PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - USA Today: UA forcibly remove random pax from flight
Old 16th Apr 2017, 13:56
  #1098 (permalink)  
Jet II
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: West Country
Posts: 1,188
Originally Posted by RAT 5 View Post
The lawyers for the plaintiff, from the video, are saying the captain is 100% responsible. Are airlines going to argue, in front of a county or federal court, that the captain is not completely in command when an aircraft is at the gate?

My first reaction to the lawyers claim is that there is some ignorance here. The doors are open, the a/c is not 'in flight' and has not yet departed. The engineers would be in charge of dispatching the a/c from a maintenance point of view; the state manager/dispatcher is responsible for ensuring the correct passengers are on board, and solving any consequential problems. The captain might become involved if there is a safety issue towards the a/c or the personnel. Neither was the case, so I fail to understand how the captain can be held responsible for a decision & chain of events that they were never at any time involved with. Even if the doors had closed and they were taxying, and the station manager ordered a 'return to gate' I suspect the captain would comply. So, IMHO, there are times when the captain is NOT 100% in charge of what happens to/with the a/c. It is his toy to do with as ordered by the company not as he would if he owned the football.

As captain I would not be best pleased if someone tried to lay this debacle at my door. The only way that could happen is if the captain intervened and instructed the bouncers to 'remove' the pax.
I agree - from a legal standpoint it isnt even the Captains aircraft until Engineering have signed off all their paperwork and the Captain signs to accept the aircraft.

Of course the Captain will have some responsibility for the Airline operation as regards passengers and freight but even that seems a rather grey area (as shown by this thread)
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