
"A 69-year-old Asian male airline passenger became irate after he was asked to disembark from a flight that was oversold," read the statement issued by the Chicago Police Department's officier of communications.

"Aviation Officers arrived on scene and attempted to carry the individual off of the flight when he fell. His head subsequently struck an armrest causing injuries to his face."
http://www.metronews.ca/news/world/2...verbooked.html

People online are reacting somewhat incredulously to their explanation that "he fell".

Seems like everyone's making terrible PR decisions around this incident!
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  #52  
Old 11 April 2017, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
They needed the crew in another city to fly another scheduled flight. So their option (besides better planning ) was let the passenger fly then cancel another flight with perhaps 100 people on it.
My comment was not specific to this incident, it was about the general practice.

But yeah, I do think their planning process may need some review. I assume United, like other large corporations, has people whose job it is to review such situations, try to identify and root cause, and determine appropriate improvements, if any.
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  #53  
Old 11 April 2017, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutter Monkey View Post
Chicago police have issued a statement.
Which is weird, because those weren't Chicago cops.

Quote:
Chicago has two law-enforcement forces that patrol O’Hare and Midway airports: the Chicago Police Department, whose officers are armed, and Department of Aviation police, whose officers are unarmed. Aviation officers alone handled the situation aboard the United flight.

Despite this, a Chicago Police news affairs officer — not the aviation cops — initially released a statement to an unnamed media outlet saying that a “69-year-old male Asian airline passenger” became “irate” aboard the flight and that aviation officers “attempted to carry the individual off the flight when he fell.”

As the Chicago Police statement began circulating on Twitter — with people taking exception to the characterization that the man “fell” — police said that any further information should come through the Department of Aviation.
Nothing like going out of your way to step in shit. (I wanted to put a laughing smilie here but for some reason it's not working)
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  #54  
Old 11 April 2017, 12:45 PM
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Here's what I don't understand (and others here have mentioned aspects of this): The passenger was seated, THEN there developed a need to get this crew transported. Why wasn't the need to get the crew where they were going planned out HOURS in advance, rather than once the plane was full? That way, they could have simply told people at the gate they were overbooked.
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  #55  
Old 11 April 2017, 12:57 PM
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My guess is it was planned, that there are standard procedures around it, and something, or some series of things, went wrong. That part I can actually understand.
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  #56  
Old 11 April 2017, 01:29 PM
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I wonder if they would have tried to bodily move an elderly woman or did they think an elderly Asian man was fair game.
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  #57  
Old 11 April 2017, 01:48 PM
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Jaded United Boss: Dragged Passenger Was ‘Disruptive and Belligerent’

The boss of United Airlines has blamed a passenger for being "disruptive and belligerent" after his forced removal from a flight by aviation security caused outrage around the world.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/...gerent-n745031
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  #58  
Old 11 April 2017, 01:51 PM
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If he's ignoring his PR professionals, he needs to start listening to them. And if his PR professionals are suggesting this double-down approach, he needs to fire them and get new ones.
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  #59  
Old 11 April 2017, 01:52 PM
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Well being a complete ass and blaming the victim has always worked for Trump.
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  #60  
Old 11 April 2017, 02:08 PM
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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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